Today would have been a lonely day with the females yet to arrive, and all 16 boys away for racing, if it hadn’t been for Mark Jamieson aka. Jammo. After a brutal track camp in Belgium, he has ventured to Italy for merely two days and I would like to think it was simply to keep me company. The combination probably wasn’t the best when it came to navigation, but somehow we made it to Cittiglio, over the 10km ‘Basso’ climb, and into Ponte Tresa, having to revert to the map on three separate occasions. It had been a beautiful day, but somewhere between two panini’s, four pizza squares, three juices and a cappuccino, it had started to rain. Initially, it was wet, and eventually it was torrential, to the point where we were roadside, sheltered in a stranger’s driveway, doubting our chances of making it home!
The first thing that ran through my mind was the thought of having to clean my bike…again. But then I was simply grateful that I didn’t have a ‘head-crack’ ergo session as replacement. When the rain eased, we rolled down to the ‘Chocolate Spoon’ (pictured above) in Varese and smashed another four mocha’s with complimentary chocolates, flooding the floor with puddles of water before the trek home. The U21’s arrived not long after, in high spirits as Leigh had won their one day race in Italy. Pietro, an Italian sculptor who lives down the road, invited us around for dinner to celebrate. After a gorgeous meal, a few litres of gelati, and too much wine for some, we were given a representation key ring and brooch for the coming Road World Championships in Italy, of which Pietro had created.
After completing the washing up, not only did Pietro want to adopt me, but he gave me a specially framed painting in recognition of my help =) On the way home the boys spent their time harassing a neighbourhood dog, and in return were harassed by the moderately larger owner who pretty much chased us down the street! Note to readers: Hayden was running before the owner even made it out his front door! The MTB’ers were home when we returned, and then it was simply a waiting game for the U23’s, as it was time to cut the cake for Travis’ 19th birthday, a double celebration as Simon has also won his one day race in Italy. The nutella cake went down a treat, but perhaps the highlight of my day was a present from Matt, who had raced under my lucky number ‘54’ (pictured) and passed it down to me, hopefully with luck and good fortune in tow =)