“The Shark of Messina”

Stage 5 …Pedara to Messina 157km

Billed as a ‘flattish stage’ so that meant a gnats whisker under 2000m climbing! Etna still dominated the horizon and at one stage I thought the route was going to go back up her again a second day running.

20km in and we had our first challenge, we had caught up with the guys that mark the route with the very handy Pink arrows, these were essential to us especially as the route would twist relentlessly like a plate of linguini to pick out the toughest most garlic’y parts of the region.

We gave them an impromptu café lungu headstart and normal service resumed.

Grippy rough roads was the order of the day, the route went down lots of one way streets so for us that meant hug the kerb, or find an alternative route and rejoin out of town.

We climbed into Taormina for beautiful views and then descended down to the coast for a rolling run in, where we finished just shy of the official finish as Messina is one hell of a busy place in rush hour to ride a bike.

One of the favourites for the race Vincenzo Nibali was born near the Strait of Messina, and his nickname is the “the Shark of Messina” His biggest wins are the 2010 Vuelta, the 2014 Tour de France and the Giro twice (2013 and 2016), making him one of only six cyclists who have won the three grand tours in their career, an enviable palmares and justifies his billing as one of the best stage racers in the world,

But he hasn’t done all three in the same year like we are trying to complete..

I’m typing this on the ferry to the mainland, we’ve got two very long days in the saddle coming up 217km & 227km consecutively,

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


Thanks from all at Cureleukeamia


~ by theboxterboy on May 10, 2017.

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