Sanremo in the Sun

This past weekend Shoko and I made our annual mosey east to watch a bike race, but this year wasn’t Paris-Nice like usual. Instead, we recreated our 2010 trip to Sanremo to see the end of Monument Milan-Sanremo and explore the town a little bit more than time allowed 9 years ago.

It was a perfect weekend of sun and warm temperatures, which always helps your outlook on life, but we both really enjoyed Sanremo and its off-season beach resort-y feel this time around.

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The small city also had the most convoluted old town I’ve ever visited, with ‘streets’ (no vehicle could climb these things, but for lack of a better word…) that careened off in all sorts of unexpected directions; all of which was ‘arcaded’, which made for a very gloomy atmosphere. I imagine it’s pretty cool in summer, though.

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And of course I got out for a ride – along the long bike path (converted from a railway) and up and over both the Cipressa and Poggio, capos of great fame and sites of much attacking and red-lining every March. I found both of them pretty easy, but I didn’t have quite 300 km in my legs, like the pros did a few hours later.

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On the way up the Poggio I was passed by two locals; one of which had snow-white hair. I stepped on the pedals to stave off potential depression and managed to hold his wheel to the famous left-hander that takes you down the many sharp and tricky hairpins to the entrance of Sanremo. Look at the calves on this pensioner!

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And then there was the race, of course. Shoko and I stayed in the hotel and simply watched Rai 2 till Alaphilippe and friends were at the bottom of the Poggio descent and then stepped onto the balcony to see the finish – Here is a pissed Sagan freewheeling straight to his bus.

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Then we headed out for a bit of atmosphere before finding a place to have an aperitivo and a plate of the best carbonara I’ve had in years. How can Italians make such a simple dish as pasta so much better than anyone else? At least I live nearby…

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