When Sci'Con set out to celebrate the victory of Danilo di Luca in the 2007 Giro d'Italia, what better way than with an all-pink Aerotech Evolution Art. 70 rigid bicycle case, produced as a single specimen colored to match the Giro d'Italia winner's jersey.
It's our last stage today, it's Friday morning and we're in Tivoli, headed for Spoleto. Yesterday was an up and down sort of day, although by the sixth grappa last night it seemed fine. We left our hotel (as featured in George A Romero's movie - Zombies, Dawn of the Dead) and headed for the stage start at Teano, we would never have found it if we hadn't tagged-on to the Mavic neutral service cars.
Thursday 08.30, Caserta, Frascati. We're in Italy's answer to that hotel where Jack Nicholson lost the plot in 'The Shining'. Huge, empty corridors, plumbing and electrics that have a mind of their own, plus the world's most disinterested and rude staff - maybe they are zombies? Still, we were glad to lay our heads down here late last night: it was a long day.
"Rest day", that's a misnomer right away. The ferry was late into Civitavecchia; we had to do a death march with our bags across town to get our Hertz car; then there was a 300 K drive south; the Permanence in Montevergine Di Mercogliano wasn't set-up (there were mountains of rubbish in the streets, so maybe it wasn't surprising) and to finish-off we had to pad the streets of Salerno until we found an internet cafe.
The "Green Machine" took first place in last Saturday's team time trial that opened the 90th edition of the pink race. The first to cross the finish line in La Maddalena was the ex-Italian National Champion Enrico Gasparotto who took an unexpected pink jersey.
Giro d'Italia 2007, It's 05.00 hours, Tuesday, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, somewhere west of Civitavecchia - that's the sea port for Rome. "An ugly and forgettable port that's best avoided" according to the 'Rough Guide to Italy', so we won't be lingering here!
It's 06.30 on Monday morning and we're in Macomer, Tempio Pausania, Sardinia. It's going to be another beautiful day; there's not a cloud in the sky and the sun has begun its climb. Yesterday was one of those days that makes you realise, you only think you know about pro bike racing.
It's now 19.45 on Saturday evening, and we're sat in the car en route La Maddalena listening to The Pioneers, 'Let your yeah be yeah' - crucial, John. The ferry port at Maddalena is grid-locked, but we've got our reggae and a cold Dreher beer, so waiting for the ferry isn't so bad. We shared the ferry out with CSC and Saunier, but they are long-gone on the first ferry out. It's been a cracking day, weather and gig-wise.
Giro d'Italia 2007. Sardinia is hot, damn hot, real hot, but our Peugeot 107 has air-con and a CD which plays John Hardie's 70's compilations just fine. It's 09.10 and we're north-bound to catch the ferry from Palau out to the island of Maddalena, where tomorrow's TTT takes place.
One of VeloVeritas’ functions it seems is unlocking the memories of those stalwarts – like our own mentor and soothsayer, Viktor and indeed, our editor Martin - who beat a path in the 70’s and 80’s to the legendary Mrs. Deene’s boarding house in Gent (and later in Zomergem) to show those Belgies how it should be done. The latest epistle which came our way was from Norman Gower.
When Scottish Cycling Endurance Coach and seven times Scottish Road Race Champion, Evan Oliphant gets in touch to tell us there’s a junior rider named Callum Thornley that we should be speaking to, we snap to attention.
When Jos Ryan of the David Rayner Fund gets in touch then we know it’s not just to ask how we are. ‘Have you been keeping up with our rider, Toby Perry’s performances in Spain, he’s just had his second win?’ Fortunately for us, we could reply in the affirmative.
If you watched Stage One of the Giro on Eurosport or GCN then you’ll have heard that someone had the great idea to recruit British professional rider, Dan Bigham to join the commentary team as a ‘chrono specialist.’ Here at VeloVeritas we thought it would be good to put to Dan all those sad questions that trouble bike obsessives like us.
John Watson started racing at 18 years-of-age in 1966, his first race was a ‘25’ which he won with a 1:00. By the following year he was National ‘100’ Champion; in 1968 he went to the Mexico Olympics; in 1969 he set a 12 hour record which stood for a decade; 1970 saw him set a ‘50’ record which sliced nearly four minutes of the previous fastest time for the distance and lasted for 13 years, win the BBAR, get fourth place in the prestigious GP de France time trial and get offered a place with ACBB.