Mike Simpson

Dolomites Diary 2012 Stage 3

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Early and tired, we are soon woken with the tough climb of the Cerada, although the stunning rock skylines really do seem to mask the effort of climbing. Next up was the more famous Passo Duran, often used in the Giro d'Italia, although it was the Cibiana, another picturesque climb through the woods, that really got the day started as it was the first timed climb. I started to open up as much as possible in the big ring on this one. Pretty tired but there was still the Mauria to do before lunch. 3 days in and your body is craving food almost all the time and this particular lunch stop was warmly welcomed. During lunch Andy showed off the new styling to the side of the van, which he cultivated with the help of a distracted motorcyclist. It wasn't at all Andy's fault and luckily the motorcyclist was ok.

Soon we were climbing again, this time the Pura. We had been promised a surprise in the afternoon and we certainly got it with 8 long cobbled tunnels, which come out at a spectacular blue lake and massive dam. A spectacular stage so far but there was still a gem to come. The Stella Chiampion was an unbelievably steep, incredibly narrow road almost the width of a footpath. Everyone was smiling by this time… such an amazing experience to be able to ride these roads. I finished the stage riding with 3 others, spirits high as the sun started to set. Another vintage day.



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