Thursday, May 17, 2012

Giro d'Italia

The Giro d'Italia is a long distance bike race that tours around Italy, much like the Tour de France.  It is held over 3 weeks in May/June each year.  My sister and brother-in-law, both keen cyclists, let us know that the Giro would be coming right past our house.  We decided we would go and cheer on the Canadian riders including Victoria's own Ryder Hesjedal, who is the first Canadian to ever wear the maglia rosa (pink jersey).  Sadly he lost it by 17 seconds the day before we were going to cheer him on.  Finn is very keen on cycling and last year had his picture taken with Ryder after the Timbits Challenge in Victoria, so he was pretty excited to watch the Giro.

We drove to Rigutino, not far from our house.  We got there early, brought some sidewalk chalk and wrote 'Go Ryder Go' with a maple leaf in the middle of the road, being careful not to be run over by the vans selling souvenirs, we couldn't believe how many went past.  We of course bought some t-shirts and hats with 'I (heart) Giro' on them.  Funny it is in english, not Italian.

There were a lot of people around and it was fun to see all the cars and motorbikes go by, not to mention the anticipation of watching this great event.  We were quite close to a roundabout where quite a good size crowd had gathered, many to cheer on a local rider Daniele Bennati.  I am fairly certain we were the only Canadians in the area.

The first set of riders went by, a small group of about 4 or 5 riders, then shortly after, the peloton.  As it is a large group of riders moving about 35 km/hour we just yelled 'go Ryder go' to the whole group.  We did see Ryder towards the back of the peloton and though we waved our signs and were only a few feet from him, I am pretty sure he did not see us.  Sadly we had left our Canadian flag at home, which I think would have stood out a bit more.

We all had fun, it was a great experience and amazing to see the amount of support and just how quickly this pack moves through an area.  Within minutes the road was reopened and the traffic began to flow, almost like nothing had happened.  All that remained were some chalk markings along the road.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh that is cool Mary! How awesome to take part in that race, and have that connection for Finn. Love how you all were challenged by drawing the stem of the chalk maple leaf. It's like learning to draw hearts, it takes too much practice to get that leaf right!