100th Giro D' Italia & Lovin' Lance in Italy!

by Ashley in Italy /
Ashley in Italy's picture
May 29, 2009 / 0 comments

giro logo

Let me start by saying I do not cycle (hell, I can barely change gears on a mountain bike), I know nothing about professional cycling, except of course I have heard of Tour d France & Lance Armstrong - until last year that is when my sister & I sorta stumbled upon the Giro d'Italia when there was a finishing stage in Urbino & a start in Urbania. We loved it! What a party & so much fun cheering on the cyclists as they made their way to the finish line.
giro d' italia piobbico

This year - I was super excited, it was the 100th race in Italy - I knew what to expect - had my pink Giro T-shirt ready to go & the "All American Hero" - Lance Armstrong was coming to Italy to race!!! Plus - the course lead the 70 some cyclists right into our tiny town of Piobbico & then up Monte Nerone (whose shadow we live in) for a 237km stage of the race reaching altitudes of 1400+ meters - set to be one of the toughest stages. So I was more than pumped! And to add a little frosting on the cake, an old friend from High School was in town & she was ready to root for Lance too!

So we headed to the base of the mountain where they began their climb on this hot hot day (temps in the high 90's - we were sweaty just watching - I can't imagine biking in that heat), staked out our spot as the locals slowly crowed the edges of the road ~

& cheered our hearts out (or should I say we screamed for Lance jumping up & down like crazy Americans shouting out the top of our lungs - LANCE ARMSTRONG!) Later we realized maybe we should have had some sort of proper LiveStrong cheer - and sure enough - he passed RIGHT NEXT TO US!

giro d'italia 2009 stage 15 piobbico

We've read how Lance & Levi (his team member) have commented on how difficult stage 15 (Monte Nerone & Monte Petrano) was - with the heat & climb - noting it was one of the most difficult stages to race in their entire career! Unbelievable - right here on the mountain we live under! Click here to watch.After the lead cyclists passed we headed into town for gelato & chatted it up with the locals as we watched the race continue on TV. We kept telling everyone that Lance is the best & such an inspiration & just how excited we were to see him in our tiny town. The Italians (& French) liked giving us a hard time & said that the only way he'd be in pink (the color of the lead/winning jersey) is if bought one!

Another giro in Italy & Le Marche, another great time - until next year....
To continue following the giro - check out Steephill.tv

Ashley Bartner is the Living in Italy Editor for Wandering Educators.

La Tavola Marche Agriturismo & Cooking Holiday