Saturday 25/10/2003

7th STAGE: Clare - Kapunda (200 Km)


THE MAIALE’S “MARK”
Get set GO!
This is the last valid stage for the classification and at this point everything seems settled with the usual order of arrival: Malaysia 1, Malaysia 2, Italia, Australia 1, ....
We start on a beautiful road among vineyards and coloured fields.
There are incredible clouds in the sky which make the scenery even more picturesque. Too bad that these clouds are not friends of solar vehicles.
Today, however, the strategy foresees to try to go the hardest because the altimetry allows for a low waste of energy.
The usual positions are established and the race seems to take its “monotonous” course…even if, when traveling at 45 km/hour, with the Maiale or without, there is actually not much monotony.
There is talk and laughter on the camper, someone is sleeping, and after a week of racing the weariness starts coming.
At half the stage the wind starts too blow, and of course, it goes against the cyclists.
Since it takes much effort to pedal with the wind against and with little sun, the power strategy is chosen, in other words, small sections with the heart rate at full. After an hour of racing, even myself, who before taking up photography cycled a little, was taken out from the “Front Vehicle” in order to physically help the cause of the Maiale...
In this way we are able to maintain an average of 42 km/h until our precious timekeepers (Claudia and Mauro) report to us that the Malaysians are a few minutes away...
The atmosphere on the Camper was relaxed up till then with everyone looking foward to the “party” in Adelaide. This report caused commotion and the pedalers, craving an overtake, literally exploded.
In a few minutes there was the “overtake” and in the remaining 50 km Malaysia 2 was 20 minutes behind the maiale.
At the arrival the festivities were quite emotional, even the ones beat who were passed by the Maiale going uphill at double the speed.
The overall classification did not change but today the Maiale was a dangerous animal!