While the rest of us where bickering over the style in which the finale of one of the most exciting editions of Milano-Sanremo played out, @Pedale.Forchetta was busy behind the finish line, living and breathing the reality of the race. He spent the day following the race to photograph the riders and tifosi and generously shares his story and photos with the community. Grazie mille, Pedale.Forchetta. And check out his awesome Flikr.
Yours in Cycling, Frank
Hey but now it’s a habit! Yes actually I can’t even remember how many times I’ve waited for this day like a kid is waiting for Santa!
This time I’ve chosen to follow the race with my own car. This year the Androni Team was not invited and my friends have only competed at the Tirreno-Adriatico.mHaving made this choice, real problems began: where to park the car, how to choose the place where to wait for the race to pass, which camera, which film – no, wait I’m digital now…In short I spent few nights trying to find the best combination and in the end I found one.
The day begins in the best possible way with the sun shining and a very good temperature. But best of all was meeting Alessandro Federico who writes for PezCycling (please search for his beautiful articles) that gave me some advices that immediately revolutionized my previous plan.
As soon as I was in Piazza Castello my attention was attracted by a blue Jaguar with a New York plate. Inside an old man, but a great one: Fred Mengoni. How many times when I was younger I read about him in Bicycling Magazine or in Road Bike Action. And yet there he is, greeted by a moved Ernesto Colnago together with his brother Paolo.
Later found out that Mr. Mengoni spent some time happily chatting with George Hincapie who used for the GS Mengoni NYC squad. As usual it was great walking between team buses, riders, beautiful bikes, famous photographers, journalists and – for me now – friends.
The race finally started and I ran to the car that I previously parked strategically close to the area. With the advice of Ale Federico I stopped at the Passo del Turchino to wait for the passing of the race and I couldn’t have had better advice. As soon as I parked the car I noted a man laying on a small table with some fruits, coffee, hot tea and so on.
He wasn’t a vendor. That little table was the result of his generosity. I wanted to take a photo of him, but as soon as I pointed my camera, he asked me to wait a moment because he wanted to call the rest of his family.
From a nearby old van appeared his wife and their five children. He told me that they were super-fans of the Milano Sanremo and every year they chased the race in order to see the riders. I just had the time to take some more photos, to chat with some more people, to be interviewed by a local television, before the race was there.
It was great to see all those people electrified by the passage of the race, greeting, screaming and jumping; in a word: tifosi. Then in few moments the race was swallowed by the tunnel that marks the separation of the Po Valley from the sea. It was time again to take my car, heading to Sanremo. When in Sanremo, thanks to my pass, I parked the car very close to the finish.
The weather was even better than in Milano and the light amazing.
You don’t need to know who won, but I can tell you that as a photographer, the moments after the finish you have at your hand all the peloton with their fantastic faces that tell all the 300 kilometers of the race.
It was the most exhilarating moment (from a photog point of view) of the day; just when I was leaving I noted near my car Mattew Goss with a line of fans waiting for his autograph or to take a picture with him, that he very patiently was trying to please. Resisting the desire to be photographed with him as well, I took the last photo of the day: it was the photo that I missed last year when he won.
What a day.