Monday, September 20, 2021
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Giro di Lombardia – Day One

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Ciao! Five K from Como, 14.42 on Friday. It’s 13.5 degrees on the car computer but feels much warmer in the Lombardian sun.

Dave’s at the helm, we’ve been fed and I’ve got the Gazzetta on my lap – I’m having a “Giro flashback!”

Giro di Lombardia
Evans and Cunego are the favs for tomorrow.

“Domani favoriti Evans e Cunego,” says the Gazzetta.

  • Evans – age 32, with 4th in ’04 & 6th in ’07 as his Falling Leaves credentials.
  • Cunego – 28, winner in ’04, ’07 and ’08 – says it all!
  • Kolobnev – 28, his Worlds silver makes him 3rd favourite.
  • Vinokourov – 36, ‘always at the front,’ they say – and he’s 4th favourite.
  • Gilbert? He’s flying, Coppa Sabatini, Paris-Tours, and yesterday – Piemonte.

Conventional wisdom is that the aces will save it for Lombardia; Cunego, Evans and the other favourites all finished in the bunch.

The digs in Como are sound, clean, bright and possessed of solid wi-fi (deep joy) – a shower and a shave and I’d almost forgotten I only had two hours sleep, last night.

Giro di Lombardia
Some view, eh?

We were supposed to meet Brent Copeland – Cunego’s DS and coach – tonight, but it didn’t happen; he never got back to us. You have to get used to that if you want to be a journo, ‘shit happens’ say the Americans; yes, it does.

Instead we headed off to Varese to see Dan Fleeman, just for a blether; nothing went in the notebook, no pictures but good for the soul.

Dan’s contract with Cervélo doesn’t look like it’s going to be extended, that’s a pity because he hasn’t had the luck or programme that he needs to shine.

There are other irons in the fire though, we’ll keep you posted.

Giro di Lombardia
Dave shows off the creds.

Tommy Voeckler and the BBox guys were sitting next to us – I hope you haven’t got any euros on them for Lombardy, I lost count after maybe seven rounds. (Becks and Peroni Gold, in case you wondered !)

This is the last race of the season for many riders and there’s an ‘end of term’ vibe; only the ‘super favourites’ will be hyped up for this one.

Eventually, Dan couldn’t duck his massage any longer and we headed back to Como for dinner – it’s a nice town, nestling beside the Lake, under the mountains.

Giro di Lombardia
The view towards the Ghisallo.

It’s like most Italian cities, a nice ‘old town’ and industry around the edges; Como supplies most of the silk for Milan’s fashion industry, the factories are pretty grotty, but down by the lake, it’s beautiful.

Giro di Lombardia
Beautiful Lake Como.

The pizza restaurant was a cracker but the call of our beds was too strong, so there was no grappa nightcap, maybe tomorrow?

Ciao, ciao.

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.

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