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May 31, 2009 - Stage 21
Without a doubt, this banner was the most photographed on the mountains during the Giro
The Italian LiveStrong cars always went crazy when they passed our big banners
We changed our plan slightly this morning when it came to picking our spot for Camp LiveStrong. The area we had looked at yesterday, was overrun with bleachers for VIPís. They had set up much further down the street than they had in previous stages because itís the finish of the entire Giro. We moved around the coliseum to the opposite side and found a nice spot on a slight rise located 600 meters from the finish line. Same as every other day, as soon as we had the banner up, people started taking pictures of it. I drew some road art and got some help from a little Italian boy. His dad said he was excited to help because he doesnít get to write on the road at his home.
I found a helper for road art
After we were settled in, a British couple that had spoken to us at dinner last night, Mike and Lizzy, joined us. They were big Lance fans and were excited to finally get a chance to see him race in person.
Lance warming up with the famous Italian Sprinter, Super Mario Cipolini
The heat was not as bad as the past several days, but there was a chance of rain later in the day. The problem for the riders would be a major change in the course if the cobbled sections and tight turns suddenly got wet. The day was moving along nicely, when the sky opened up and the very next rider crashed on the cobbles as he was approaching us. A few minutes later it quit raining, but the road was already wet. The final riders passed by with Lance drawing a big crowd to the barricades.
Lance took it easy on the cobbles after earlier crashes on this same spot
The final few riders rode in the hardest rain as the pink jersey, Menchov crashed just before he reached us. It was a tense moment because he only had a 20 second lead going into the day. He changed bikes and continued in the downpour to maintain his lead and the overall win.
Menchov back up after crash - see his dirty shorts
Our first Giro was complete without any major problems and many great memories made along the way. Our goals were to support Lance and help spread the word and message of the LiveStrong Global Cancer Initiative. We felt pretty good about both. Lance obviously loved seeing the huge LiveStrong signs as he suffered up the mountains through the heat. Yellow wristbands were prominent thanks to the LiveStrong booth and we passed many out in the mountains, as well as passing out info cards and speaking with people about the purpose of the LAF.
We had hardly made it back to our hotel when Lance Twittered that he was at the airport, hurrying home for the birth of his fourth child. Congrats to Lance for an incredible ride. People that donít follow cycling might think Lance lost, but with a 12th place finish after 4 years off, combined with a broken collar bone just weeks ago, it was an incredible effort that helped push the real purpose of his comeback that the media isnít covering, to fight cancer on a worldwide platform.
Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed our journal. If not we hope you liked the pictures. Either way, if you can help with the Global Cancer Initiative by making a financial donation, please follow this link Ė
Best wishes & LiveStrong
Jerry & Angie
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