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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We land Saturday the 30th in the morning.

I've never been any where near a stage of a GT, let alone final ones. Aside from watching them on TV. So I'm not sure how feasible it would be to catch some of it in person or if I'm best to just find a seat in a bar with a TV, I imagine they'll have it on...no?

Is it worth it to try to get down to Anagni for the finish of the stage 20? We land at 8:45AM, so it will probably be noon before we could even start to go anywhere. I don't know if I'll do a rental car yet, leaning towards no. But basically, what time should I expect the lead riders to be finishing?

Or am I better off to try to catch some of the ITT on Sunday. If so where would the best place be to catch it. And more importantly what time would I need to get there?

Finally, and tips, suggestions, warnings, etc. for someone at their first GT stage?

TIA
 

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You can easily see the final stage of the Giro if you're in Rome on May 31. In fact, you'd have a hard time not seeing it, since the course of that day's 15k time trial is in the heart of the city, and goes past most of Rome's most popular sites.

Here's a link to the stage details page on the official Giro website. For each stage, click on "Planimetria" for a map, and "Altimetria" for the stage profile.

http://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/Giroditalia/2009/tappe_it_09.shtml

As you can see, the start and finish of the Rome time trial are adjacent to the Forum, and very near the Coliseum. Generally, in the start area at a time trial stage, you can watch the riders warming up on trainers outside the team buses. In Rome, though, because of the size of the crowds, I suspect that the entire team bus parking area might be off-limits to spectators. For the best race-viewing option, I would pick a spot on the barricades as close to the finish as you can get. Time trials are great viewing, because you get to see each rider going by individually, over the course of a couple of hours. Near the finish, as each rider comes by, the spectators bang on the advertising banners covering the barricades with their hands, and cheer like crazy. It's a blast!

The Rome time trial is a pretty short one, so the whole thing should only take about two hours. All Giro stages are scheduled to finish between 5 and 6 p.m., so the Rome stage will probably go from about 3 to 5 p.m.

You could also easily get to Anagni by train if you want to see the stage finish there. It looks like it's about an hour away by train. It's an uphill finish, and those are always fun. I haven't been to Anagni yet (the Giro finish there will be my first visit), but it sounds like a cool, medieval town. You could take the train down there, find the finish area, check out the town for a bit, and then watch the finish at about 5 p.m.

Here's the link to the trenitalia website for train schedules:

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=c79686605528a110VgnVCM1000003f16f90aRCRD

This year will be my fifth trip to the Giro, and I highly recommend seeing at least one stage in person. It's an unforgettable experience for any cycling fan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great info, THANKS.

I'm really looking forward to this trip. I hope someone is carrying the Giro stateside so I can watch it leading up to when I arrive. It doesn't sound like things are looking good for that right now :-(. I'll definitely spring for cycling.tv IF they actually carry it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, another question. Can I buy a Giro cycling jersey somewhere at the stage? If so, is there a mix of more formally authorized and trustworthy vendors and somewhat less formal vendors (who may or may not be trustworthy)? The last time I was in Rome was a long time ago, but I imagine that there are still plenty of folks trying to part unwary travelers from their money, whether by picking pockets or by selling poor quality [email protected]

Any suggestions as to how to pick up a cool cycling memento would be appreciated.
 

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Giro mementos

There should be at least one official Giro vendor kiosk at the Rome stage. I've generally been more likely to see these official kiosks at stage starts than at finishes, so you might want to look for it near the start area. They sell replicas of the maglia rosa (pink, leader's jersey), maglia ciclamina (magenta, spriter's jersey), and maglia verde (green, mountains jersey), as well as a variety of t-shirts and hats, totebags, umbrellas, and stuffed animals depicting the Giro mascot.

There are also several white vans at every Giro stage that are official vendors, but sell a bargain 10-euro package of a pink T-shirt with the Giro logo, and a couple of other things, such as a cap, a keychain, or a tote bag (it varies from year to year). You can find them by following the sound of the recorded message they broadcast non-stop. It's a woman's voice saying, "Dieci euro, solo dieci euro! E incredibile ma e proprio vero!" (Ten euros, only ten euros! It's incredible, but it's really true!)

I haven't noticed anyone selling knock-off Giro souvenirs, but there are usually some vendors around selling replicas of team jerseys and other cycling clothes.
 
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