"Super Grinta," Denis, Roma and Ignatas Konovalovas. That was what the Gazzetta said about Danilo after the Vesuvio stage; "grinta" is the quality of physical and mental toughness that the true greats have - "Super Grinta" - great expression.
How is it that a country which spawned Campag, Ducati, Ferrari and Armani can't get the plumbing to work? Last night's hotel had the electrical switch for the shower just a couple of inches from the shower head; the difference between being scalded and freezing was two microns on the control.
Ciao from Benevento! To go in the "it's a small world" file - when we left you last night, we'd narrowly escaped running out of gas en route Sulmona. After a bit of messing around, we found the apartment; who answered the door?
I woke with a start, in the middle of the night, damn! I thought, things I should have mentioned, in the diary - Blockhaus; today's mega climb, we caught sight of it yesterday morning as we hurtled down the Autostrada.
I just don't feel right in the mornings at the Giro d'Italia 2009 'til I get my Gazzetta. Dave drove past a couple of newsagents this morning, I could see the pink pages, but not get to them - it was terrible!
Dave predicted that Carlos would get 9 out of 10 - he was spot on. Levi got 4 and the man that the Gazzetta loves to hate; Gibo Simoni didn't even get a mention.
Silvi Marina was the destination; Dave battered the Peugeot down the Autostrada for our rendezvous with Rubens Bertogliati, Ben Swift and Dario Cioni.
La Gazzetta Dello Sport doesn't like Gibo Simoni, he gets a 3 out of 10 for yesterday's effort, where he contrived to drop 17:59 on the stage - ouch! Saving it for today's stage to Monte Petrano? We'll see.
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.
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.