A day that I cut down because I was concerned about the length of the stage, time I had to ride it and the condition of my cold. I had planned to cut out distance of today’s stage and tomorrow’s to give myself some recovery time. I took advantage of the shorter stage, and reduced time and attending the morning festivities, which I had not yet seen. The ride went smoothly and was very beautiful up the Brenner pass to 1500m. Ended in Innsbruck and spent the day touring the city.
Day of Journey:
Stage 9, Day 12, May 14th, 2009.
3h 30m (105km)
Bike – 113km
Bike – 113km
Total Distance Biked:
1313km (9 stages, two rest days)
Twitter: “Tomorrow, I’m tuning down the next 2 stages, No time to finish ahead of the pros without leaving at 6am. I’ll watch the departures instead.”
“In Innsbruck now. I rode a nice stage, a shortened stage, from Bressanone to Innsbruck. Its beautiful here, with the mountains. 105km 3h30m”
“I shortened today’s stage for these reasons 1. Sickness, 2. Wanted to see the departure ceremony 3. Would have needed to start at 5:30am.”
So What Happened?
I feel there wasn’t all that much to share from today. I woke up feeling congested again and realized maybe I was getting ahead of myself assuming I had beat my cold. Over breakfast Mike and I chatted about the impending task of a 248km stage through two passes into Austria in the condition I was in. I made the on-the-fly decision to make this day and tomorrow the days I would see the stage departure as opposed to the arrival.
We blasted down the steep descent from Mike’s house, me following the squealing tires of his car on my bike and I went to take in the festivities. The event departure was crowded with autograph seekers and young girls hoping to catch a glimpse of Petacchi or Basso. After it was over I followed the riders out of the city and went left straight to Innsbruck.
The Brenner pass and 105km are no light feat when you’re sicker than a dog, but it was a welcome relief from doing two passes and 248km. The climb up has some steep sections and beautiful views in this very Germanic region of Italy. At the top the military trains and trucks at the border gave me a World War II sense of everything. The timelessness of the mountains was very apparent at that point. The descent down into Innsbruck was very fast and tricky with all the car and transport traffic.
When you have little energy, are feeling worn down with a cold and descending a mountain pass at about 65kmph no urge hits harder than the urge to eat chocolate when you realize you have a forgotten Ritter Sport tucked away in a jersey pocket. The problem is, the one handed descent can make for tricky eating. When I went to take that first energy-filled bit of dark chocolate and instead hit a bump on the road causing me to smash my bar into my face, which, in turn launched all but one tiny square of the bar over my shoulder onto the road, I freaked out. Slamming on my brakes in the middle of the highway, I ran back to get it. I’m not too big to eat road chocolate I thought. However, when the fifth of five cars failed to swerve and ran directly over my Ritter Sport I did decide that I was too big to eat a Rubber and Asphalt tainted smashed Ritter sandwich. So I took a picture instead.
My mood like the rest of the journey went downhill from there. Although after 5 or so minutes I got over the Ritter disaster and was enjoying the fact I had not pedaled in about 20km. Into Innsbruck and met up with another host. I had lots of time to explore and see the city, riding my bike around an extra 8 km on the day. Innsbruck was beautiful but I was eager to leave. Not all couchsurfs go smoothly and this one was an incompatibility issue. I slept and planned my early morning breakaway.
Picture(s) of the Day:
DiLuca enjoying his time in Pink.
The Old guard of Simoni (37), Armstrong (37) and Leipheimer (35). All of who had poor showings at the Giro.
The border at Brenner Pass into Austria.
Innsbruck nestled in the Alps.