Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wet weather wreaks havoc with men's cycle race

Sunday. Race day had arrived, the day of the Men's World Championship road race. But what a day! We knew the weather was going to be bad and this was confirmed when we woke up to the rumbling of thunder. A quick check outside showed a very mixed sky, cloudy in some places and pitch black in others. We had planned several options for watching the race. It was going to be Plan A: Watch the start of the race on TV in our room and then when the race was close move to our balcony. Thank goodness the hotel had upgraded our room and we had this lovely balcony right over the route along the river.

The race moved closer and so did the rain. It started bucketing down. As the race passed the Duomo, we could see the helicopters overhead, one very low. Then the fleets of police on motorcycles raced by, several official cars and then we spotted the first few riders going at speed. Next came the peleton led by a very wet, stoic looking Mark Cavendish leading the rest of the GB team. We even had long enough to identify these riders and some others before they rode out of sight.

We braved the elements at lunchtime and found a very funky restaurant further up the Arno, where we had a lovely soup made of zofolito beans and rosemary. It was a perfect soup day. A bowl of soup, some bread and some wine. Perfect.

Back in the hotel, we watched the end of the race. There were only 68 of 208 riders remaining at the end of the race. Several crashes and the horrible weather made many disband. The race was exciting right to the end where Rui Costa of Portugal just pipped Rodriguez of Spain at the post.

We spent our last night walking past the lovely shops. One window had a beautiful hot pink purse standing all alone. Beautiful. It was a mere €850, definitely out of my league. We ended in the square, with our last admiring glances at David and Neptune. We wandered in the Palazzo Vecchio with it's many stunning frescoes glorifying Cosimo and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It was a lovely way to end our visit to Florence.









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