Tag Archive for ‘Giro d’Italia 2012’
Italian professional Marco Pinotti’s new book, “The Cycling Professor” isn’t so much a classic biography as a collection of anecdotes and experiences. In the book, the 36 year-old BMC rider from Bergamo takes the reader through his fourteen years as a professional cyclist, why he began in the sport later than his peers, his thoughts on the changes to the roads and training methods, and he details his views on some personalities and the major races on the calendar.
Marco has said that compared to riding a three week national tour, writing a book is much harder, but we’re not convinced and caught up with him before the BMC team launch in Belgium to ask him about his extra-curricular project ourselves…
Garmin’s Ryder Hesjedal came out of the Giro in shape of his life, with his morale sky high after his historic win. He rested well after Italy, resumed training and was in great shape for the Tour de France. He rode strongly in the prologue and managed to keep out of trouble – until stage six.
The tall Canadian went down in the huge crash which marred the sprinters’ stage from Epernay to Metz, losing 13 minutes after hitting the tar hard at high speed. But the big Canadian was soon back on the bike and building up for the autumn. A top dozen ride in Piedmont was followed by sixth in the Tour of Lombardy – boding well for his next race, The Tour of Beijing.
Hesjedal took time to speak exclusively to VeloVeritas about his crash in the Tour, his return to form and his hopes for the future as he waited for his flight to China at Paris airport.
Who were the men of the Giro? There was Ryder, certainly – and Rodriguez; but there was also Guardini’s confirmation; Ferrari’s transformation from from villain to hero; Cav and Taylor Phinney’s displays of grinta; Marco Pinotti’s class in winning the last time trial and Basso’s heroic but ultimately doomed bid for the podium.
But perhaps the man of the race was Belgium’s Thomas De Gendt, who threatened to turn the Hesjedal/Rodriguez battle into a sideshow as he pulled off what the French call an ‘exploit’ on the race’s second last stage.
It was way back in 1999 when Marco Pinotti signed his first pro contract, with Lampre Daikin.
The Italian team is still with us – and so is the time trial specialist from Bergamo.
To use the clichéd comparison with wine, the 36 year-old gets better as every season passes.
It was a Saturday night in the summer of 2009 and I was driving ‘up the Town’ to the movies.
I pulled the car over, answered the mobile and had my first chat with the man.
VeloVeritas’s pundit in residence Viktor had spotted this New Zealand laddie who was burning up the Flanders kermis scene in the colours of Anglo/Belgian team, Kingsnorth Wheelers – Jack Bauer.
It’s over, a great race from start to finish. Even the ‘flat boring sprinter stages’ all had terrific finales – and the time trial was a cracker. Rodriguez rode more strongly than anyone expected; this was no lame effort.
When he rolled in to the last few bends the time gap was much less on Hesjedal than anyone – including Messrs Harmon and Kelly – thought it would be.
Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 20: Caldes/Val di Sole – Passo dello Stelvio 218km. Glorious De Gendt! (0)
“What’s he playing at, riding like that in the valley? He’ll get eaten up on the climb!” So said our friend Vik. Even Sean Kelly didn’t think it was a good idea. Dave and I weren’t so sure – De Gendt is a hardy pup.
Long lone breaks are his thing – he’s won two Paris-Nice stages in epic escapes.
Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 19: Treviso – Alpe di Pampeago 197km. Ryder doing well, how are we doing? (0)
It was an epic stage.
A courageous but ultimately doomed breakaway (just don’t tell Vik I said that, Sandy Casar is number three on his hate list behind Moncoutie and Dumoulin); Kreuziger restoring his honour; Hesjedal continuing to amaze – and Basso having to come to terms with the fact that it’s looking very much like he can’t win the Giro.
‘Sprinter stage’ – sometimes Vik’s assessments can be correct – ‘watching paint dry,’ let’s hope not. But you can’t have a stage like yesterday then expect fireworks the next day.
Sky dug deep to negate the early breakaway artists and Cav duly grabbed max points at the intermediated sprint to open the gap a little on Rodriguez
Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 17: Falzes/Pfalzen – Cortina d’Ampezzo 187km. Sylwester Szmyd interview (0)
I wish I could get tomorrow’s Gazzetta, tomorrow – but it’ll be Saturday, at best. It was the first major shoot out, today.
It’s over for Kreuziger and difficult for Tiralongo – a bad day for Astana. Uran continues to impress – perhaps he’ll get let off ‘train’ duties for Cav, tomorrow?
‘Mission accomplished’ with Ryder: Dave rattled us through dire weather up to the Garmin Hotel, just over 100 miles away.
The Liquigas guys were on their turbos when we arrived – lean, cut looking men.
Before the start, I wasn’t sure Basso could win, but his policy of loss limiting has taken him to third on GC @ 1:22 on Rodriguez and 52 seconds behind Hesjedal.
It’s the Scottish road race championship, today – damn this Giro and it’s climbs in beautiful Lombardy!
But Martin was telling me that the sun was out in Balfron and the jackets were off, so Scotland certainly had the last laugh – the weather here in Italy was grim.
We thought it was the end for Cav, yesterday.
The gruppetto was way down on the first of the two big climbs of the day – but Cav was even further back.
And behind him, in a dreadful state, was Graeme Brown.
Cav, like him or loathe him, what a sprinter. His train is by no means HTC – the GreenEdge boys were much better organised, yesterday – but all that does is to underline his quality. He was isolated and boxed – he was free-wheeling at one stage – the gap opened and he was through it in a blink.
His spatial awareness, reactions and acceleration make him a remarkable athlete. The Gazzetta compares him to Cipo – in terms of total wins and at the same age.
‘Sad news, Donna Summer has passed away’ said the text from Martyn Frank. That news cast a shadow over a day of bright sunshine and hills. The start was down on the coast – it’s not quite beach season, so it’s not heaving yet. In a month’s time you won’t be able to move on those beaches. We had a chat with Jack Bauer before the stage – he looks in great condition.