Shortly after 11 am, we take stock of the situation: no flat tires; Susanna is keeping up despite increasing tiredness; Marco is pelting down the gravel paths ever more fearlessly; Teresa’s night in the car seems to have not affected her in any way – in fact, she looks more radiant with every kilometer. Only Gianna's bike is looking a bit frail. Now the first rays of sunshine appear, just in time for a break at Ape Piaggio, where a farmer delights us with his offer of chianti, rye bread and homemade salami: the perfect fuel for the next bumpy slope.
After 32 km we reach Ristoro, where the faster cyclists have luckily left us some bread with oil, sheep's cheese and salami. We manage to secure a table and have a glass of wine as we enjoy the rural Tuscan panorama. A shaggy donkey and olive groves set the scene and we can see the cypress-lined Strade Bianche on the horizon.