I have to be careful with this one. Cav: I think I might be turning in to a fan here in Modena! There! – I’ve said it. To take his first stage, he had to display coolness, decisiveness and pure speed. It’s academic, but I think he’d also have won stage three – if Sr. Ferrari hadn’t decked him.

Modena
Fabio Baldato, now a DS, was still doing a great job for his team in the Giro in ’08, goatee and all.

On the subject of whom – what about the hair, and the beard?  Gianni Savio should sit him down with him and explain that Fabio Baldato was the only cyclist ever to get away with a beard – period.

But back to Cav and Modena; whilst Sky will have the best medical care known to man, he must be damn sore after that crash.

Despite that, he stayed with the team in the TTT and on stage five was in superb form.

I didn’t have the luxury of watching hour upon hour of the stage on TV – Vik did, and said that the first 160 K were ‘boring beyond belief.’

I saw the last 30-odd K and they were anything but boring.

Liquigas were rampant today after the start in Modena, I think there’s more to their firey finale riding than ‘keeping Basso out of trouble.’

They’re making sure that the featherweight climbers know they’ve been in a race before the Alps and Dolomites rear.

Farrar, Hushovd, Rasmussen, Ferrari, Haedo and Boss all succumbed to the Liquigas pressure – but not Cav.

Sky cleverly left it to the rest on the run in, only picking it up late – Geraint’s lead out was perfect and despite Matt Goss’s best efforts, it was the man from the Isola di Man, once again.

It was worth the trail up the Royal Mile, today.

I saw my objective glowing pink in the greyness of a wet Edinburgh Thursday morning – La Gazzette Dello Sport.

We’re a day behind, but never mind.

Modena
The pink paper means a happy Ed.

Cav’s crash may be big news but it’s still soccer which gets the main headline.

There are six pages inside – I always go first to their little section where they award their points out of 10 for the ‘men of the stage.’

  • Goss gets 9 and we’re told he’s the new symbol of ‘ciclismo aussie.
  • Haedo gets 8, as does Demare – mostly for not running over Cav as he sprawled on the tar.
  • Agnoli gets 7 for keeping Basso out of trouble.
  • Phinney gets a little bit of a chiding, the jist of which is that the pink jersey shouldn’t be up jousting with the ‘crazies’ – so 5 for Taylor.
  • Ferrari gets 2 – but that could be for the haircut?

Friday’s stage?

Gil ultimi 100 km sull’Appennino: attenzione.‘   ‘The last 100 K in the Apennines – pay attention!’

Sound advice.

And that stuff about being a Cav fan?  Cancel that – I’ve just seen the podium pictures.

Modena
Awwww. Mark shows his daughter off to the world. Image GettyImages/Daily Mail

A domani!