23 November 2017 1:00:24 PM AEDT
Tuscany Road had long been marked on the calendar as a bench test for my first true long distance ride in solitude and self-sufficiency. The goal was to complete the 600km of the first edition of TR, brother of the most famous Tuscany Trail, within 40 hours, the Audax limit time for this type of randonnée brevets.
Personal choice, as the event has no maximum time and the only rule is to follow the GPS track provided. Gait, break and any overnight stays are at your own discretion, so total freedom to interpret your challenge. Since I'm going to spend the night in the saddle, I got Knog's PWR lights up to keep my ride safe.
Departure scheduled for 8:00 on Saturday 23rd September 2017 from the magnificent Piazza degli Aranci in Massa.
20/600 km - Vestito Pass is the first passage of the Apuan Alps at 1,100mt to be overcome immediately after leaving Massa. At the top, before going down to Fornoli, you cross a gallery overlooking Carrara's marble quarries.
170/600 - After meeting Robin on the road, a Belgian guy who accompanied me about a dozen kilometers after Pistoia, I reach a Florence invaded by tourists.
260/600 km - San Giminiano. After shooting for almost an hour and a half looking for a place to spend the night, I find a mobile home available at the campsite. It's 23.30, three hours of sleep and then wake up and start again.
360/600 km - A slight mist envelops Siena early in the morning, after a quick passage in the center of the city of Palio is Val d'Orcia time.
Buonconvento, San Quirico d'Orcia and Pienza pass through fast, a steady climb up and down that never lets you pace. Radicofani is there, waiting for me, but not without making me suffer.
510 / 600km - Sorano. The village you don't expect, the true surprise of this Tuscany Road, suddenly sprouted in the mist as I descended from Castell'Ottieri accompanied by a slight rain.
600 / 600km - Arriving at the end of the first Tuscany Road edition in Capalbio Scalo when the clock marks at 22:40. I'm very happy with the 578km with 8,700 meters of elevation gain in 38h42 '.