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Round Italy cycle race in Amsterdam [May 10, 2010]

Giro kicks off.jpg

Rushed off down to the Zuidas business centre to be an eyewitness to the start of the third day of the Giro d'Italia cycle race - which for some bizarre reason has gone Dutch this year.

All very jolly in the sunshine and a good excuse to leave the office. It was also perhaps the best possible day to work for Royal Bank of Scotland. The bank's Zuidas offices offered the best view possible of the start.

(Thanks Carol for this photo)

After the cyclists moved off on their way to Zeeland it was time to enjoy the much-heralded grand outdoor pranzo organised by the city for the internationals and expats working in the city. (well, you had to pay €15 but it is the thought that counts.)

It was, alas, a very fine initiative which did not exactly live up to its publicity.

One could ignore the blasting dance music (do we really need to listen to Salt n Pepa's 'Push it' at full volume over lunch).

But the long queues of hungry diners snaking around the lunch area were less easy to ignore. If you wanted to be fed, you had to queue - worse than the works canteen.

And the Italian lunch itself turned out to be a very strange collection of bread, parma ham, Indonesian noodles (no it was not spaghetti), English sausages, half a tomato with cheese on top and melon. Most odd.

Then the sun went in. Time to go home.

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