Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomeDiariesGiro d'Italia - Day 10: Stage 21, Cesano Maderno - Milano (Individual...

Giro d’Italia – Day 10: Stage 21, Cesano Maderno – Milano (Individual Time Trial)

-

Today’s Gazzetta here in Cesano Maderno has Emanuele Sella’s little face smiling out at us with a headline that makes a play on his name: “S(T)ELLA” = star. Life is so much easier when Germans don’t win stages! Inside, a headline says; “Bruseghin da podio. Di Luca si arrende.“:  I ask our hotelier what ‘arrende’ means; he slumps his shoulders, drops his arms to his side, puts his head to one side and let’s his tongue hang out – yes, we can understand the translation.

Sella apart (on a 9 out of 10) the Gazzetta isn’t fullsome with stars for the other Italian riders, whilst Bert gets 8. Simoni gets 7 for his fruitless attack, Bruz is on 7 – but as a “chronoman” he couldn’t be expected to do anything but wait.

Di Luca gets 5, but at least the man set pulses racing on Friday.

Cesano Maderno
Our ride for today.

Cesano Maderno
Evgeny Petrov (Rus & Tinkoff Credit Systems) heads for 20th place.

We’ve got a long drive today, from the Valdiddentro to the start, north of Milano. The good things are that the sun is out and we’re going against the traffic heading north to the mountains and lakes – escaping from the grey industrial hinterlands of Milan and Bergamo.

It’s almost midnight now CET, Milano and the Giro is won and lost.

Cesano Maderno
Arrivo!

There’s no doubt that it was a bit of a strange one. Generally in time trials which conclude a stage race the best times will come from the guys racing for the GC.

There are exceptions, if it’s dry early and wet late for instance, or if it’s a one way race and a head wind rises. But as far as we could see, there was no appreciable difference in temperature. However, around one hour from the end, it went really clammy, putting oxygen at a premium – that’s our theory.

Cesano Maderno
Charlee is rewarded with a hug after his hard 3 weeks.

Cesano Maderno
Enrico Gasparotto was 3rd last today. Maybe get an aero-bike for next time, eh Gaspa?

Wiggins was impressive – catching three guys in just 28 kilometres; the fact that he did that made us realise that he was going well – maybe top ten?

However, he ended up fourth, behind team mate Pinotti, another High Road early starter.

Pinotti is Italian TT champ, so he knows the chrono, but it was a most unexpected result.

Cesano Maderno
Recognise the ‘bars and seat cluster from Bradley’s GB track bike?

Brad was riding a GB WCPP “Stealth” machine – I know it said ‘Giant’ but those decals stick to virtually anything.

Because we opted to follow a rider, we didn’t have time to do a mega TT bike skek.

Cesano Maderno
But we did see the new Bianchi, complete with slotted chainstays – nice!

Also nice were the Slipstream Felts – very Darth Vader.

Cesano Maderno
Giovanni Visconti on the triathlon-like Specialized.

The organisation was shocking, I’ve followed several riders in TT’s in the Tour with no drama and no problems about taking pics. The start was a mess, pure and simple.

I was amazed at the lack of professionalism by the Gerolsteiner and Euskaltel teams – still, it’s been a long hard three weeks, I guess.

Cesano Maderno
Sometimes following a rider on the course isn’t the best way to see what’s going on!

The guy from the organisation who accompanied Brad was a real ‘jobsworth’ – he just wouldn’t let us near to get decent pics. We got reasonable photos roadside later in the day though.

Cesano Maderno
Bruz didn’t ride to plan, but held onto his podium spot – just.

We had expected a ‘charge’ from Bruz, but it wasn’t to be, and he clung to the podium by his fingertips. Pello almost nicked the spot, beating Bruz in the TT by one second – totally against the form book.

I know it will sound churlish, but Pello’s performance today just reinforces our disappointment at his failure to attack yesterday – he obviously had legs left.

Cesano Maderno
Bert hammers into the finish.

We were happy to see Bruz third, but if he’d been ‘special’ he could surely have taken second; Ricco rode a weak race, way down in the sixties. The word is that he’s been sick, so no doubt he’s happy with second.

Cesano Maderno
Contador rode “a la Lance”.

Contador rode “a la Lance” – that’s to say, revving between 100 and 110 rpm the whole way – impressive. But so is the fact that Geraint Thomas got the same time as him, and achieved 12th in the TT : faster than Miller, Leipheimer and Menchov – fantastic!

Bert couldn’t manage a top ten and so ends up in that most unsatisfying category of Grand Tour winners – those who win overall, but don’t win a stage.

He didn’t attack, he didn’t gamble, there were no ‘exploits’ – he just didn’t loose time. Di Luca’s charge on Friday was the effort of the race, albeit it left the gas tank empty on Saturday.

Cesano Maderno
68th @ 2’32” today, and over 4 minutes lost to Bert in the TT’s: Riccardo Ricco needs to either improve his buffer in the mountains or limit his losses better in the TT.

Whilst the Giro would like to think that is’s at least the equal of the Tour, the last stage underlines that it is not.

Paris shows it’s best side for the Tour, with the route taking in some of the most famous streets and squares in the world and barrier space is at a premium for the entire finishing circuit.

Cesano Maderno
Yann Huguet races through near-empty streets.

