About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Giro d'Italia - Stage 2, Alba to Parma

This afternoon I headed south to the town of Casteggio to see stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia.  Brandon chose to stay home today, so I was on my own.  

Casteggio is located about halfway between the start town of Alba and the finish in Parma, and about 45 minutes southwest of Milan.  Today's stage was basically a long flat ride for the teams.  

I arrived in town about 40 minutes before the peleton rode through, so I found a shady spot near a roundabout and people watched.  I also bought a Giro d'Italia bag from one of the sponsor vans.  The bag included a Giro shirt, hat, noisemaker, and bracelets.  I mostly bought it for the t-shirt.  

Here they come!  The roads get closed down about a half hour before the riders come through.  This is followed by many police motorcycles, cars and Giro support cars making sure the roads are clear.  

The official Giro "Race is Coming" car

Then this lone cyclist came through.  Apparently he had a breakaway and, according to my clock, had about a 13 minute lead on the peleton.

More motorcycles and finally I can see the peleton.

I was  standing right on the opposite side of the roundabout, so most of the riders would be coming right at me.  

The leaders setting the pace.

The peleton is followed by 30 or more team cars and Giro d'Italia cars

Team Radioshack!

Team Lampre, one of the big Italian teams

The end of the race 

On my way home, I took a different route to see if it was faster.  It would have been if I hadn't spotted a model train shop.  I saw the sign as I was driving, but didn't see the location.  Then, about 10 minutes down the road I spotted the shop.  I did a U-turn to see what the store hours are so I could come back and visit.  When I pulled up in front of the door, it was open.  I didn't expect the store to be open on a Sunday.

It was a very nice shop, one of the best I have seen in Italy.  They also had a layout you could visit.  I paid the extra 6 euro to see it and was amazed.  It's a very nice layout.  

The room had a day/night lighting scheme, which was pretty cool.

I had a nice day out seeing two of my favorite things, bike racing and model trains.  I think I'll take Brandon out to see this model train layout next weekend. 

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