During my rest, some rider passed me but I rested a little more. I managed to get to CP02 around 1000, I could start the climb to the top of Monte Grappa about that time. This climb was really hurting, my knees needed two days to recover. I cannot remember any other climb like that. 20kms in length, with 28 turns. You need to be well prepared for that during the hot days. On the climb Camille and Jacobo caught me and Camille ran a good while with me, this was fun! I got off the bike once, only because I had the chance to refill my empty bidons with cold water. I rationed my water for each km, so I still had a last sip when I reached to top. Here I met Camille for the first and only time during this race. We talked a little but as it was getting hot, I preferred to leave asap. Heading down on another way than climbing I soon got tired and sleepy from descending and I missed my turn to the left. Luckily this new route
Directly let me to a restraunt where I had three portions of pasta. Aftee this good lunch, I needed to find some shade as it was really reLly warm. In Levada I spotted a belltower that provided a good shadow place for myself and the bike. Slept an hour or two, reanimating myself to get on. Shortly after getting back on the bike I met Patrick and Urs. Just then Nico texted me that both must be around me, very close. I love the moments, some people call them coincidence. Patrick also had his rest and Urs just came down from the climb, looking pretty beaten by sun and stress! Patrick and myself headed on until Porcia, here we decided to have dinner. It was a long dinner, but you know what, we had been in Italy, there it is common sense to take time for eating. It is a social event. This does not meet with the petrol station attitude from TCR, I know this and I am happy to ignore this fact as often as possible. It is the only chance to feel the people and culture along the long roads that we go to reach the finish line at the end.
I was pretty full after the dinner, Patrick almost exploded and jumped into Slovenia that night. We texted sometimes during the ride but we only met again after the finish line. I think he arrived two days earlier than I did. I rested under a sky full of stars at a petrol station not far from Gorizia.