By the close of Day 1 of the inaugural Two Volcano Sprint, the field had been well and truly broken up, with riders dotted along the road from Acciaroli all the way to Campotonese, 150km south.
After a challenging beginning to his race involving three punctures and visits to two different bike shops, Ulrich Bartholmoes has now fought his way into the race lead.
Not far behind him is Andrew Phillips, who held the lead earlier that day with Adrien Liechti a little way down the road. At the time of writing, these three riders have cut inland away from the coast and are now making their way east into Italy’s mountainous centre. 2VS may be a relatively short race by the standards of ultra-endurance cycling, but Italy’s rugged terrain will mean this route will test any of these riders.
As night falls, the rider of the inaugural Two Volcano Sprint have decisions to make – do they sleep, or push on through until dawn? In the morning, it’s more than likely that the shape of the race will have changed.