Monday, September 20, 2021
HomeDiariesGiro d'Italia 2010 - Day Four, Nae Middle

Giro d’Italia 2010 – Day Four, Nae Middle


Ciao from il Giro d’Italia 2010, amici! I was saying to Martin that I’m a bit worried, I’ve been wakening up feeling great – always a bad sign. The trouble with my usual Giro partner in crime, Dave being back in Scotia and suffering from Giro withdrawal symptoms (he’s coming to le Tour, though) is that everything we write and photograph is subject to close scrutiny.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Breakfast today was pears, bananas, strawberries, and cherries. Half a hundred-weight, three euros! Photo©Martin Williamson

This morning, he’s making the point that it’s wrong to compare le Tour with il Giro – they are two different beasts, each with their own characteristics and quirks.

A fair point Dave, but I was actually responding to those who write in forums and the like saying that; ‘the Giro is better than the Tour’ probably without having been to either.

He also makes the point that we shouldn’t rattle on about long, hard stages – that’s what a Grand Tour is all about.

Whilst Viktor’s view is that the Grand Tours are too long; the first and last weeks attract a lot of attention but nobody is really interested in the middle week and they should be cut back to two weeks.

Answers on a postcard, please.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Vino is brought forward to sign the display sign on sheet, having just signed the real paper one. Photo©Ed Hood

It was a hectic one, today, but maybe we tried to do too much?

It was a sprinter’s stage from Frosinone to Cava de ‘Tirreni, today and driving the stage didn’t seem a good option – long flat urban roads.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Vino and some balloons. Photo©Ed Hood

We decided to do a “glam start/wasted finish” piece plus a Michael Mørkøv interview at the start and an interview with Liquigas PR man Paolo Barbiere at the finish in the press room at Cava de Tirreni.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Richie Porte is riding a superb race, and says howdo as he fights the scrum of riders at the sign on stage. Photo©Ed Hood

The trouble was that we lost a lot of time on the way to the start due to the grim sign posting that they have in Italy.

The glam start went fine but we didn’t quite conclude the Michael interview and agreed to ring him later to answer the last few questions.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Damiano Cungeo signs for fans on his way to sign on. Photo©Ed Hood
Giro d'Italia 2010
Two minutes after the riders leave in glorious sunshine, the rain pelted down. For us, it was coffee time. Photo©Martin Williamson

Off to the finish along the motorway, beneath imposing Monte Cassino.

The Paolo Barbiere interview also went well but he had to dash before we concluded, too – his masseur needed to see him?

Giro d'Italia 2010
Ed and Paolo chat in the quiet press room. Photo©Martin Williamson

We struck out to photograph wasted riders, stressed soigneurs, resigned to their fate mechanics and the general ‘Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow’ that is the aftermath of a stage.

Giro d'Italia 2010
There were a lot of tired lads today, after the five k’s of climbing to the finish. Here’s wee Robbie fighting bursitis in his knee to. Photo©Martin Williamson

However – a vast crowd, teeming rain, a sea of umbrellas, narrow streets and a bum steer on the team bus park location contrived to deny us the opportunity to do an ‘after’ piece.

Three pieces – no ‘punch lines’ but bit by bit we pulled the jigsaw together.

We decided to make it a ‘start’ piece, only; we got hold of Michael by phone as he lay on the massage table – ‘you must speak proper English Ed or I can’t understand you!‘ and Paolo rang to make his last couple of points about the UCI’s handling of the Pellizotti affair.

Giro d'Italia 2010
A glimpse of the finish straight from a fire escape outside the press room. Photo©Martin Williamson

With Martin battling dire signage and world champion standard tail-gaters, we found our digs down in Salerno – the same place as Dave and I were in last year – and got to work.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Saul, the Liquigas mechanic lets us play with Nibali’s Cannondale. Photo©Martin Williamson

We had nice shots from the start, Martin edited those whilst I amended the copy, then I got the Michael Mørkøv interview written up – it was nearly 11:00 pm before we finished.

Giro d'Italia 2010
Saul and Martin have a blether about the weather. Photo©Ed Hood

The Paolo Barbiere piece will have to wait until today.

As for the race itself, we skipped most of the parcours but did drive the last 10 K.

The last five in particular were hard, dragging ever upwards on bad surfaces – the only saving grace was that they were straight.

The tough finale meant that there were GC riders in the mix at the line – Evans and Vino – as well as classy all rounders like Pippo and the pure sprinters had a lot of their venom drawn on that dragging, nasty tarmac – Tyler Farrar was on his knees by the line and big Greipel blew on the run in, that’s why Columbia adopted ‘Plan Goss.’

To perfection as it transpired – Martin grabbed a great shot of the Columbia train shaking hands as they rode the finish straight, clued in by their ear pieces that ‘Gossy’ had won.

The shot was out of focus, though – not surprising given that there were eejits exploding fire crackers beside us.

