Tag Archive for ‘Giro d’Italia’
Viktor wouldn’t like it here, the cobbles are big flat things and the locals all dress trendily – not a pair of Belgian basket weave shoes or a tank top in sight.
And the fans don’t come straight up to you and ask you a string of questions, once they realise you’re not a local. And wine? What the hell is that?
But it has it’s compensations – hill top towns, nice weather, pretty girls, pizza… and grappa.
We slept like logs last night – maybe it was the fact that we were emotionally drained or maybe it was the grappa we had for a nightcap? We stayed in Cecina, on the Ligurian Sea, roughly half way between the Stage 4 finish in Ligorno and the stage 5 start today in Piombino.
The season hasn’t started yet on the Ligurian, it kicks off in June; over on the east coast the Adriatic season has already begun and they’ll be out there on their sun loungers as I write this.
In this roundup Ed brings us his experiences of the first few days on the Giro, which included the tragic and untimely passing of Leopard Trek rider Wouter Weylandt.
It’s Giro time again! Getting there wasn’t too bad – Edinburgh to Malpensa Airport in Milan on Easyjet; pick up the hire car and head west towards Torino.
We decided that rather than brave Friday night rush hour traffic, we’d stay in Chivasso, around 20 K from Torino. A wise decision, Torino was overflowing with ‘Alpini’ – Italian mountain troops, past and present – for their annual ‘beano.’
The day after the TTT the Gazzetta reckoned that there were one million people on the streets of the city – we believe it.
Apologies for not updating the site for a little while folks – we’ve both been very busy with our day jobs.
Ed has been clearing the decks before heading over to Italy to cover the Giro d’Italia shortly, and so to get us in the mood we thought you’d enjoy revisiting one of our diary articles from Stage 11 of last year’s race, a 262km haul from Lucera to L’Aquila, when a break of over 50 riders threatened to overturn the race completely…
We’re on the downhill slope for this race now, and the fatigue is starting to show. It’s getting tougher and tougher to chisel our heads off the pillow each morning, and the coffees are having smaller and smaller effects.
Sunglasses stay on when inside as they’re keeping our eyeballs from falling out.
I guess the riders are tired too.
We’re very pleased to announce that Garmin Transitions physiotherapist Toby Watson will be contributing articles to his new VeloVeritas blog.
Right now Toby is with the team on the Tour de France, and you can read about what it’s like to be working with a top team on the biggest race in the world, and the sense of drama and fun that are essential parts of the experience, on Toby’s regular updates.
Mid June has been and gone, and I find myself up in the northeast of Italy once again (Arona to be precise), this time at a couple of tiny one day races. We came through the same area for the finale of the Giro, where Ivan Basso turned the screws over the final few days to win the overall.
A significantly smaller proposition awaits us tomorrow!
Boombah! Or, as we like to pretend that the Italians say, Opahhh!
So the last post I put through (earlier today) was 16km from the finish, and included a series of “hopefullys” all of which came to pass, meaning we won today! A great result for the team, and a super performance by the team.
We knew that the finish was a little tricky, so got as much info back to the big bosses on the road as we could, meaning that the boys could plan their attack well.
We’re now deep into the Giro, Day 10 in fact, and the cracks are starting to show! Firstly, there was a horrific incident of five of the team’s staff getting on the wrong side of some VERY raw, yet delicious steak, which fortunately didn’t lead to a team-wide outbreak of GIT problems. Thank goodness for Universal Precautions!
Secondly (and as ever, less importantly) the riders are now in the hurt basket pretty much permanently.
Yesterday was the Teams Time Trial (TTT) a 33km shot through northern Italy where teams departed five minutes apart and raced the clock up the road. The order of starting was based on the overall standing of the best three riders from each team, with the slowest team going first, and the team of the race leader going last (regardless of how their team was faring).
My job for the day was to check the time splits of our boys relative to the teams who had ridden before them. There was only one official time split provided by the race, and we wanted to make sure our boys got as much info as possible. I thus had to drive up the road behind one of the earlier teams and then start the clock.
CIAO! The Giro d’Italia version 2010 has begun. We started racing up in Amsterdam (which, while not technically* part of Italy, was a cool place to start racing from) with a time trial, followed by two road stages. The start of a Grand Tour is always cool — the whole team starts to find extra [...]
“Super Grinta,” Denis, Roma and Ignatas Konovalovas. That was what the Gazzetta said about Danilo after the Vesuvio stage; “grinta” is the quality of physical and mental toughness that the true greats have – “Super Grinta” – great expression.
And now it’s 09:55, Ciampino Airport, Rome on Monday.
The hire car is gone, we’re in the departure lounge – and it’s all over.
How is it that a country which spawned Campag, Ducati, Ferrari and Armani can’t get the plumbing to work?
Last night’s hotel had the electrical switch for the shower just a couple of inches from the shower head; the difference between being scalded and freezing was two microns on the control.
The people are so friendly here in Naples; the boy in the toll booth last night gave us a row for not having the â‚¬1:60 ready – we should have known it was a pre-pay toll. The roads are horrific, a lot of them are concrete, which has split and potholed – dire.
It’s 12.25 and we’re headed for a road that the men’s lifestyle and driving mags rave about; The Amalfi Coast.
Amalfi, Porto Fino, Sorrento – playgrounds of the rich and famous.
The stage today is the last big bare knuckle battle; Di Luca’s last chance to unseat Menchov.