A dogfight on the volcano 

Stage 4 – 181km, 4100m of elevation


Not much time to write a blog tonight it’s 12.20am & just had a massage from our physio Sarah, these guys are working as hard as us, so I will have to go with lots of images to tell the story.

We enjoyed a 50km spin out along by the coast, this was fantastic to get the legs warmed up.


The sea air and blue skies and at times coastal spray had me wishing that I was with Tracie and the girls enjoying some shellfish and a glass of crisp chilled Sauvignon Blanc, however no we had business to attend to and that was getting to the end of this stage.

We turned inland and had our first challenge of the day, the first climb.


Descending from the top down through a town called Bronte, situated on the flanks of Mount Etna within the Natural Park of the volcano.  A town famous for its pistachios the “green gold of Sicily”, and it’s not hard to wonder why. Pistachios are one of the key ingredients of the centuries-old long-lasting culinary tradition of Sicily: from appetisers to seasoning for pasta, from sauces to desserts, an infinite number of recipes include this legacy of the Arabic domination of Sicily.


So, a recipe featuring pistachios is a must for the cookbook in the Sicily chapter.

It seemed like we had circled Etna twice in the foothills, the twisting roads wound themselves through villages and towns, some with steep pitches of 19% and over smooth polished flag stones, thank god it was dry, otherwise they would be lethal.

Many roads were being resurfaced ready for the proper cyclists tomorrow. Fresh tarmac still tacky like liquid glucose which stuck to the tyres, all the loose gravel over the next few km’s crusted the tyres like some panko crumbed armour until we scraped it off.


Mount Etna was steep in sections with some serious pitches, the climb was challenging and I haven’t ridden it’s like since 2015


Free to fly and tackle the climb at my own pace, wild dogs barked relentlessly as I tackled the lower steep slopes, as if to warn me of my (our) foolhardiness. With each km the air chilled further with the sun beginning to disappear. I crossed the line just before dusk with a temperature of 6˚c

Lucky PJ and doctor Dave were at the top with my warm clothing as it was seriously chilly!

Chapeau to all the team, it was a tough day out and the final climb was a real test for all… at 11.30pm we just finished dinner, back on it tomorrow, we go again.

This Giro is brutal, over 11,500m of elevation in just 4 stages.

If you would like to support us by donating then here’s my page-

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/HaydenGroves3TourChallenge

Thanks from all at Cureleukeamia

 

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~ by theboxterboy on May 9, 2017.

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