Giro d’Italia Takes Catanzaro

And, I was there!

As prompted by my new pal Sally, over at Homebody at Heart, I scoured the giornali to find our when and where the famous bike race would blaze through Catanzaro. The when was yesterday, May 13, 2008 – around 5:00 PM, they said … The where? Right outside casa mia, piu’ o meno.

The poor bikers had to slush their way from Pizzo Calabro to Catanzaro Lido on one of the most dismal days we’ve had this month.

“If it stops raining, I’m going!” I announced to my sweetie.

At 3:30, however, I receive a somewhat frantic phone call.

“I’m watching the Giro on TV, wanna watch it with me?”

“Uhm. No. I don’t want to watch it on TV when I can walk 1/2 kilometer and see it LIVE!”

“Then, we better get going,” Peppe said. “They just passed Soverato!”

“An hour and a half early?”

Mamma mia!

So, we jumped in the car, because, you know, it might start raining again and we’d want to get back, and rushed to the scene.

Activity was mounting, and we had a few false alarms as to when the group would actually arrive.

This, however, was our first clue they were close.

 

Giro d’Italia in Catanzaro

Then, I saw this.

 

Giro d’Italia in Catanzaro

“Oh,” I told Pep. “I didn’t realize they were these kinds of bikes!”

Ha, ha, ha … I know, I am funny!

Then, the leader of the pack.

 

Giro d’Italia in Catanzaro

And, a good NINE minutes later …

 

Giro d’Italia in Catanzaro

Man, they go fast!

 

Giro d’Italia in Catanzaro

And, this guy almost hit me!

 

Giro d’Italia in Catanzaro

And, then it was over. All of the excitement and build-up for a whopping 30 seconds of fun. No comments, please!

But, it WAS fun. So much in fact, I can’t wait until next year, where I plan to park my happy self with a fully-charged battery and be waiting at the end waving an American flag.

So, tell me. If you were watching the Giro on TV, what did you think? Didn’t you think Catanzaro was lovely, despite the gray skies? And, what about that tragic crash at the end? Ouch!

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Comments

  1. “And, then it was over. All of the excitement and build-up for a whopping 30 seconds of fun. No comments, please!”

    It’s too easy.

    I would love to see a live race like that.

    You seriously didn’t drive a half kilometer did you?

  2. Michelle, it looks like they were a bit more spread out in Badolato. When they passed us they were literally one big glob! They alter routes, but P said “they” said on TV, they might come through CZ again.

    lol, Running. I didn’t realize how “easy” that would be until it was already written. And, yes we did drive, but for two reasons.
    1) The weather
    2) There aren’t sidewalks the whole way, and these southern Italian drivers can get pretty territorial on their roads.

    But, mostly it was because of the weather, cause I’m a risk-taker, ya know!

  3. Didn’t see it, but I watched the Tour de France on the tee voo last time. I was more excited about picking out all the sites in Paris that I knew, rather than watching the race 😉 Typical. I know.

  4. We have a race like this every year in Manayunk (Philadelphia) the beginning of June. The course is done 15 times and goes through the city of Philadelphia and journeys to Manayunk (about 15 minutes from down town Philly) where they have to “climb the wall” which reminds me of the steep hills in Maida,Calabria. It’s intense and it takes place about 4 blocks from my home and it is just one big drunken fest in the town. Parties are at every house, in the streets, out the windows. Pretty amazing time!

  5. I watched the Giro d’Italia with my father last year and he told me when he was a little boy the route went by his town which was a HUGE deal because most of the time the town isn’t even on a map.

    It’s a shame the weather wasn’t nicer but it’s cool that you decided to brave the weather to go and see it! 🙂 It looks like it would have been a lot of fun to watch (even if it was just for 30 seconds).

  6. I didn’t see it but you got great shots. It’s amazing when you watch something like that on TV you don’t realize how quickly it goes by for the people on the street.

  7. Are they going to be around the Florence area? I couldn’t find their route on the internet.

  8. Ha, Robin. We did that, too when we came back home and watched them go around more of CZ.

    Wow, Maria! That sounds a tad more exciting than it was here. There was a man who kept yelling “they’re coming!” even when they weren’t. Maybe he was drinking!

    Oh, Lulu, it WAS fun. I am so glad we went!

    J, they went all through CZ. They came in near CZ Lido, actually, then headed towards me, then up into downtown CZ, and around the loooong way near the university and new hospital to end up back on the lungomare!

    Nadine, it was a big shock to me, too. I guess you dont think about it like that.

    I am sure they are, Stephanie, but I am not sure of the routes, either. I tried to look it up yesterday and didn’t find a lot!

  9. I’m a cycling nut, so I’ve been getting up crazy early (it’s early for us here on the US West Coast!) to watch it live via the internet… I’m really looking forward to the day when I can walk up to the race itself every year!!!

