It’s 06.30 on Monday morning and we’re in Macomer, Tempio Pausania, Sardinia. It’s going to be another beautiful day here at the Giro d’Italia 2007; there’s not a cloud in the sky and the sun has begun its climb.
Yesterday was one of those days that makes you realise, you only think you know about pro bike racing.
The mission today was to drive the whole 205 kilometre stage, describing it to the readers in words and pictures. You can read the article here.
We took a bit of a wrong turning coming out of Olbia but soon recovered our bearings to get on the road to the start town of Tempio Pausania, set in the northern hills.
It was a nice drive, quiet Sunday morning roads and all around the strikiing rock formations which the island is famous for. We didn’t linger in the town, just to take a snap or two, zero the trip meter and purchase, ‘even dearer than home’ fuel .
We drove every metre of the route: the start was tough, climbing immediately then rolling and snaking across a high plateau before droppimg to the sea – through what could have been Scottish countryside – and long rolling straights across coastal plains.
The thing that struck us was the very low numbers of fans at the roadside. I drove a complete Tour stage last year and the crowds, hours before the race was due, were incredible. Sardinia isn’t a cycling hotbed though and it’s not the simplest place for the tifosi to reach – or has the Basso nonsense disillusioned folk? We’ll know better once we return to the mainland.