I was eager to get back on the bike and to start riding the Giro. I left early at around 8am and caught the transfer train to San Dona di Piave. There is no train to Jesolo. I was lost almost right off the word go, because my route was planned from Jesolo, but I quickly found the way. The ride was beautiful and I was really flying and ended up waiting for the pros for about 4 hours. Watched my first stage finish, Petacchi won.
Day of Journey:
Stage 5, Day 8, May 10th, 2009.
4h 1m (136km)
Train 30km, Bike – 152km
Train 30km – Bike – 152km
Total Distance Biked:
727km (5 stages, two rest days)
Twitter: “Yesterday, rode Jesolo to Trieste, felt good and fast, ended up being 136km in 4 h 1 m to Treieste. Pros only beat me by 48min.
So What Happened?
Leaving Venice after only two days of being there felt very rushed, it would have been nice to tour around another day. However, the Giro doesn’t wait for me so I was off. I took the train to the nearest point I could get to Jesolo – San Dona di Piave. The trains were said to be on strike that day, but I had no problems getting where I needed to go. From San Dona di Piave I rode round and round trying to find my way and killed about 10km’s doing so. Finally, came across another cyclist who I thought may be going to the Giro and asked him the way. He was only going home but he took me to the highway that I needed and I was on the way.
This day reminded me on my first from Strasbourg to Colmar, with similar weather – sunny and hot, and I felt rested and relaxed. The flat, windy roads of the Provincia di Venezia are ideal riding, lined with farmers fields and small villages to grab espresso and croissants in. The route followed along in this way until the Provincia di Trieste, were the landscape very suddenly transforms into lush thick deciduous trees and rocky coastline.
Once nearing Trieste, the road began to undulate and have some elevation chages, but they were not severe. The stage passed quite quickly and I arrived in Trieste with plenty of time to take in the sun and the Giro festivities – both which I quickly tired of. The professionals had a slightly different route to contend with as they entered Trieste with three loops of the sloping sea-side city to battle through before the flat sprint finish. This made for a longer and more demanding stage than I was able to ride, as a portion of the stage is closed to spectators, and it seemed silly to ride around in circles when I could explore the city.
The bunch sprint was interesting but far from exciting as it went by in a flash and most of the action was fighting to keep your viewpoint. Petacchi edged Cavendish at the line and the crowd erupted in cheers for their countryman. After this I met with my CS host Elina and we chatted, had pizza and walked around. I started to feel a little sick that night, with a slight sore throat, but I slept well. The next day was a big one to Valdobiadene.
One of the most promising things of the day, and a very important one at that, was the accessibility of the highway. After all, this was the first stage I was pre-riding with the pros in-tow. The route was marked at every possible change of direction with pink placards and indicator arrows. Goodbye mini-maps! This made the route easy to follow and was informative, with climbs, slopes, distances-to-finish all denoted. As well, I had no problems with the roads being closed, on the contrary, the route resulted in what I can only assume was less traffic than usual, and if anything I felt very alone out there. I saw few cyclists, most of whom I think were locals out for a spin, and little to no security/enforcement. It was ideal for riding. Lastly, all the roads were in spectacular condition, freshly paved where it would be rough and clean! I saw little debris which could derail one’s day with a flat. Approaching the finishing cities, traffic ran as usual, there were many cyclists who drove into town and pulled their $6000 bike out of the back to ride around on, and security was tight. It is impossible to ride the last 500m-1km which is too bad. If you though pre-riding a stage would be troublesome, it isn’t.
Picture of the Day: