Monday, December 6, 2021
HomeBlogsEx-Garmin Physio Toby Watson's BlogThe Giro d'Italia 2010: Good Times Bad Times

The Giro d’Italia 2010: Good Times Bad Times


Good Times Bad Times – CIAO! The Giro d’Italia version 2010 has begun. We started racing up in Amsterdam (which, while not technically* part of Italy, was a cool place to start racing from) with a time trial, followed by two road stages. The start of a Grand Tour is always cool — the whole team starts to find extra gears, and the organisation is singing by start time.

Despite (or because of) this, the riders get edgier and edgier, and so “transgressions” that wouldn’t have even resulted in a batted eyelid days earlier suddenly become monumentally important. Fun.

My job has been to treat any injuries or niggles that have reared up in the final few days leading in to the race, and then to continue to do the same throughout the race. I am also massaging one of the boys daily (all of the boys get a daily massage when at races). At this race the daily person I’m looking after is Jack “JackyBobby” Bobridge, a young Aussie kid with ridiculous amounts of talent. The bastard. It’s cool chatting to him and seeing his reactions to each day! And then I also look after whoever else needs physio treatment on top of their massage.

We’ve had mixed fortunes thus far — the Day One Time Trial saw us finish some six seconds off the pace over 8.4km, which wasn’t bad. Day Two, and we were ONE second off the pace, and Day Three, we ended up one second off the pace again. Ohh the pain of just missing the lead of the whole race by such a tiny margin!

Day One (an 8.4km Time Trial) dawned wet, but the rain petered out prior to the race itself starting in the centre of Amsterdam. The road thus was drying out throughout the day, but had not completely dried out even by the end of the race. The order of starters became very significant, and painfully for us, one of our boys, Tyler, started early in the race. He found himself entering corners with the brakes on through fear of slipping on the road because of the potential of there being water on the road on the blind side of the corner, only to realise that the corner wasn’t wet after all, and so he lost quite a bit of time throughout the race.

Day Two was a flat stage, and WE WON it!!! Hahahaha! Bloody sensational result — our team sprinter Tyler Farrar won the day with one leg in the air. Well not actually like that, but he did win the thing! I can claim a very small part in that victory as well — each stage has a map of the whole stage, on top of a higher resolution map of the final 3km.

Typical to the Giro d’Italia, the final part of the stage was quite dangerous — there was a ninety degree corner some 220m from the finish, and my job for the day was to check out that corner, and to describe the wind at the finish so we could prepare the best sprint we could manage.

Funnily, and also very Giro-like, the corner was actually 350m from the finish, and not nearly as sharp as originally shown on the map. So our boys knew what to expect and weren’t going too hard too soon, and Tyler eventually won the stage. Wiiiicked result, and with the time bonus he accrued, he was suddenly… ONE SECOND off the lead. Bloody hell. One frickin second. And the day before he had pulled out of multiple corners for fear of crashing, any one of which would have been quick enough for him to have gone a second and a half quicker, and held the pink leader’s jersey!

Good Times Bad Times
As they say on “The Fast Show”, Tyler is a “good guy”. Photo©Martin Williamson

Day Three was also a flat stage, skipping along the coast of the Netherlands, and it was also a LOT less good a day for Garmin Transitions. The roads of the Netherlands (particularly) are plain dangerous. They are particularly narrow and twisty-turny, and also have lots of speed humps and median strips and random poles sticking up here and there. There are also bajillions of fans lining the roads, and thus it is basically a terrifying day for the bike riders — worried about crashing, being caught behind crashes, or hitting random fans.

Unfortunately for us, our team captain, Christian “VDV” Vandevelde, crashed and appears to have broken his collarbone. Painfully, Day Three of the Giro last year also saw VDV crash out — that time with fractured vertebrae, ribs and pelvis. Total nightmare! Completely gutted for him. Also today, Tyler got stuck on the wrong side of a crash, and so lost 46s of time. Bloody hell! At least Dave Millar stayed with the leaders, and at the end of all of the carnage, the organisers did the sums and we ended up… ONE SECOND DOWN! Curses!

We were then on a “rest” day, driving all of the team equipment (a bus, truck, 2 vans and 4 cars) from Holland to Italy. So restful! So soothing! My lowlight of that drive was finding the lock on the toilet I was using had broken upon me entering the cubicle. After two or three shoulder charges I casually strolled out, acting like all was normal… Welcome to Italia!

Today we have the Teams Time Trial, and I’ll be standing on the course yelling out splits for the boys as they go past. Despite the loss of VDV, we still have a very strong team, and we hope to be able to do some damage on this stage as well. The big threat seems to be Team Sky, who also have a good side. So we shall see what happens in a few hours. Bring it on!

Hopefully I’ll be able to update this thing regularly throughout the month. We shall see!


*By “technically” in this instance I mean “actually”

Toby Watson
Ex-Garmin Transitions physiotherapist and soigneur Toby Watson brings you inside the squad, and shows you what it's like to be working with a top team on the biggest races in the world. Through his regular blog updates, Toby shares his sense of drama and fun that were essential parts of his job. Toby is Australian, and currently lives in Girona with his fiancee Amanda. If he has any time, he enjoys reading and running, and occasionally skiing too, when he can.

