Wednesday, June 23, 2021
HomeDiariesGiro d'Italia 2008 - Day 5: Rest Day

Giro d’Italia 2008 – Day 5: Rest Day


When you hear the tootin’ of the whistle, you never have to guess; it’s Casey at the throttle of the Cannonball Express” – Dave and I were just debating the lyrics of the Casey Jones 60’s TV programme, if anyone can give us the full lyrics, we’d be much obliged.

Sorry, on long transfer drives like this, you get to talking about all sorts of things.

Giro d'Italia 2008
Our morning view.

You left us at San Lorenzo, now we’re en route to Sondrio – not a huge distance, maybe 250 K but on B roads and involving two mountain passes. The weather is glorious today, 23 degrees and we’re at 1000 metres plus as we head east across the north of Italy.

Giro d'Italia 2008
The Mendola Pass.

Tomorrow’s stage goes from Sondrio to Locarno in Switzerland, another for Cav maybe? The only thing he has to work on, is his style, he’s maybe challenging ‘Benna’ for speed but he’s not in the same league for ‘cool’.

The Gazzetta is good today, with a full run down on the Plan de Corones stage and some great pics.

Giro d'Italia 2008
La Gazzetta and strudel. Bliss.

I was talking about Matt Rendell’s Pantani book yesterday and looking at the Gazzetta today made me think about it again. The Gazzetta was “bigging up” the TV audience for the Marmolada stage – 4 million, 35% audience share. In his prime, Pantani was attracting 6 million – those marketing guys must miss him!

The stats in the Gazzetta make interesting reading, a good few teams are still intact, LPR, Caisse, High Road, QuickStep (would you like to tell Patrick Lefevre you’ve climbed off?) and Diquigiovanni.

But some are in tatters, Euskaltel have five survivors, Cofidis are down to four and big hitters, Gerolsteiner have two left

Six got the chop from the time cut at Plan de Corones yesterday – surprisingly including strongmen Belohvosciks (Saunier) and Haymen (Rabobank) – the field is down to 146 from 198.

Giro d'Italia 2008
Picturesque vineyards.

We’re on the Tonale Pass at the moment, our second Passo of the day, the first was the Mendola, which had stunning views across the valley to the Dolomites.

Giro d'Italia 2008
Bressanone Cathedral.

Giro d'Italia 2008

Two cyclists appeared up ahead, old guys with really fit legs, one was Gianni Motta, 1966 Giro winner. He does the rounds for one of the big banks at Giro time; last year we saw him in Sardinia. They had Moser on the roster too, last year but Motta is a more tranquil character than Francesco. “Vai Motta!” and on we go.

Giro d'Italia 2008
Gianni Motta, 1966 Giro winner.

It’s 14.36 as I write this, we left well ahead over 09.30 schedule and had thought we’d be at Sondrio in four hours; I should know better.

Sinuous roads, mountain passes, road works, tucks and tractors all conspire to making progress across Italy very slow. And up here, there are no Autostrada to resort to.

Giro d'Italia 2008
Typical farm transport.

The first 70% or so of the journey was great, the last couple of hours was a slog – slow and little to see except the brake lights of whatever was crawling along in front of us.

Compared to the glorious valleys where we’ve just come form, it’s a bit of a downer; but like I said, you get to the stage where you just want out of the damn car.

Journeys end was more than six hours after we left, apart from photo stops and five minutes to guzzle our strudel, we didn’t put off any time.

Back to work tomorrow, I’m just glad today was so easy! Ciao, ciao!

Giro d'Italia 2008
Journey’s end – phew!

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.

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 9; Lugo – Sestola, 174 km. Pieter Weening Winning

Boring this Giro is not - Pieter Weening won ORICA-GreenEDGE's third stage of the race in a two-up sprint against Davide Malacarne (Team Europcar) both having survived from the break of the day. It took an hour of savage racing before a big break of 14 was finally allowed to go - once the correct recipe passed the test of the ‘Bigs’ dipping their finger in the mixing bowl. But there were just two left come the mountain top tactical finish where Weening was too strong for Malacarne – I did enjoy the high altitude track stand...

Jack Bauer – He’s Why We Love This Sport!

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.

United Nations of Awesome

United Nations of Awesome. 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.

Giro d’Italia – Day 2: Stage 16, Pergola – Monte Petrano

La Gazzetta Dello Sport doesn't like Gibo Simoni, he gets a 3 out of 10 for yesterday's effort, where he contrived to drop 17:59 on the stage - ouch! Saving it for today's stage to Monte Petrano? We'll see.

Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia 2010 – Redux

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...