Wow, I nearly had to scratch just now. I missed a step in the dark corridor in the hotel while wearing flipflops, damn near broke my ankle. But all is forgiven because of the rather theatrical hotel receptionist, who just tore open three sterile gauze packages from her first aid suitcase in search of a bandage (to replace the dirty one on my broken nail), to discover that there was none in there. ‘No wait, no wait! I have! The last one! Here you go madam, now go in the bar and have a drink’. ‘Ok, yes ma’am’.
It’s 830pm right now and I’m already showered and checked into a hotel with a tea at the bar. Not really how I planned it, I was hoping to do another 50 or 60km after finishing the Passo Giau. Unfortunately the weather had other plans, right when I left the pizza place where I refueled, it started raining with thunder. I passed a hotel not long after and decided to wait 30 minutes. If it would clear up, I would continue for another hour or hour and a half, but it didn’t stop and it quickly got darker. At all cost did I want to avoid a situation like a couple of days ago, riding through dark and rain, so I did the only sensible thing and checked in at the hotel.
The clouds had been looming over me all day. At midday there were some episodes where the sun was fully shining and it was properly hot, but it was cloudy all day and some minor raindrops fell down every now and then. Since I had two more passes waiting for me, I didn’t mind the clouds too much. It made San Pellegrino quite doable, I actually rode about half of it I think, so that’s quite the improvement.
I arrived at CP3 around noon and quickly had something to eat. The jury was still out at that point whether it would be another blistering hot afternoon or if it would rain, but in any case I wanted this end boss to be behind me, so I got going.
After the first steep kilometer there’s an announcement that the pass will have 29 turns. I always like that, it gives you something to count down (or they actually counted up) and focus on. There were a lot of cyclists out and about and whenever one would pass me while I was walking, they’d ask me if I was OK. ‘Si si, tutti bene’. Everyone was extremely friendly. Luckily the second half was better, and I could still ride decent amounts.
But sure enough, by turn 20 it started to rain. It was nothing like on the Grimsel, because it still wasn’t cold en there was no wind either. But it was surely highly inconvenient, especially because it meant I had to descend a wet road. Thankfully I had finally gotten around to changing my rear brakes this morning, because they really took a beating on the wet roads in Switzerland and they were almost completely exhausted.
As soon as I arrived on top, I quickly ate an apfelstrudel and got all my cold weather gear out for the descend. I hardly took the time to admire the views, which were a little less spectacular because of the weather anyway. The descend was basically like all my descends, careful and slow. But I do think I’m starting to get better in them. The best part about the descend was running into Luigi at the bottom. At 68 he’s the oldest rider in this year’s edition, such a hero. He still had to go up, and his son just arrived to come cheer him on. He seemed to be in good shape, I hope he will make the finish.
Well, that’s about all I have to share. Because this day ended so early, I will have to work hard to reach Slovenia tomorrow. Hopefully the forecasted rain will not be too bad, and can I finally make use of the flat roads again.
Good night all!