Giro d'Italia: On the scene at Montevergine for the first mountaintop finish

    
     
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The stage seven climb to Montevergine wasn't exactly Monte Zoncolan, but a high finish there was no cakewalk.  Just ask Christophe Le Mevel, seen here moments after he finished in the front group.

More pics on the flip...

On the morning of the Montevergine stage, I rode the last 11 kilometers of the climb.  The climb was very twisty, as seen in this pic showing the 700 meter sign on the lower road and the 500 meter sign above:

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At the top, I ran into my friend Isabella, who's the translator at the press conferences, and she took a picture of me with my 30-pound rental bike (I think the tubes might be made of lead).

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As usual with a mountaintop finish, it was a bit of a madhouse as the press scrambled for photos and interviews while the riders changed clothes for the ride down to the buses.

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This Lotto rider seemed oblivious to the chaos around him as he stopped to drink his Fanta.

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As Scarponi caught his breath before doing an interview, a Lampre soigneur was there to put a cap on his head.  The soigneurs are very quick with those caps.  Can't have a rider appearing on tv without the team sponsor's name above his face!

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 Rodriguez bundled up for the ride down.

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Peter Stetina was the second Garmin rider to finish, just 17 seconds after i big.

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Sky interviews Sky:

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Peter Kennaugh is one of several young riders experiencing this brutal Giro as their first grand tour.

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Stage winner Bart de Clercq also picked up the maglia verde.

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Weening held on to the maglia rosa, and got a special prize from the bishop of the Montevergine sanctuary.

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Steven Kruijswijk looked a bit too young to be hanging out with these lovely ladies.

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Susie Hartigan for Podium Cafe

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