giovedì 5 novembre 2015

Strade Bianche. When the winter leaves with a chilly blow.

by Angelo Giangregorio and Alessandro Federico

The chilly blow
The early morning shines sharply but the air is chilly. The wind penetrates through the coats and the sunlight through the woods. The race is yet to come and we look for a shelter using trees as shields. No one cross the country except for the race cars. We look forward for a great day ahead.

The early breakway transiting on a gravel road sector of the race
Nothing strange for a race that travels along gravel roads. The path is covered by small stones and the air pressure in the pneumatics is too high. Sometimes, affected riders wait precious minutes before a support.

Hard time waiting the wheel change, in the dust.

Mechanics should be ready any time for a fast action

The fireworks
The bunch elongation is the signal of the battle. Race has passed half way and the favorites start to move ahead, with visible results. In the open range the wind is so strong to cause crashes and out of tracks. It's so strong that it's even difficult to take pictures, we can't imagine to ride a bike in that condition.

Everything in one shot. The dust, the crash, the contenders, the helo. The race.
Diego Rosa flying alone, while the wind bends the trees.

Fabian Cancellara has won twice this race. Here is driven by Hayden Roulston.

Alessandro Bisolti tries to resist to the strong crosswind that already forced him out of track

To Siena!
Last 25km are ridden at a crazy speed. The big names have their moves and we are witnesses of a great show. Siena is just behind a hill, but the core of the race has yet to come. Just now, we can see, the race begins.

Daniel Oss trying solo at 30 km to go on the climb in Monteaperti

Valverde moves. This is the wake up call for the final battle

Siena is just behind that green hill. It's a magic early evening. And you realize you're alive.
In the heart of the race
Believe us, there is nothing better than spot over this short climb. Riders, motos, cars, tifosi, screams, helicopter, sirens are becoming a thing only and you feel alone and strange to that mess. At the same time you fear and you dream about this. It's less than a second, but it's you that, cousciously, dive in the heart of the race.

Via Santa Caterina is the way up to the finish in Piazza del Campo. It's the deep soul of this race.

Greg Van Avermaet tries to distance anybody else from his wheel but Stybar resists even if in troubble 

Greg effort is brutal, is drammatic, it's the joy of cycling.

Sep Vanmarke tried to close his gap till the beginning of Santa Caterina, then he gave up.

Peter Sagan reaches the finish in delay and exhausted after a long aggressive day in attack. Late of condition?
When the winter leaves

Early November days recall early March ones. For the sharp light, for the chilly wind, for the smell in the air. It's a change. So that it went easy to remember that day, when the wind blowed and still wasn't over when we reached the faboulos Siena. Still it was there when we had the last greetings before taking our own ways back home. Early March days were such that we couldn't forget them for long and still they come back now, that winter knocks at the door. When the winter left, we thought it was forever.

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