Giro di Muscoli – Stage 4 San Marino, 182km

Photo: Having spent three days in cycling friendly Netherlands, it was good to see the same in Italy.

Stage 4 The Republic of San Marino, Wednesday 16th Sep

This was my first solo ride of the Giro. No banter, I had to make do with digital chat:

08:30. At least it was a civilised start time. A fast start down the hill to Fano on the coast, then turn left, keeping the sea to the right all the way to Cattolica. First stop at 50km was very Italian:

Then on to the serious business of the day. The gradual rise towards the border, then turn right at the cycle friendly council and head upwards for about 6km before descending to the border. Then it kicks up again for another 6km to reach to Centro Storico at 674m above sea level.

Then the fun begins. A very fast 10km descent down a dual carriageway, crossing the border back into Italy before a much slower (boring) bit to Rimini through the industrial strip development either side of the road.

One advantage of riding alone is that one can be much more flexible about the route. I decided to add a little detour to increase the climbing to make up for the flatness of the Netherlands. Don’t tell the other organisers of the GdM as I’m not sure if the tracker I carry works if I deviate from the route!

12km from the finish I heard that unmistakable sound of air rushing out of my front tyre. I tried to con myself that if I kept pumping it up I could get home as it was. I couldn’t. A frustrating end to the day changing a tube but at least a motorist stopped and told me how much he liked my bike.

Stage Stats: 182km | 1,612m climbing | 5,805 calories

Giro Stats: 4 Stages | 696km | 3,558m climbing | 21,610 calories

£ donations (GiftAid please if you can):

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