Photo Gallery: Italian autumn race No.4 for Heather Morrison is the 100th edition of Milano-Torino. An easier day for our intrepid PEZ photographer, but one of the best so far with shots of the start presentation and the hard fight for the victory going to Canada’s Michael Woods.
Deceuninck – Quick-step – something has caught Phil’s eye
Jungels and Gilbert
So, today was a good day full of amazing sights.
Everything went okay for the most part, I left for Magenta nice and early and got there with plenty of time to find the HQ and get into position. The teams all showed up nice and early – really a pretty good day with nothing bad to say about it, bar the usual missed turn on the road here and getting away.
Mads Pedersen and Julian Bernard
Eg, Ciconne and Mollema
Trek – The boy seems a bit happier this morning in his rainbows
Now that we are on RCS races there is a bigger photographers pool and the ‘pain in the butt’ female from the Worlds in Harrogate is here. The one with the umbrella up in the photographer’s pen. She just ignores all the etiquette about the photographers ‘line’ that has been impressed upon me over the years of photographing at Italian races. She just stands in front of you, then she breaks off to talk to all the riders she knows and prevents anyone else getting photos? She is very annoying, I may complain about her, but I’ve seen her hugging the organisers so maybe not.
‘The Eel’ (Masnada) and Cattaneo having a laugh
Bora-Hansgroghe – Formolo ordered to take down his zip
Lachlan Morton is looking after Sergio Higuita
On a better note I have met many photographers this time that actually say hello, even the mighty Dario Belingheri has spoken to me… Everyone is very friendly, which I hadn’t felt at the Giro, Strade Bianche or Il Lombardia – maybe they are beginning to realise I’m not going away.
Neri Sottolli boys
Can you tell Cortina is a new favourite of mine?
Anyway I left the stunning Piazza Liberazone in Magenta and headed for Superga, with no thought of how to get there, just to get there and trust loyal Google Map Man, who never loses his patience with my wrong turns.
Jungle Bob feeling reflective
Castroviejo and Ion Izagirre on the line
Beware the Basques are plotting, could they all be wearing orange again soon?
It was about an hours drive, so not to bad but the last 20 kilometres were real mummy daddy stuff, I know I am at the races now. It was very cloudy and rainy when I started out, but I can occasionally catch a glimpse of the Superga through the clouds, so I figure that’s where I’m heading. I could have taken a photo to show you how steep it was – 20km uphill – but you need to come here to see these places – A photo won’t do it justice.
Mads meets fellow Dane Jonas Gregaard
No pressure Mads, no one is looking at you
This 20 kilometre drive is torturous, I’m passing people of all ages and sizes who are cycling, so I had better not complain. Finally I get to where the barriers begin, so I know its not far now, but all I can see are trees… and more trees. At about 150 metres to go, I turn the last corner and just laugh out loud in the car, Italy does this to you all the time, it just punches you in the gut with its beauty. Up ahead is Superga, shrouded in clouds, cushioning it like cotton wool. Un – f**king – believable.
Just mind blowing – the Superga
I go round to the parking and immediately walk back to get a photo of that sight. Still thinking about it takes my breath away. That plus, I am not an altitude native and I do actually have asthma.
Michael Woods Wins
Off to the press room; inside this beautiful building, (people should do this just to get free entry to these buildings) up 3 flights of stairs, proper big stairs, and I reach the room. It’s like a museum, like walking through the Kelvin Galleries/Victoria and Albert Museum/Guggenheim, when it’s closed to the public.
From this angle it looks like Valverde might have caught Woods in another couple of meters
As an aside though I think RSC is trying to teach me a lesson, everything is at the top of a very steep climb followed by very steep stairs. I’m dying here. After loading photos from this morning and sending off yesterdays, I pack everything up as I’m really not coming back up these steps and I head out to the finish.
Adam Yates 3rd and broken, close on his heels Benoot and Gaudu after a hard chase
After about 30 minutes, guys start to appear who had walked down the climb to catch the race on the first pass on the bottom section of the climb, so I can see the finish is getting close. People start to line up for the finish, including ‘Umbrella Woman’, who just took turns standing in front of everyone until she found her spot. I got very lucky in that the guy who had been in front of me decided to move and the guy who replaced him knelt which left me with the best view I have ever had at a finish, the Gods were with me.
Benoot, Gaudu and Bernal
Benedetti crossing the line
We can see the big screen from where we are, so I can see Izaguirre is up there, so I am hopeful. However as they turn that last corner, Woods is clearly on the front, followed by Valverde and a spent force which is Adam Yates.
Adam Yates 3rd
Second, 2nd of the week for Valverde. Now I don’t like Mike Woods, but it was a good win. I just think why would someone so critical of the “Bad” old days of Spanish and Italian cycling want to ride amongst it? He certainly didn’t look Valverde in the eye on the podium, although Yates got a pat on the bum. Thats because Anglos don’t dope – don’t ever forget that fact. Sorry, side tracked by my personal opinion.
Who else but Alejandro Valverde in 2nd
I head back to Novara, quite smooth tonight and head out for dinner – the first food and water of the day.
Tomorrow is the GP Peimonte, then a rest day before ‘The Big One’ Il Lombardia.
The 100th Milano-Torino podium