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Giro d'Italia, On the Scene at Stage Eight

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Today in Bergamo, I decided to watch the race out on the road, rather than stay in the finish area.  In my morning scouting trip, I found a good spot near the top of the steep climb into Bergamo Alta, about 4 kilometers from the finish.  I timed how long it would take me to walk from there to the funicular that goes down to the Citta Bassa, where the stage headquarters was, and then to go down on the funicular, and walk to the stage headquarters, and I figured that if there wasn't a long line for the funicular, I could make it down in time for the press conference.  It worked perfectly!

More on the flip...

I got to my chosen spot about an hour before the race came through, and had a lot of fun during the wait.  A group of guys just above us on the road, apparently thinking that Cipollini might be in one of the race organization cars coming past, started shouting "Mario!  Dai, Mario!" at every car.  Others got into the act, and before long whenever any sort of vehicle came by, police car, van selling souvenir T-shirts, or whatever, everyone on the road was calling out, "Mario!  Mario!  Dai, dai, Mario!" and peering into the windows to look for Cipo.  The road was very narrow, so the cars were crawling through the crowd, giving us all plenty of time to scan each car for signs of Cipo, who (for once) was nowhere to found.

I didn't get any really good pictures, but here are the few that were the best of the bunch.

Horner and Pellizotti

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 Basso

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Menchov and Armstrong

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And here are a few from the press conference, which was held in the Bergamo City Council chambers.

When Sivtsov was asked who was the captain of Columbia-High Road, he answered, "Tutti" (everyone).

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  -- Susie Hartigan for Podium Cafe