After the massive effort of the previous day, this was the day we could feel we were getting closer to the coast. Leaving Sestriere we descended the mountain into the valleys of the Pinerolo region.
It was cold but the sun was out, and we rode through beautiful valleys with increasingly granite and wooded slopes that indicated we were making our way South.
This is Giro d’Italia country, with Giro stages traditionally going from Pinerolo to Cuneo or vice-versa
With it’s potholes and shitty roads, triporteurs and tractors, stunning countryside and strong espresso, riding in Italy is always a singular experience.
The group were chatty, animated and swapping leads easily with no real desire to stop. But as much as we loved our lovingly prepared tailgate coffees by Angie we were desperate for real espresso’s.
A bright corner of a cobbled plaza beckoned us for a round of espressos. There was no rush, we knew we were on the home straight and we had some time up our sleeve; the stage was short and flat and we would be in Vernante mid-afternoon.
The support team surprised us again, this time finding a town swimming pool who were happy to have a pile of cyclists turn up and spread themselves over their lawn in the sun. Italians can be the kindest people on earth, always amused (and amusing), nothing is ever a big deal, Tranquillo.
Pushing on we made good time to reach Vernante in the afternoon with time to kick back.
Beers, dinner and bed.