Same swimming pool, different day. Yesterday the rain was falling on the water, this morning there was no rain and the clouds had dropped down a gear from ominous to indecisive.
By the time the paddocks started to come to life the sun had even made its way out. This is the Piazza di Torre Saracena that we featured a photo in Friday's piece before the weekend. This is what it looked like this morning.
Karim Amour was taking no chances with his bike prep, tucking this crafty bit of moto foam into his cranks to keep the crap out. He had more in the headtube and a funky-looking carbon disc brake cover too.
Getting Al Stock mounted up with the Contour for his race. We should have the footage from this later in the week when we've had chance to calm down after a weekend of running non-stop.
Joseph Murachelli had recovered from the agony of last nights prologue sprint and was in good spirits this morning. They last until stage two when he went down pretty hard on a section that was still wet and slick.
Brits abroad: James McKnight and Paul Aston. Paul probably provided the shock of the weekend coming home in fourth overall against a strong field in his first Superenduro race.
There's an old saying in BMX, "when the gate drops the bullshit stops." Well there's no gate in enduro, but there was a very nice sign marking the start of the first stage, the point where racing for 2012 began.
Andrea Bruno was first past that sign and is a great rider to take photos of. He's a bigger fella than a lot of the other fast guys and his aggressive style on the bike makes grabbing photos of him easy. Unfortunately that aggression could only net him a third today behind Davide Sottocornola and Alex Lupato.
James McKnight managed a solid top-20 finish today, not bad for a guy who was joking this morning that he'd be vomiting into his helmet at some point.
From a distance this looked like some youth messing around, it's only when he pulled it up I realised it was Claudio, head guy for the local organisers, FRRD, and owner of local bike shop Emporio Bike.
Ale Seddaiu opting for the faster, wheels-on-the-ground option at the famous Salto Nel Blu (Jump Into the Blue).
The tape at the top of the photo cuts off the inside line on this corner - you can straight line it if you hit a small drop to the right of the line. It was only standing beneath it that I realised that if you go too far right (and not by much, a foot maybe) there's a ten-foot deep hole you'd vanish into... They decided that it was probably a bit risky to leave in for the race in case anyone hit it blind.
Almost there. There are just a couple of hundred metres of the course left from this part before you can take a leisurely descent down to the beaches of San Bartolomeo and Diano Marina below to find a cold beer and some warm sand to rest on...
Not everyone made it down to the beach in one go, there were more than a few riders who crossed the line and then got cramped to hell.
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