Tuesday, October 26, 2021
HomeDiariesGiro d'Italia 2008 - Day 4: Stage 16, San Vigilio di Marebbe...

Giro d’Italia 2008 – Day 4: Stage 16, San Vigilio di Marebbe – Plan de Corones (Individual Time Trial)


The balcony from our digs has the most perfect views you can imagine.

Plan de Corones
The view from the digs last night.

It was a hassle to find, but now that we’re here it’s simply magnificent, it’s like looking out of a plane, we’re so high and the view across the valley is so spectacular.

The Plan de Corones stage made for great TV and if we’d had mountain bikes with us and no deadlines to worry about it would have been great to be up there on the dirt section.

However, in the ‘real world’, we knew it would be nightmarish trying to get down off the hill after the finish and there are deadlines to meet.

Plan de Corones
Andreas Klöden heads for 19th place @ 2’40”.

The mountain TT was a big deal to the ‘capo’ but to the other riders it was just a pain, do it – get back to the bottom, get to the hotel and start the rest day early.

Dave gets a hug from Claudio Chiapucci.
Dave gets a hug from Claudio Chiapucci.

Plan de Corones
Dave meets Gabriele Bosisio on his way down the mountain after racing to 21st place on the Stage at 3’04”. He looks pretty fresh for having fought tooth and nail to keep his Pink Jersey yesterday.

Plan de Corones
Geraint Thomas, oor Dave, and Steven Cummings.

We had a good scrape about the buses in search of interesting toys, but the fact is that the ‘every day’ bikes ridden by the teams are so light now – virtually all pushing the UCI limit – that there’s no need for ‘specials’ anymore.

Plan de Corones
David Millar’s crankset for the day: a Shimano prototype mountain bike version, 180mm cranks with 34/50 rings. Dave ran 11 thro’ 27 at the back.

We didn’t get high onto the climb, but we had a walk up for a couple of K. It was overcast, but the UV rays were working just fine, as the ‘somebody playing a blowlamp on my head’ sensation kicked-in, I was never so glad to see the boy handing out the free Skoda hats.

You’d think, that having been bald for most of my adult life, I’d remember to take a hat? Dave, always quick with a comforting word told me my head looks like a “Bellisha Beacon” – cheers Dave. The euro 1-90 I spent on Nivea cream at San Lorenzo was my best investment in a long time.

Plan de Corones
Coolest guy bar none: Daniele Bennati.

We watched the top 50 go off, it was one minute intervals for the first 30 but no following car. The last 20 – that’s top 20 on GC in reverse order – went at three minute intervals and had the luxury of a following car, but only until 5 K to go, when the dirt road started.

Plan de Corones
Jurgen Van Den Broeck – 12th @ 1’58”.

Plan de Corones
Paolo Bettini riding in his club colours for a change.

When we were chatting about the stage over breakfast this morning it dawned on us why the orgainisation would get involved in such a logistically complex operation – money! The Plan de Corones ski resort is probably paying the race a fortune.

Plan de Corones
‘Bert’ Contador, 4th place today @ 22 seconds.

After Contador bounced past, looking pretty in pink, we watched the finalé on the big screen.

Plan de Corones
Franco Pellizotti – a great win today.

Pellizotti’s ride was an excellent, if surprising one – we just have to hope that too much of that Tyrollean dust didn’t get into his hair or he’ll be up ’til late with the conditioner.

Plan de Corones
Marzio Bruseghin warms up.

Just off the plaza where the big screen was situated they were hard selling Marco Pantani’s life story DVD’s. One of his Bianchis was on display together with a few of his jerseys.

Plan de Corones
The Pirata’s steed.

I’ve just finished Matt Rendell’s book about ‘The Pirate’s’ life and death; try to read it – a sad, sad story.

One quote of the little man’s, regarding female attention strikes a chord, along the lines “Before, I was a little, bald guy with stick-out ears, then I make two big efforts in the Giro and suddenly I’m very attractive!”

(Coincidentally, as I get this diary up to date, Tuesday lunch time, Dave has just pointed out that we’re passing the road end for the Madonna di Campiglio, where Pantani was ejected from the ’99 Giro.)

Plan de Corones
Breaking it up already.

