Ciao, ciao ! To go in the “it’s a small world” file – when we left you last night, we’d narrowly escaped running out of gas en route Sulmona.
After a bit of messing around, we found the apartment; who answered the door?
Scott McGrory, former six day star – with 15 wins – and that isn’t easy in ‘the race to nowhere’.
Scott works for Fox Sports TV in Australia now and was sharing our digs.
As you can imagine, he was duly interviewed this morning.
He has a new site; www.ozcycling.com – give it a skek and say that VeloVeritas sent you!
We decided that the angle today was along “Giro hits town” lines, rather than go race route or hard core race, we went “local colour”.
Sulmona is a classy, old town with up market clothes shops, book shops, Grand caffes and a long and interesting past.
I had to get up early to move the car; right outside the digs was race route, and when they say they’ll tow you – they aint messin’!
Breakfast wasn’t until 08.30, so we headed out for a cappuccino and – La Gazzetta.
Franco Pellizotti’s 9 was fair enough, but Danilo on 8.5? We thought he was worth a 9.
The Humanplasma story was there; I haven’t checked, but I’d wager that the Gazzetta’s rivals will be locked on to discrediting the Russian, and, by association, the Giro and Gazzetta. The story was in plain language on the Cycling Weekly website, so it’s no longer in ‘nudge, nudge’ territory.
I hope the lid stays on; I’m not sure that I could handle another drugs drama – just so depressing.
Even at 07.30, the town was buzzing; I picked up a leaflet on Ovid, the town’s most famous son. He was a poet and a bit of a ladies man – married three times – back in Roman days.
Some things never change.
We got loads of great shots of shops, girls, dogs, kids, walls, flowers – the Giro is still a big deal in Italy and folk do make the effort. Whilst we didn’t want to get too much into the race proper, we chatted with some of our friendly riders; Dan Lloyd, Marco Pinotti, Jez Hunt and Ian Stannard.
Dave and I always admire a man who uses his swear words with abandon and imagination – respect, Ian !
As the Giro rolled off, we headed straight to Salerno to the digs. We knew they had wi-fi, so there was no point in going to the finish press room to blow 18 euros and get scowled at.
Incidentally, Scott McGrory hates the stampa too – so it’s not just us.
Our drive took us from the east coast of Italy, to the west; one imposing mountain follows another. We passed Monte Cassino again, grey and huge, it dominates the valley.
Dave and I were in Salerno for the 2007 Giro, so we knew the lie of the land.
Two pizzas, two mega Peronis and two Nitromors – or was it lemoncellos? – 18 euros; that’s our kind of pricing!
Midnight, time for sleep, Vesuvio tomorrow.
Will Danilo attack – for sure!
But even if he does distance the big Russian; will he take enough time from Denis to give him a cushion for the Roma chrono?
We’ll find out tomorrow.Ciao, ciao.