Apologies for not updating the site for a little while folks - we've both been very busy with our day jobs. Ed has been clearing the decks before heading over to Italy to cover the Giro d'Italia shortly, and so to get us in the mood we thought you'd enjoy revisiting one of our diary articles from Stage 11 of last year's race, a 262km haul from Lucera to L'Aquila, when a break of over 50 riders threatened to overturn the race completely...
Big Race: Small Race. Mid June has been and gone, and I find myself up in the northeast of Italy once again (Arona to be precise), this time at a couple of tiny one day races. We came through the same area for the finale of the Giro, where Ivan Basso turned the screws over the final few days to win the overall.
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.
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.
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.
Tyler Farrar again today... the Italians are like any other race, there's nice folks and not-so-nice folks - but in the main they're friendly and helpful. Until, that is, you stick them behind the wheel of a car - any car will do, doesn't have to be an Audi or a Jag, a clapped out Fiat is fine for acting like a juvenile, aggressive, ignorant, petulant twat.
United Nations of Awesome. Boombah! Or, as we like to pretend that the Italians say, Opahhh! So the last post I put through (earlier today) was 16km from the finish, and included a series of “hopefullys” all of which came to pass, meaning we won today! A great result for the team, and a super performance by the team.
We're into double figures. We’re now deep into the Giro, Day 10 in fact, and the cracks are starting to show! Firstly, there was a horrific incident of five of the team’s staff getting on the wrong side of some VERY raw, yet delicious steak, which fortunately didn’t lead to a team-wide outbreak of GIT problems. Thank goodness for Universal Precautions! Secondly (and as ever, less importantly) the riders are now in the hurt basket pretty much permanently.
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.
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.
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.
Ciao, come sta? Viareggio on the west coast of Italy, 06:30 Saturday May 15 and VeloVeritas is on the Giro - well, not quite, we have our credentials to collect from the Gazzetta camper van, this morning at the stage start in Carrara. The trip down wasn't too bad, Edinburgh to Luton, then Luton to Pisa - there was an hour's delay at Luton, but we were on Easyjet, so no one gets too stressed.
Yesterday was the Giro d'Italia Team Time Trial (TTT) a 33km shot through northern Italy where teams departed five minutes apart and raced the clock up the road. The order of starting was based on the overall standing of the best three riders from each team, with the slowest team going first, and the team of the race leader going last (regardless of how their team was faring).
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.
‘Sorry, I fell asleep, I need my afternoon nap after one of Flavio’s training sessions – a 90 minute chain gang then six laps of a circuit with a steep ‘kicker’ in it.’ That was Hamish Strachan explaining to us why he’d missed our call – good to hear that the young man is back in the groove after a difficult start to his year.
It was 2019 when we last spoke to Iain Macleod - he was with Aberdeen Wheelers then but is now with Kelpie Racing - he’d just won the SC 50 mile championships and the man is making the headlines again; a couple of weeks ago he took the Scottish Cycling Olympic Time Trial title and before that recorded the fastest 100 mile time trial ever ridden on Scottish roads.
It was ironic that Chris Anker Sørensen’s life should end doing what he had become known for after his career as a professional cyclist was over – preparing meticulously for his role as a TV race commentator, out riding the parcours of Sunday’s World Individual Time Trial Championship in Flanders.
We liked our jaunt to the Tour of the Campsies last year and feel at home among the rolling countryside and green hills there so we headed west, first of all paying our respects to the Robert Millar mural at the foot of the Crow Road; when you watch Roglič take the Lagos di Covadonga stage in the Vuelta it’s difficult to imagine the wee fella from Glasgow winning that stage – but win it he did.
We had a look around Hawick as the 2021 Tour of Britain race carnival hit town, we caught up with friends then headed out on the course, hiding from the wind on Wanside Rig to see the peloton as it headed towards Gifford...
With victories already this season in various time trial distances ranging from 25 to 100 miles (with a two mile hill climb win too), Iain Macleod (Kelpie Racing) added the Scottish Cycling Olympic Time Trial 2021 title to his growing palmarès.
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