Sunday, December 5, 2021
HomeDiariesGiro d'Italia 2009 - Day 3: Rest Day

Giro d’Italia 2009 – Day 3: Rest Day


I just don’t feel right in the mornings at the Giro d’Italia 2009 ’til I get my Gazzetta. Dave drove past a couple of newsagents this morning, I could see the pink pages, but not get to them – it was terrible!

Giro d'Italia 2009
Got the pink pages, all is good.

Dave predicted that Carlos would get 9 out of 10 – he was spot on. Levi got 4 and the man that the Gazzetta loves to hate; Gibo Simoni didn’t even get a mention.

Silvi Marina was the destination; Dave battered the Peugeot down the Autostrada for our rendezvous with Rubens Bertogliati, Ben Swift and Dario Cioni.

Giro d'Italia 2009
Ed is delighted to see the Gibo “sells windaez”.

‘Rest day’ is a misnomer if you’re a journo because you have to work all the harder to get content. On race days, all you need to do is to keep your eyes open. But on the ‘riposo’ you have to hunt it out. On the way down to the Hermitage hotel, we passed Saxo Bank out for an easy pedal.

Then we saw Barloworld’s Chris Froome and John-Lee Augustyn [the guy who tried to fly off the top of the Restefond in last year’s Tour] out for an easy one; John Lee tried to run me toes over as I took his pic – the little monkey.

Giro d'Italia 2009
The vast Hermitage hotel.

The Hermitage wasn’t hard to find, it towers over the promenade. Katusha, ISD and Silence-Lotto were holed up there.

Skek time – the Katusha bus is beautifully turned out but the ISD bus has cracking graphics. Dario arrived as we mooched about his team’s wagon; the fluo ISD strip doesn’t look as hard on the eye in the flesh, as it does on TV.

Apparently, Mario Cipollini has started a clothing firm and he’s the team’s new supplier – that explains it!

Talking of Cipollini, Dario was sporting a sleeveless ISD jersey – nice.

The Belgian posse from Silence-Lotto rode in – no Charly Wegelius in evidence. Gilbert seemed full of fun, I’m not sure his sponsors will be so chuffed, mind.

Those Katusha Ridleys sure are nice, so are the Diquigiovanni Guerciottis.

Gibo appeared – he needs a result, but maybe it’s one Giro too far?

Interview time – Rubens is polite, attentive, fun, looks great and obviously still loves his sport.

Ben looks young enough to be a junior, sparkling eyes, handsome, a bit cheeky, knocked out to be competing against his boyhood hero Lance, but not starstruck.

Giro d'Italia 2009
Dario just back from his potter.

Dario is handsome, trendy, laid back, hugely knowledgeable and experienced (16 Grand Tours). It’s his career now – a real pro’s pro.

We had good chats with all three – likeable men and a privilege to be sitting chatting to them.

Time to get the pix away, the first batch flew off from reception without drama; the second batch was a nightmare – but that’s computers, for you.

Giro d'Italia 2009
We’re holed-up in a truckers stop, but the beer’s cold, so it’s ok.

We decided to grab the very first hotel we saw; every other night is booked, but not tonight. It was a truckers motel, just a couple of minutes from the Hermitage.

The beer is cold, the grub was good, the linen is clean – and we’re right above the kitchen ventilation ducts, we’ll waken up smelling of risotto!

Ciao, ciao – Blockhaus tomorrow!

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

Big Race: Small Race

Big Race: Small Race. 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.

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 17: Caravaggio – Vicenza 214km. Visconti’s Second!

In the 'small world' file, there we are near the top of the final climb on the way to Caravaggio - which would be Cav's undoing - when this lady hear our Scottish accents and asks us if we know La Favorita Pizzeria in Edinburgh? Well! Are they no' just about to open a branch in Portobello, just round the corner from me? It transpires that it's her brother, Davide's business. Cue smiles all round and photo op with Sarah and hubby in 'see you Jimmy' wig.

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 2009 – Day 5: Stage 18, Sulmona – Benevento

Ciao from Benevento! To go in the "it's a small world" file - when we left you last night, we'd narrowly escaped running out of gas en route Sulmona. After a bit of messing around, we found the apartment; who answered the door?

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 16; Ponte di Legno – Val Martello/Martelltal, 139 km. Snow on the Stelvio

Stage 16 will enter legend – Quintana’s long distance attack to take pink was straight out of the top drawer. There is a big ‘but,’ however; the confusion created by the Giro organisation with their much debated radio announcement to the teams regarding the dangerous descent of the Stelvio Pass.

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.

At Random

Frank Schleck, One For The History Books

If you were lucky enough to watch Stage 18 last night, you saw one of the best days of bike racing in years. Andy and Frank Schleck finally attacked and got it right, using their double-threat to maximum advantage, and as a result achieved another stage win, jumped in the GC to now be in a dominant position, and Andy has ridden a stage that will be talked about for years.

Saunier Duval Team Launch – Day 4

I didn't sleep too clever last night at the Saunier Duval camp. I think the café con leche I had just before the presentation had enough caffeine in it to keep even Gianni Bugno happy. The team and personnel all headed off today (Sunday): Virginie and Pascal back to Switzerland; Denis Flahaut rides the Tour Down Under; whilst Leonardo Piepoli goes to Argentina.

The Finale: Stage 20 (bunchie) Very Tardy!

The strangest stage of the whole race from the point of view of the staff is the finale into Paris. Our team base is in northern Spain, and so all non-essential equipment went from Bordeaux back to Spain (rather than go to Spain from Bordeaux via Paris — a 1200km detour). Thus we were truckless (or untrucked?) for the only time in the race. Very Tardy.

The Continental Grand Prix 5000 cream sidewall tyre is back!

To celebrate the 2021 Tour de France, Continental has today announced the return of the cream sidewall Continental Grand Prix 5000 road tyre, which joins the transparent sidewall and traditional black tyres to form the new colours range.

Jake Tipper – Eddie Soens Winner on Life After Huub-Wattbike

Those HUUB/Ribble boys – our site has almost become the ‘Archibald & Gordon show,’ we’ve spoken to Jonny Wale and Dan Bigham is a regular. But what about that other lad, Jake Tipper? We’ve never spoken to him – then he went and won the Eddie Soens Handicap...

Ponferrada World Road Championships 2014 – U23 Men, Sven Erik Bystrom Takes it Solo

Well, if there's a pizza place in Ponferrada, we can't find it. It's rude to criticise your host's abode but we're mystified by how the Worlds came to be here. The communications are terrible, it's four-and-a-half hours by road or rail out of Madrid or get transfer flights up to the North West and more driving.