    The official Giro site is here – http://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/Giroditalia/2008/it/

    And you’ll find a good list of the stages/route here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Giro_d'Italia

    In 1999, the hubby & I chased the Tour de France around – and it was a blast. Yes, at some places you wait for hours only to have the peloton zip by in a few minutes… But part of the fun for spectators is hanging out on the roadside, picnicking and partying, until the real show begins. It’s great fun, and I hope they come through CZ again for you!

    (Oh, and as for next year’s route – the 2009 route hasn’t been announced yet; I think they do it in the fall/winter each year, and yes, they do change it every year. There are some consistencies, like certain mountain stages that show up often, and they always end in Milano, I think, but it’s not the same route each year.)

  10. We accidently saw the Giro in 2003, when we were visiting Alessandria. Actually we went to see the battlefield at Marengo and were trapped at the gates when we tried to leave. So, we stayed and watched. As you say, it didn’t last long but it sure was fun.

  11. The Giro is supposed to start at 6:45 am here on RAI but when it rains they delay the broadcast so I didn’t get to see any of it this morning:( But I haven’t checked the RAI site or Cyclingnews yet to see if they have any video. Cycllingnews.com has the race stages and towns listed on it as well as photos. I used to go to the San Francisco Grand Prix where they rode a loop so you could see the riders go round 10-12 times up really steep hills. I can’t immagine waiting all day to see them go by for 30 seconds but, usually folks just have a good party while they are waiting. (And, once, I was almost run down by Gilberto Simoni which would have been just fine by me, but he might not have liked it!) I’m glad you you are hooked now, too!

  12. I love, love, love cycling, and am SO envious the Giro ran by your house. I’m hoping next year I’ll be living in at least the same time zone (this getting up at 5:30 or 6:00am thing is really annoying)! The husband and I chased the Tour de France around in 1999, and although I wasn’t a huge cycling fan before then, the whole experience of being there and seeing it live changed all that!

    For those who are hunting for the 2008 route, the official site is part of La Gazzetta’s website here: http://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/Giroditalia/2008/it/ and the Wikipedia page actually has a good list of this year’s stages so you can get an idea of where the race is going: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Giro_d'Italia – the exact route from start to finish, however, isn’t there. You can get a rough idea on the La Gazzetta page by clicking the word “Planimetria” – you get a popup window with the overall route, and then if it looks vaguely close to your city you can start doing some more digging online.

    As for next year’s route, I believe the routes are announced in the fall each year, so the 2009 route will be announced in October or November or so. It changes each year, though some parts make the itinerary more often than not (the Stelvio pass, for instance, is a very common and brutal climb), and the race always ends in Milan.

    Finally, although on the flat stages there is a huge amount of buildup for the riders who then just zip by in a few seconds, part of the fun is “camping out” all day, picnicking and socializing with other cycling nuts. And if you’re on one of the uphill climbs, the riders go by much more slowly, poor dears. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Cherrye, and great photos!

  13. I love, love, love cycling, and am SO envious the Giro ran by your house. I’m hoping next year I’ll be living in at least the same time zone (this getting up at 5:30 or 6:00am thing is really annoying)! The husband and I chased the Tour de France around in 1999, and although I wasn’t a huge cycling fan before then, the whole experience of being there and seeing it live changed all that!

    For those who are hunting for the 2008 route, the official site is part of La Gazzetta’s website (putting in links makes my comments not show up, so forgive me for the oddness of these URLs – you’ll be able to fix them, I think!): www DOT gazzetta DOT it SLASH Speciali SLASH Giroditalia SLASH 2008 SLASH it SLASH and the Wikipedia page actually has a good list of this year’s stages so you can get an idea of where the race is going: en DOT wikipedia DOT org SLASH wiki SLASH 2008_Giro_d’Italia – the exact route from start to finish, however, isn’t there. You can get a rough idea on the La Gazzetta page by clicking the word “Planimetria” – you get a popup window with the overall route, and then if it looks vaguely close to your city you can start doing some more digging online.

    As for next year’s route, I believe the routes are announced in the fall each year, so the 2009 route will be announced in October or November or so. It changes each year, though some parts make the itinerary more often than not (the Stelvio pass, for instance, is a very common and brutal climb), and the race always ends in Milan.

    Finally, although on the flat stages there is a huge amount of buildup for the riders who then just zip by in a few seconds, part of the fun is “camping out” all day, picnicking and socializing with other cycling nuts. And if you’re on one of the uphill climbs, the riders go by much more slowly, poor dears. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Cherrye, and great photos!

  14. Amyemilia – That is a great, fun surprise!

    I hope you can catch it, Sally. Thanks again for the reminder!

    I was in Paris, too, Amber when Armstrong won. However, I was at work, and couldn’t go! 🙁

    LOL, Jessica. GREAT descriptions of those links. I hope you can here next year, too! And, thanks for the suggestion on the hill!

    It WAS brutal, Jan. I told P I was SO GLAD that didn’t happen in front of us!

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