Which Giro stage would you attend?

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btompkins0112
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by btompkins0112

I will be in France/Italy in May. Wife said we can stand on the side of the mountain one day during our trip. Which mountain? Gavia? Stelvio? Col du Colombier?

May be around another stage or so, but only get to plan around one......which would offer the best spectating?

shinyboy
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by shinyboy

Depends how far you want to venture from the Italian/French border.
If you can get over to the Dolomites then it's got to be Tre Cime de Lavaredo

by Weenie


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btompkins0112
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by btompkins0112

I was afraid you would say that......we are flying out Saturday. Guess that next best thing is Stage 19?

ultyguy
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by ultyguy

Yeah, the Tre Cime de Lavaredo should be a great showdown, but it's a long ways away...where you flying outta?

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btompkins0112
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by btompkins0112

Scheduled to fly out of Florence and connect in Frankfurt; however the flight from Frankfurt to Chicago is on Sunday. If I ditch the Florence flight and take a night train to Frankfurt I could probably make the stage 20 finale.

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de zwarten
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by de zwarten

Just make sure your airline knows about ditching the first flight, or they are very much able to cancel the whole schedule when not showing up on the first leg (happened before to people I know).

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btompkins0112
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by btompkins0112

Thanks! I will definitely call them since I am traveling on award mileage....may be able to save some miles!

shinyboy
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by shinyboy

btompkins0112 wrote:I was afraid you would say that......we are flying out Saturday. Guess that next best thing is Stage 19?



Yeah, stage 19 would also be a good one - Gavia, Stelvio - there's also the uphill TT on stage 18 from Mori at the north end of Lago di Garda

But if you can change your travel arrangements the Tre Cime would be fantastic, it's at the weekend so the Tifosi will be out in force and the setting is absolutely breathtaking

mrfish
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by mrfish

Well I went to see the Stelvio stage last year.

I'd personally recommend seeing the Stelvio again if you've not been to a mountain stage before as the view is awesome and the riders are already fully strung out and riding like I ride up a local hill, i.e. suffering to hang onto the group and not really racing but just surviving. If you watch 4km from the top can watch them ride up the valley like ants, then they're visible for the next 20 minutes as they ride up the 10 hairpins below. But this year I'm going to see the mountain TT as it allows you to see each rider and take photos rather than just seeing 4-5 groups. The Tour of Switzerland stage up the Flumserberg will also be worth seeing as it's only 1h by train from Zurich. The other thing not to miss is the drive to the race if you like driving. That was also a highlight.

There are a few things to worry about. You need to think about is how you're going to get to / from the mountain, what you will need to wear and how you will entertain yourselves in the hours before the race. Since the road generally closes at 5pm the day before the race this limits your options. Also you need to find out what other passes nearby on your route will be open to check you can get there. I found nobody in Italy could say as it's so weather dependent (Stelvio opened 2 days before the Giro) so best to look on webcams before you set out. Then it's a good idea to reserve things in advance as there will be lots of people trying to do the same thing. So you could go one of three routes:

- Lightweight assault - take the train to a town nearby and ride bikes to the route. Wear cycling clothes, so don't ride to the top unless you're prepared to get cold. If it rains you will need to find a bar with 1000 other people who all have the same idea.
- Heavy assault - Drive to near the top of the mountain (Stelvio is unusual as the Umbrail pass goes to near the top and is fully open so we parked at the end of the Umbrail pass), change into warm clothes then ride up to the top of the mountain, ride down then ride up again, choose the best viewing spot. Watch race. Suffer riding back up to the car. Drive to nice pre-booked restaurant nearby (Weisskugel is good). Drive home.
- Camping and bbq - Drive the day before, park car on mountain. BBQ / paint road / build shrine to favourite rider / drink beer. Repeat until race arrives. Wait until road clears / you've sobered up to drive home. Might do that next time as my A6 Avant is long enough to sleep in.

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btompkins0112
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by btompkins0112

mrfish - Thanks for the complete run-down! Option 3 sticks out to me as a possible winner......need to rent an estate, I guess!

airwise
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by airwise

One thing worth remembering is it is usually freezing at the summits of the big climbs come Giro time and there's real risks that there will be cancellations.

The Galibier is never open at the end of May. This winter has seen record snow fall. The Giro is intending to climb the North side.

The same goes for the Stelvio and Gavia of course. I was on the Gavia in 2010 and it was only given the go ahead a day beforehand. It was freezing and the cafe was filled to breaking point. Good day out but still, go prepared clothing wise and also have a plan B.

Have a great time - oh and yes the Tre Cime will be epic ;)

xnavalav8r
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by xnavalav8r

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VNTech
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by VNTech

I'm covering the whole race, so once you figure it out PM me :)

Can't go wrong with any day at the Giro, really.
VeloNews Magazine/VeloNews.com tech

by Weenie


VNTech
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by VNTech

Also, the Garibaldi, the Giro's extensive race guide for everyone involved in the event, is available here: http://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/Girodit ... i_2013.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It has detailed times and such for every stage, as well as routes in and out for all race vehicles (roads that will be closed to the general public's cars, in other words.)
VeloNews Magazine/VeloNews.com tech

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