Related Articles

Ryder Hesjedal – On his Tour crash, the Olympics, the Worlds, and Beijing

Garmin’s Ryder Hesjedal came out of the Giro in shape of his life, with his morale sky high after his historic win. He rested well after Italy, resumed training and was in great shape for the Tour de France. He rode strongly in the prologue and managed to keep out of trouble – until stage six.

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 7; Frosinone – Foligno, 214 km. Desperate Nacer Bouhanni

'Desperate' is defined as; ‘having a great need or desire for something.’ It was Vik who used the word when describing Bouhanni’s win in Bari in that ‘semi-neutralised’ slippery Stage Four. Bouhanni had to change a wheel with 13 K to go and rain slick roads or not, the Frenchman and his domestiques rode like madmen to get him where he had to be. The man was desperate to win. He was the same today; F des J put the most savagery into the chasing down of the five escapees – for a long time I thought they’d stay clear. But F des J more than any other team wanted them back – and Bouhanni didn’t disappoint.

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 10: Cordenons – Montasio 167km. Sky’s Rigoberto Uran Prevails

The Giro isn’t over for Bradley Wiggins, but every day he has like today makes it harder to envisage that he’ll make the podium in Brescia. He lost time again today as team mate Uran launched an attack with five miles to go and no one could get him back; the plan looked to be that all Brad had to do was sit on the other GC riders as they chased Rigoberto Uran.

One More Sleep! time for the TdF 2010 to Start

One More Sleep! time for the TdF 2010 to Start. We are at the end of Day -1, which is the point where the whole team just want things to start already. Admittedly I’ve been in that mood since Tuesday afternoon when I headed out from the team Service Course in Girona. Now everyone else has joined me in night-before-Christmas-as-a-seven-year-old land.

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 10; Modela – Salsomaggiore, 184 km. Third for Nacer Bouhanni

Bouhanni is impressive; he was on the limit to get over the little rise on the run in – where Sky did a lot of damage to a lot of people, unfortunately including their own sprinter, Ben Swift who just scraped in to the top ten – but the wiry French fast man was right where he had to be for the finale.

Giro d’Italia 2010 – Day Seven, Thoughts on That Break

We've completed our stint at the Giro d'Italia 2010, but we miss the turn for Rimini airport, the signage is dire, we're late already, off at Rimini Nord, through the tolls, U turn and back down the other side of the autostrada, there it is, dump the car, limp to the terminal. 'You're baggage is overweight sir,' abandon my shorts, T-shirts, carry my sweat shirt and jacket - still over, even though I can tell the bag weighs nothing like the 13 kilos they say it does.

At Random

Scottish Olympic Time Trial Championships 2007: Preview

Fullerton Wheelers present the Scottish Olympic Time Trial Championships 2007 this weekend, with double British TT Champion Jason MacIntyre (Edge RT) starting number 39 and last off, in a small field which all the same contains a lot of quality riders.

Louis Meintjes – u23 World Road Championship Silver Medallist

The U23 World Road Championships race threw up a number of surprises; all of the big name Belgian, British, French and Italian favourites failed and Slovenian Matej Mohoric moved seamlessly up from junior to U23 Champion of the World. In second place was a young man who chased the Slovenian all the way to the line and once again reminded us that African cycling has to be taken seriously. Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka and Republic of South Africa) kept the African Pro Continental squad’s dream of a season rolling with the silver medal.

Chris Bartley – Former World Rowing Champion Turns to Cycling

Here at VeloVeritas we pride ourselves on always getting ‘a word’ with the new British 25 Mile Time Trial Champion; the late, great Jason Macintyre, Michael Hutchinson, Joe Perret, Matt Bottril, Ryan Perry, Dan Bigham have all taken time to speak to us. In joint silver medal slot at the recent British 25 Mile Time Trial Championships was Chris Bartley (AS Test Team), former World Rowing Champion and Olympic silver medallist.

Chloé Dygert Owen – Winning Rainbow Jerseys for Five Years

How long a career do you need to have to win 10 [yes ten] World titles? US ‘chrono girl,’ Chloé Dygert Owen has won that many and she’s still only 23 years-old; and there are two Pan Am golds and an Olympic silver in the dresser drawer too. High times we ‘had a word’ with the young lady out of Indiana.

Redundancy and Happy Surprises: TdF Stage 19 (time trial)

Time trials are always difficult days at races. Firstly, the riders line up knowing their final position in the race depends on their forthcoming hour of solo work, and secondly, the logistics for the staff are super complex here at the TdF Stage 19.

Scottish Hill Climb Championships 2010 – Preview

Promoted by Sandy Wallace Cycles, the Scottish Hill Climb Championships 2010 takes place on Sunday on the Purrin Den ascent in Fife, and around 35 hardy souls are preparing to put themselves through the seven minutes (and more) of pain it'll take to see the relay station at the finish...