The Giro TT route was on non descript roads and hardly ‘sold’ Milan.

Apart from the last 500 metres, it was easy to get a vantage point.

The French are about as insular as you get, but they’ve accepted that a huge proportion of the world speaks English and it’s only sensible to have an English translation for manuals and communiques – not in Italy; Italian or UCI French.

Cesano Maderno
Old war-horse Fabio Baldato, still doing a great job for his team.

The hotel was five minutes from the finish, which was a blessing, it was – as Billy Idol would say – ‘Hot in the City’ yesterday and we were glad not to have the stress of scraping around in the heat and crazy traffic.

Cesano Maderno
Mauro Facci nicks his name-board from the official’s car as a souvenir.

We caught up with our Pez Italia colleague Ale briefly, for a coffee, before he drove home with his wife to Genoa. It was nice to see him, he’s never raced, but is passionate about cycling.

Something to eat, back to the digs for a shower and tomorrow, as Dave says; “Oor creds are nae guid tae us !”

Hope you enjoyed the diary folks. Ciao, ciao !

Cesano Maderno
And just like the pros, we’re saying our goodbyes and heading home.

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 2016 – Stage 16; Not a good day for Esteban Chaves

It wasn't a good day for Chaves on Tuesday's Stage 16, he lost time to Kruijswijk and Valverde. With three minutes in hand over the Colombian, the Dutchman is going to take a bit of shifting; and there's a danger that Valverde might leapfrog Chaves, too - he's now just 23 seconds in arrears. Nibali lost time, too.

Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 12: Seravezza – Sestri Levante 157km. Back in the Front Seat

We're in Seravezza. '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.

Giro d’Italia Team Time Trial; 4 Hr Race – 4 Sec Difference

Yesterday was the Giro d'Italia Team 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).

Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 10: Civitavecchia – Assisi 187km. Impressive Rodriguez

Giorgio Moroder's 'The Chase' from Midnight Express pumps out across the Civitavecchia sea front. A huge fibre glass sculpture of a nurse succumbing to the charms of a sailor - 'Unconditional Surrender' it's titled - towers over us. The whole scene is surreal, topped off by Pippo ambling past in shorts and T-shirt. He broke his hand yesterday and is out - but he still looks cool.

Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 7: Recanati – Rocca di Cambio 202km. Ryder!

I didn't manage to see stage seven to Rocca di Cambio - it fell on 'D minus one' for the VeloVeritas annual excursion to Italia. The loose ends were many and instead of having plenty of time to pack my bag and watch the Giro, I was 'running aboot daft' in the van. And Saturday evening rituals still had to be observed - a wee bite to eat and a movie. It's not as if you can say; 'I'm off to Italy the morn love, so we're no' going out tonight - I have a bag to pack and a Giro stage to skek !'

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 5: Cosenza – Matera, 203km. Intacto, or, a Solo Bunch Sprint.

There’s a great Spanish movie from 2001 starring Max von Sydow called ‘Intacto.’ The premise of the film is that for some people luck isn’t a matter of sheer chance; it’s a commodity which they possess and which they can trade – or steal. Argos fast man John Degenkolb may be one of them. Granted it wasn’t luck that he was actually in the group of 95 which contested the finish – which is more than can be said for Cav, Gavazzi, Goss and Modolo.

At Random

Cadel Evans – A Grand Victory?

Cadel Evans is going to win the Tour de France in 2011. Hahahaha! I'm going to say that again, just because I can. Cadel Evans is going to win the Tour de France in 2011. What a nice sentence to read and write! The time trial last night was expected to be a shootout between the world's best time triallist, Fabian Cancellara, and the next big thing, Tony Martin.

James Shaw – “This year has been about putting down foundations”

It was the tailend of last year when we last spoke to 2014 junior Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne winner, James Shaw; he’s spent this season with the Lotto-Soudal U23 team - we thought it was high time we had a word.

Farewell to Meadowbank Velodrome – an A to Z of the Famous Edinburgh Boards

I wandered down to Meadowbank the other Saturday, I thought it was for the ‘closing gala’ or some such but apparently the Track League can go on for another year? It was a disappointment to all those looking for coffee tables. The 1970 Commonwealth Games were just slightly before my time to spectate but I did read about them at the time; however I did witness the 1986 Games events and did a few laps of me own in anger round those boards.

World Road Championships 2012 – Day One, Arrival in Valkenburg

The beer's not cheap on Grotestraat in Valkenburg, at two Euros a pop, but with Dario G's 'Sunchyme' banging out, you can't complain. It takes me to Copenhagen and the 'balustrade sprints' at the Six Days. But that's not 'til next year - and we still have this year to put to bed.

Tri Changing Gear Summer Series, Event 2

This 16 Mile Time Trial at Garlogie saw a cold, breezy, but dry night. Ray Wilson did a good ride for the night. Colin Duncan of organising club Tri Changing Gear was an excellent second, pushing Ali Watt of Granite City RT into 3rd place by 4 seconds. Colin always rides well on hard/hilly TT courses.

World Road Championships 2006 – Day 2: Elite Time Trial

The alarm went at 08.00 and I hobbled out of bed. The shower room was occupied so it was the full wash in the sink routine-hope nobody filmed it. It has to be the most unfriendly breakfast room in the world - nobody speaks so it was quick bowl of muesli and out the door. World Road Championships 2006...