It was nice to wake up in the shadow of the Matterhorn this morning; imposing, snow capped and stunning against a picture post card blue sky.
There’s a clue in what Contador, Aru and Landa call themselves; “professional” cyclists.
It’s a job, a commercial enterprise, a way to make money for riders, sponsors and organisers.
The way we read yesterday is that Alberto is due a big favour from Astana whilst Landa is due one from management and Aru.
Alberto is happy, he’s still going to win the Giro and absloutely nothing has changed in his world, the organisation is happy with Aru in second and Aru is happy – especially since he’s been wasted for days.
And Landa, well, he’s a professional…
And did we really need more mountains yesterday?
There was a score of guys racing yesterday, the rest were simply groveling to the finish.
Big Roger Kluge and Luka Mezgec finished @ 57:14 yesterday and only 17 riders were within five minutes of Aru at the end.
Visconti’s ride was a good one, snatching the climbers’ jersey from Kruijswijk but whether he can hang on to it today is another matter – he left an awful lot on the road, yesterday.
Aru now leads the ‘Giovani‘ (young rider) by 91 minutes from Stage Four winner, Formolo who was patently wasted, yesterday.
Astana lead the team race by 30 minutes from BMC and in the team points classification have 556 points to BMC’s 316 and Lampre Merida’s 306.
We had set up shop at around 10 K to go and had tucked in nicely on the convoy – all was going well for an early arrivo at the hotel and our dinner before 10:00 pm but the race organisation and police had different ideas and with around 1200 metres to go we got stuck in total traffic chaos.
To add insult to injury, then we couldn’t get to the hotel because it was through the finish area where the barrier crews were tearing the grandstand down.
Net result – arrival at restaurant at 10:00 after 10 rounds with a recalcitrant wi-fi system, the joys.
We started off driving the percorso today, to get to Finistre, the dirt roads and the action – but the routing crews aren’t out as early at the Giro as they are at the Tour and we gave it up as a bad job and are now on the autostrada hurtling towards Susa and the foot of the Colle delle Finestre – wish us luck!
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.
Coming down the stairs at 05:00 am to the find the car had been broken into wasn't a good start to the day. But that's life. The M8, M77, Prestwick, Ryanair and here we are; in the 37 degree heat of Bologna, heading south to Faenza and our credentials.
'Tutti per Vincenzo' said the Gazzetta, on Sunday. 'All for Vincenzo' - but that little blighter from Madrid put paid to that. We got the benefit from the mad breenge after Saturday's stage - the Messina start was just five minutes from the hotel and it gave us time to have a wee skek at the porto, before we headed to Etna.
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.
It’s been a funny old week – it’s always the same, there’s that void after a Grand Tour and it’s hard to fill. Dumoulin ‘done good’ to win; if you’re as old as me you can remember the last Grand Tour win by a Dutchman, Joop Zoetemelk in 1980 in the colours of TI Raleigh; he’d won the Vuelta the previous year and as well as his Tour win finished in second spot six times – with a record 16 Tour finishes off 16 starts.
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.
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.
A crowd of around 12,000 filed into the Landsberger Allee Velodrome tonight for the Berlin Six Day 2013. The large numbers continued a trend for the Six Days - with an estimated 70,000 coming through the doors - attendance figures are up rather than down, a good sign going forward.
The end game of stage seven of the Presidential Tour of Turkey saw a break of seven riders clear with six kilometres to go. Despite their lead plummeting as an angry peloton closed them down, there were riders skiving and scheming. One man was having none of it and with just over five kilometres to go he bolted – Iljo Keisse.
When friends of VeloVeritas Dave and Vik – both devotees of Belgian palmarès websites tell me there’s a young British guy I should be speaking to then I take notice! Scott Auld is the man, with an ever-growing list of podium finishes in the Flatlands. We caught up with him recently...
I love the drive from Gent up to Kuurne for the Kuurne Brussels Kuurne semi-classic... staring out of the car window at the fields, the canals, tree-lined avenues, the steeples, tiny concrete roads that would be great to explore on the bike. There was a little rain on the way up but by the time we got to Kuurne it was a mild, sunny morning; ideal for wandering down the main drag where the busses line up and checking out 2020’s new hardware.
The season is here and so I thought it was about time that I posted my first Dan Patten Blog entry of 2012, to fill you in on whats been happening over the winter months and what I am up to in this coming season.
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