Fossombrone, Marche. Half decent. Fossombrone, Marche. Half decent.

I spent the day in fabulous sunshine in Fossombrone, the stage finish of today’s quite wonderful race in Tirreno Adriatico. It’s a lovely town with two hugely ornate 18th Century Rotunda churches, and a market selling salami, truffles and salty cheese. The famous Ponte della Concordia bridge over the green river Metauro is more than a little reminiscent of Mostar’s iconic Ottoman bridge that was destroyed in the Balkan Wars and then rebuilt.

Anyway. That’s not the point. The point is this: Today’s race was a blistering affair, won in bizarre and brilliant fashion by Kazakhstan’s national champion Alexei Lutsenko. He attacked a million miles out, and twice crashed on descent from a climb on the finishing circuit called, amusingly (though I don’t think it has anything to do with coffee) i Capuccini. And he still won. Such things happen rarely. It was beguiling, as a spectacle, and intensely stuffed with detail. Tomorrow morning I have to sit down and write up my report as best I can for the 2019 Road Book. It won’t be straightforward.

In the meantime, here are some sights and sounds and sensations from the day that my co-commentator Rob Hayles and I will remember for a long time. The music, in case you’re wondering, is composed by my new favourite Italian Alfredo Catalani, whose music I discovered during a brief stay in Mario Cipollini’s home town of Lucca.

Ned Boulting