07.07.17 – Race Day 5 – San Giovanni Rotondo to Bari ~ 276km/172m.
Early rise as usual! We took the van out of the garage first thing (you only need 2mm at each side?) and parked it away from the start line, with the plan to leave just after Jan-Willem.
To warm up, straight into several hairpins, with distant views of the sea. For the bikes that is, as the bus coming up would not fit past the lorry coming down and we had to wait until the truck backed up.
First stop was Minervino Murge, a lovely little town with a shaded square. Absolutely fantastic and the first time I had a proper long stop to soak in the atmosphere. In the park on the square were tables with delicious fresh food, fresh mozzarella, plenty of watermelon and water and for those not driving (sadly), also wine on offer.
I do admire the people of the venues along the way: It is quite something to be willing to prepare food for 250+ people. It was a delight to see, to smell and to taste!
Bjorn had arrived too in the meantime – the others were still at the hotel trying to find solutions for injured bikes.
Silvia, one of the youngest participants, rides a MAS 121 175cc, unleashing the full 2 bhp. She has my full admiration doing this event on this bike and it is a joy to see it on the windy roads!
    
The route was beautiful again with long views over the first more barren landscape and later hill after hill of grain.
  
The second stop was Oppido Lucano, where Jan-Willem was just leaving. I immediately followed and it was a joy to ride behind several roaring bikes.
  
The next stop was in Gravina in Puglia on again a tree-lined shaded square. Delicious pasta and again the much needed bottles of water. Jan-Willem went ahead and I waited until Bjorn had left before I hopped in the van again.
  
The last stop in Bitonto I had a quick look around the narrow streets of the village. It is a very pretty little village perched on top of a hill.
The final stretch to Bari was along long straight roads into the busy town.
We all arrived safely at the hotel, the 2 remaining bikes behaved and did not need the support van today!
Cyrille Labeij.
P.S.
The good news is that John’s Saturno has been dismantled and put together again, enabling him to participate in the final ride to Taranto tomorrow. Clive obviously has ‘the touch’ and brought Jack’s Ducati to life again!
Unfortunately without Les here, we do not have a complete team, but as close to it as we can at the moment.