The drive back to the digs last night was a bit of a stress job – the address was listed as San Lorenzo, but the hotel was actually about 10 K from there, high in the mountains. If we hadn’t bought a map, we’d never have found it.

The owner was a sound chap and let me use his computer to (slowly) send my pics off.

Dinner was on the premises and we had time for one last look out over the valley in the darkness before lapsing into comas.

Rest day tomorrow – ciao, ciao !

Plan de Corones
OK, we’re sold: full-blown Bruss fans now.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 11: Assisi – Montecatini Terme 243km. Alex Rasmussen’s View

A man who's been working hard in defence of Garmin's pink jerseys - first on the shoulders of Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas and then Canada's Ryder Hesjedal - is Danish fast man, Alex Rasmussen. Alex took time to chat to his six day runner before the roll out at Assisi on Wednesday en route Montecatini Terme.

Giro d’Italia 2011, Stage 6: Orvieto – Fiuggi 216km

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.

Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 9: San Giorgio nel Sannio – Frosinone 171km. Pippo causa una caduta!

It looked to us like Cav and Goss were out of it anyway. There were a lot of riders round that wild bend in Frosinone before we saw Matt on the deck and Pippo looking a tad sheepish as he stood in the road checking to see how that nice Cipollini had stood up to being dropped.

Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 19: Treviso – Alpe di Pampeago 197km

Joaquin Rodriguez sums it all up, neatly. It was an epic stage to Alpe di Pampeago... 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).

Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 16, Pinzolo – Aprica; the Mortirolo!

You forget how gruesome the climbs are here in Italy; I'd never been over the Mortirolo before but it was an eye opener - 11.9 kilometres (that's more than seven miles) with an AVERAGE gradient of just under 12% and a maximum of 18%. Lance reckoned it was the toughest climb he ever raced and 'Bert' was on 34 x 30; 'nuff said !' On most of the big climbs there are sections where it eases a little; not on this swine, it's unrelenting and unforgiving - ask Fabio Aru ...

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 12: Longarone – Treviso 134km. Cavendish Reaches 100!

Mark Cavendish, there's little left to say, really. He's the best roadman sprinter in the world - and his partnership with Steegmans is developing into something special. It's not as if anyone is going to lean on Big Gert...

At Random

Dan Bigham – HUUB-Wattbike Track Team 2020 Plans, and more…

Englishman Dan Bigham is the man behind the highly successful HUUB-Wattbike track team; HUUB manufacture specialist clothing for cycling and triathlons whilst Wattbike manufacture ‘smart’ bikes and indoor trainers. We caught up with Dan just after the HUUB team’s 2020 season launch.

Steve Cummings – and now the British Road Race Champion too!

After his win in the British Time Trial Championship, here’s what Dimension Data’s Steve Cummings told us when we asked him about his chances in the British Road Race Championship: "I’m not at 100% so don’t believe I have the condition to win the road race – it’ll be perhaps another 10 days before I come into my best shape." Despite that, two days later he was topping his second Isle of Man podium as British Elite Time Trial and Road Race Champion.

Grenoble Six Day 2006 – First Night with Alex Rasmussen and Michael Mørkøv

11.20: Picked-up the Danish guys, Alex Rasmussen and Michael Mørkøv at Lyon airport. It's a hassle because it's hard to park the camper and security is tight. Alex looks slimmer than last season whilst Michael is still skeletal. We have to drive all the way back to Grenoble now. At least the sun is out and the scenery is good.

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 3: Sorrento – Marina di Ascea, 222km.

I was the one who said that the Giro d’Italia doesn’t have a great field – but the fact is, ‘so what?’ It’s only stage three but already the ‘Bigs’ are at it, knocking lumps out of each other. I was thinking of an ABC of ‘key words’ for each of today’s protagonists – for big Ryder Hesjedal it was ‘aggressive’ but maybe it should be ‘anxious?’

Patrick Sercu

After a long illness, former Olympic Champion Patrick Sercu, holder of 58 other titles at World, European and National level, undisputed Six Day king with 88 wins and Tour de France green jersey, passed away today, 19th April in Belgium.

The Tour Down Under 2012 – Rolling!

The Tour Down Under 2012, alrighty! We’ve had the little teaser of a crit race around a park on the edge of Adelaide’s CBD, which Andre Greipel emphatically dominated, we’ve had head knocks and called cops for GreenEDGE riders.