Giro d'Italia 2010
It’s out of focus, but you get the gist. Adam Hansen and Marcus Sieberg are chuffed that their hard work paid off. Photo©Martin Williamson

A long day, we’ll know if it was a good one or not when we see how the pieces look on the site. The guy who sets the pieces up , Jered Gruber, is like Martin in that they can make silk purses from sow’s lugs.

Sometimes, I look at pieces and think, ‘did I do that? it’s not bad!’ but a lot of it is their skill at laying the piece out.

07:19 in Salerno on Tuesday, I’m sitting out on the veranda as the big ferry port comes to life.

Martin is still knocking up those well deserved ‘zeeees.’

Today is a sprinters’ stage, with the finish way over on the other side of Italia – Bitonto. No relation to the Lone Ranger’s neebz, apparently.

Where we are in Salerno is the furthest south I’ve been in Italy, so I’m looking forward to venturing to the heel of the Italian boot and the ‘olive capital of italy’ – so famous that there’s no mention of it in the rough guide.

And some sunshine would be nice – it’s been the wettest Giro I’ve witnessed.

Anyway, Puglia calls; tell you about it tomorrow – and I’ve not bought my Gazzetta, yet.

Bocca lupo! – and I’ll tell you what that means tomorrow, too.

Ed Hood and Martin Williamson
Ed and Martin, our top team! They try to do the local Time Trials, the Grand Tours and the Classics together to get the great stories written, the quality photos taken, the driving done and the wifi wrestled with.

Related Articles

Giro d’Italia 2010 – Day Two, Strada Bianchi

Today is Strada Bianchi day. Once you have your Giro d'Italia creds you feel better, despite the fact that a colleague had organised them for you a week ago, it's still a relief to hang that pink lanyard round your neck and stick those big lumps of sticky-back plastic on the hire car windscreen.

Kris Withington – Garmin Transitions Mechanic

If mountain biking is your thing, and you're not really into road bikes, how - and why - would you end up working as a mechanic for a ProTour team? We met Garmin Transisions mechanic Kris Withington recently on the Giro d'Italia, chewin' the fat at the start of Stage 12 in Citta Sant'Angelo, and so we thought it would be great to find out the answer to that question, and discover a little more about this Giro, as well as life on the road with a top professional team.

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.

Giro d’Italia 2010 – Day Six, Simply Surreal

We made sure we were in plenty time for the Giro d'Italia 2010 stage start today - our mission was to get pics of Diquigiovanni's Cameron Wurf for Jered Gruber but Cam didn't arrive at the sign on before our appointed time of bolting.

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.

Giro d’Italia 2010 – Day Three, Riders in the Mist

Today we saw Riders in the Mist... When I read folks saying that the Giro is better than the Tour, I have to shake my head. Better, how? The scenery in Italy can be stunning, sure - but like yesterday, it can be ghastly, too.

At Random

Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 1: Herning (ITT) 8.7km. The Head Says Phinney

'My heart says Alex, but my head says Phinney,' my statement as I walked out the door of our rented cottage in search of a stable wi-fi connection. I would have loved Alex Rasmussen to win, but something told me that he wasn't 'sparkling' for the Giro d'Italia 2012 - Stage 1.

The VV View: Pantani Revisionism, Qatar Worlds, CIRC and Raleigh

I can remember perfectly where I was when Marco Pantani died; sitting in my living room in Dysart. The flash came over Eurosport News and I rang Viktor to tell him; ‘hardly surprising’ was the reply. I knew what he meant, the little Italian’s life had been on a self destructive spiral for a some time - rehab or disaster were the only two possible destinations. It was the Spartan philosophers who first coined the expression, ‘never speak ill of the dead.’ And whilst it’s always dreadfully sad to see a young life wasted, I’m puzzled by the current revisionist accounts of his life which are doing the rounds on the 10th anniversary of his death.

Aqua Blue Sport 2018 rider roster and first races confirmed

Aqua Blue Sport has confirmed its final, 16-strong rider roster for 2018 and for the second successive year will kick off its racing season in Australia and the Middle East.

Michael Mørkøv – is Getting Seriously Good!

The last time we spoke to Denmark and Saxo Bank’s Michael Mørkøv – after he’d won a dramatic Vuelta stage – we said that perhaps it was time to stop referring to him as a ‘Six Day star.’ We were right.

Tomeke takes Kuurne Brussels Kuurne 2007 at a canter

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne 2007. The portents for Sunday were better: we weren't hung-over; the sun was out; and we got up to the start at Kuurne without one wrong turning. The chemists were shut though, so Pozzato couldn't buy his hair gel. The start at Kuurne is always a real, "organised chaos" job, there's a riders enclosure but somehow, some riders get mixed up with the crowd and can't get back in to the start enclosure, so have to wait on the roll-out beginning, then cajole their way through the sea of people so as they can go to work.

Jocky Allan

Jocky Allan has passed. Life is strange, sometimes. Yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine, we got round to talking about cycling, and with a far away look in his eyes, he reminisced about his first bike; "my maw pushed the boat out and bought me this beautiful red racer, it had white wall tyres and white transfers on the tubes - JB Allan."