The Giro is over and crikey, we are wiped out. I have never been this written off, ever. We are now back at the team base and contemplating big issues like how many gelatis we could put away this evening.
Stage 10 today was on like Donkey Kong. 112km of very fast action and my legs just didn't work. I knew what I needed to do - it was be on the front and cover moves - but I just couldn't get up. Couldn't. The 5% gradients turned into bergs of Baw-Baw like proportions. How do these girls do this? I got dropped with 30km to go, then hitched a lift from a sympathetic policeman on a motorbike (for future reference, the flashing police lights that stick out on the back of the moto do not withstand the force of a desperate cyclist hanging on at 50kph), then stuck with an Italian rider in a similar predicament. Suddenly, we reached a police roadblock and were flagged down. Lots of Italian shouting and gesticulating. The word 'casino' was bandied around. Circus. What the? We were told to wait. I had no idea what was going on, but we were assured by the policeman that the race organisers had stopped the clock, and the bunch would be coming past in 10 minutes. We were to wait for them and then join back into the bunch. What the...?
As it turned out, the bunch had been inadvertently sent down a dead-end street and was made to wait for 10 minutes while the organisers sorted out where they were supposed to be going. They u-bolted, then came back past our way. Casino indeed. I didn't know this - I was busy wondering whether I would be allowed to finish, or whether my Giro had just ended, unglamorously, outside a petrol station somewhere near Monza. But I tacked on all the same, and then promptly got dropped again with 3km to go. But I got to finish.
So I've finished the Giro and in 2 days I fly back to Melbourne. In 3 days I will be back in my corporate suit, sitting in the office and contemplating Risk & Compliance issues for Australian lawyers. In 5 days I will see Andy again. No prizes for guessing which I am looking forward to most.