What's Cool In Road Cycling

Giro Di PEZ: Lunchtime Giro

Roadside St.12: My daily roads invaded by the Giro. Wake up, make breakfast, go to work, waiting for lunch time, eating with relatives. A Giro passage as dessert, and then back to work again. The strange day of your Italian reporter.

The plan today is to view the Giro as a normal supporter. No, credentials, no chasing, no ride. Today I wear the everyday clothes, and I wait for the Giro coming into my town. Passage is scheduled for 2:30pm.

Fano is a town of 60.000 people in the north of Marche region, close to the Romagna. Here the people love “piadina” more than pizza, and they are experts in dance. Dancing is one the most popular activity of locals. Here the life flows quietly and each day is similar to all the others. Winters are long and grey, but from April to October the season is beautiful.

At the fish market.

Almost everybody has got a job and there’s a quite interesting commercial activity. The fishing is a big resource and Fano has got one of the most interesting fishing markets of the area. You can find several kinds of local fishes and I usually see their catch everyday. It’s the only way to really check if a fish is fresh or not! At the end, I buy always from the same place, but I also like to check all the others.

The best breakfast: Caffe del Corso.

It’s 8:00am whan I leave my daughter Diana at school: the time for a breakfast at “Caffи del Corso” – the best of the town – and to walk to the job. No taxi, no car, no traffic. Just five minutes to be there. It’s one to the advantages to live “out of the world”.

The Fano bell tower.

Roman arch.

The everyday troubles end at 12:30pm for the long lunch time we have in the office: two hours! The plan is to meet Diana out of her school and reach my wife Natalia to eat together a piadina. A little information about this food: in few words you have to mix flour and pork fat with a little water. You make a sort of pasta and you flatten it giving a round shape. A fast cook on a hot metal and than you can fill this sort of pizza (but it’s piadina!) with everything you like on: prosciutto, sausages, peppers, mozzarella, tomato… whatever. Than you clos your piadina in two halves. I love it filled with soft cheese, salad and prosciutto.


While we were eating, the official cars of the Giro start to pass on the main road. The people are attracted by the cars and start to crowd the road even if there’s more than an hour to wait according to the official timetable. The day is warm and sunny, it’s one of those days you would like to live again and again. The lunch ends and starts also for us the waiting time. I go around to find the best place for the pictures. It won’t be an easy passage and I need to check again and again the positions even if I’m thinking to this passage since the presentation of the route last November.

Natalia and Diana seem quite bored, but everybody is on the road and they don’t/can’t quit just few minutes before the passage. Tomorrow everybody will talk of the Giro and they don’t want be “out”. Minutes pass and the road is crowded even more but the time comes: motos, police cars, helo, motos again.

At the third day in the Giro you become quite familiar with the process. Now local cops become more nervous because they are not usual with the race affairs, but they are quite enough to control everything. By the way, I was not aware that Fano had so many cops: where are them when you are in need? Comes the race: four in the breakaway and the group at about two minutes. But it’s not a big battle. Pace is fast but nothing special. The people are excited by the show, even after an hour you have just seconds to enjoy.

A kiss to Natalia and Diana and back to work. This is a normal day and there’s no more space for the Giro. I will look to the result from Pez….

Just a few days at the Giro. I was just starting to enjoy the event. Just starting to taste how it’s good to wait for those fast passages. The Giro is now heading north and it’s in front of the most important stages. We will read fantastic reports in the next days from Matt Conn and Richard Pestes. The Alps are coming. Here, in the centre Italy, in the Marche region, we will forget of those days and just supporters will watch the Giro on TV. All the others will probably forget the event. But, in the heart of a child who was there, those colours, those bikes, those riders will start to live again and again, every night. Where were those riders going? Why all together? Why was one of them in a pink jersey? In the heart of a child those questions will start to become more and more frequent. As usual, it won’t be important the answers, but the way he will find them.

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