“The second album is always the most difficult in an artist's career," sang Caparezza.

However, in terms of organising events, the second time is already a little easier than the first.

You already know where to put your hands. You have gained the experience needed to deal with the unforeseen events that physiologically occur, such as finding a free room at the last minute or an extra bike for the photographers.

Of course, there is always room for improvement, but that is the beauty of creating an event like this from scratch: you see it grow bit by bit, and you put in the work to make it bigger and better every year.

What hasn't changed since 2023 is Pomarance. The village in the province of Pisa that has been the headquarters of GeoGravel Tuscany since the beginning.

Once again we arrived there a few days before the event and once again we were welcomed by Cesare al Ganesh, who is a bit like the Tuscan branch of AT Communication.

Once again, there were days of endless back and forth from the Piazzone - the beautiful space near the town centre provided by the Municipality of Pomarance - to set up the village, assemble the tents and bring in all the necessary material.

Friday afternoon saw the official start of the second edition of the event, which was marked by a party under the tent with local cuisine (tortelloni, barbecue and ragout), wine (Morellino di Scansano DOC) and live music from local bands.

With just enough time to relax, Saturday morning saw the Social Ride with guests and sponsors, giving a first taste of the official routes.

After a quick lunch, everyone was back in the 'Piazzone' for the start of the first ride, the longest, the hardest, the one dedicated to the ultra daredevils, who set off to tackle 250 km with 5400 metres of climbing, immersed in the wild wonders of the Tuscan geothermal area.

​​While waiting for the first Ultra riders to finish the first loop of their adventure, the big Saturday night party, the GeoParty 2024, was lit up in the Piazzone.

Like the night before, there was good food and excellent wine in the Tuscan tradition, but everything was multiplied tenfold by the number of people who arrived at the square, including members of GeoGravel Tuscany, guests, friends and many who had come from the surrounding area to enjoy an evening that was certainly out of the ordinary.

Personalities such as Paolo Kessisoglu, Luca Paolini, Giovanni Visconti and then none other than Johan Museeuw, the "Lion of Flanders", all great friends of Paolo Bettini who did not want to miss his event, walked on stage.

But the highlight of the party came immediately afterwards, when one of the most important musicians on a national and international level took to the stage: the great Saturnino, the star of the GeoParty. 

Jovanotti's historic instrumentalist enchanted the crowd with his bass, his sound and the songs he played as an exceptional DJ until late into the night, and for some the jumps on the dance floor became a kind of warm-up for the next morning's pedalling.

The first to start at around 7am on Sunday were the participants in the Lungo. They had to climb 2500 metres in 110 kilometres, much of it on the dirt Strade Grigie.

The others, those who chose the Medium and Short routes, were able to take it a little slower, taking advantage of the French-style start, which was extended to 10:00.

Despite the early start, the Long route rewarded those who chose it with an unforgettable concentration of all that this area has to offer gravel lovers.

The (few) paved sections were all along country roads with no traffic, except for a few tractors; villages such as Libbiano, Querceto, Canneto seemed to be suspended in time and space, perched on the hills that have guarded them for centuries, ideal places to stop for a coffee and a break; the towers of the geothermal power stations appeared from time to time on the horizon, when suddenly the smell of sulphur, typical of this sulphurous terrain that seems to have inspired Dante's Inferno, came; The many oak and holm oak woods seemed to have come straight out of a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm or an American national park, with almost no trace of human intervention, were it not for the roads; and then, of course, above all the Strade Grigie, the uniqueness of the Metalliferous Hills, which make them a true paradise for gravel riders with their lunar landscapes, kilometres and kilometres of these roads that, along with everything else, make you forget that you are in an Italian region in the 21st century.

At the end of the day, everyone who had taken part in the Ultra, the Lungo, the Medio or the Corto reunited for the last time in the Piazzone di Pomarance.

There, while a summer downpour greeted the last arrivals, there was time for a pasta party and a (or more than one) beer together, topped off with the story of their respective adventures.

Because this is the spirit of GeoGravel Tuscany, the reason why it was born and the idea with which it has been organised for the second year.

To give everyone the chance to experience a weekend of partying, sport and, above all, the discovery of a magical territory such as the Tuscan geothermal area.