My club mate Davie Gardiner, in the Kirkcaldy and District CC, back in 1971 used to say that when he meant things were going swimmingly well; ‘it was aw ice cream an’ fairies!‘ Cav had one of those days yesterday. Not so today for the Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 3 to Horsens.
Rainbow jerseys, Sunday Times ‘richest sportsmen’ lists, bouquets and praise for team mates all fell by the wayside as his little body slapped hard onto that Danish tarmac.
To add insult to injury, one of the Farnese Vini guys rode over him as he sprawled on the Horsens road.
Sky lost control in the finalé; small wonder, they were slogging hard for most of the 40 minutes or so of racing I watched on Gazzetta TV.
It was an anxious, twitchy, ill-tempered peloton on the screen and very difficult to keep in check.
In the chaos of the last kilometre heading towards Horsens, Cav was isolated.
But from where I was sitting, he was by no means out of it.
He was conducting his characteristic appraisal of what was happening around him – perhaps it all happens slower for him?
But sixth senses and instincts are of no use when a rider in front perpetrates an act of madness.
Androni’s Roberto Ferrari swerved hard right across the front of Cav, taking the Manxman’s front wheel out from under him.
Ferrari lost momentum, his left foot unclipped and what slender chance the Italian had of a podium finish was gone.
Cav didn’t get off so lightly, coming down hard on the road surface and then getting Vittoria tread patterns for temporary tattoos.
Matt Goss kept clear of the madness and took the stage from Haedo, as Cav picked himself up and carried his battered Pinarello home.
But as Vik says; ‘if you can’t handle the heat, keep out of the kitchen‘ – it’s all part and parcel of sprinting.
Basso, Vanderaerden, Cipollini all suffered similar, horrible falls during their careers.
Martin had the benefit of a few stable Eurosport replays, rather than my dodgy wi-fi connection, and had this to say;
“I reckon Ferrari was totally to blame – so do the organisers, they’ve relegated him to last place, given him a paltry 200 Swiss Franc fine, a 30-second penalty and have docked 25 points from his points competition total.
“Gianni Savio (his team manager) is admitting that his rider was at fault, however Ferrari himself is saying his foot slipped because he had to switch suddenly – but when you watch the overhead slo-mo, you can see his foot pull because Cav is getting Ferrari’s back wheel tangled in his front wheel, and Ferrari is pulling against it – too much torque.
“It’s his own wild line change which catches Cav and causes his foot to come out…. you can see his foot is still out as he crosses the line, and I reckon his cleat was pulled over and he couldn’t get his foot back into the pedal in time.
“I think he’s very lucky to still be in the race at all.’
And it does graphically remind you that for all the money, page three models and media hype – being Cav really isn’t ‘all ice cream and fairies.’