Today's 45 miles was in two distinct and completely different halves - the first was very hilly, through some spectacular scenery just inland from the rocky coastline, and the second was a gale force windy half along the mainly deserted seafront, including the resort town of Rimini. Both were draining in their own way.
For our efforts, we were greeted at the finish by cold showers for the first time. But at least we're staying in a modern volleyball gym tonight.
Consecutive long days and hills are causing lots of shin splint issues, even amongst some of the leaders. I actually overtook one of the top ten guys in the final miles today, as he hobbled cursing to the finish. At least one more competitor has abandoned today, and I'm expecting more over the next two long stages.
I continue to eat well. Sore feet are my only real complaint. I'm going to experiment with a different pair in the morning, but will leave my current shoes with the 20k aid station folks, in case I need to switch back.
We leave the coast tomorrow - goodbye Adriatic! And after 9 stages, we're actually one seventh done. Good thoughts.