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Tag: Giro d’Italia
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.
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.
It's 12.25 and we're headed for a road that the men's lifestyle and driving mags rave about; The Amalfi Coast. Amalfi, Porto Fino, Sorrento - playgrounds of the rich and famous.
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.
Today's Gazzetta in Cesano Maderno has Emanuele Sella's little face smiling out at us with a headline that makes a play on his name: "S(T)ELLA" = star. Life is so much easier when Germans don't win stages! Inside, a headline says; "Bruseghin da podio. Di Luca si arrende." I ask our hotelier what 'arrende' means; he slumps his shoulders, drops his arms to his side, puts his head to one side and let's his tongue hang out - yes, we can understand the translation.
Paolo Savoldelli 10 out of 10, Danilo Di Luca 9.5 out of 10: the Gazzetta gave Friday to LPR - and so they should. Stage racing at it's best; even if Contador wins on Sunday in Milano, Di Luca can hold his head high. Ricco gets a 9; if he can keep his feet on the ground then he must surely win a giro - but not this one. Contador on 6.5; as Diquigiovanni's DS, Savio told us yesterday; "Perhaps Contador will have a bad day."
Buon giorno di Legnano! Another German stage win and the Gazzetta front page says - "three days of truth waiting to attack Contador" - old Jens doesn't get so much as a mention until the fourth page of Giro reports, deep in the paper - like I said yesterday, the Italians just love the Germans winning their tappas...
Today we were in Mendrisio but we belled Viktor from Verbania last night... We were feeling quite mellow; words and pics sent, a nice plate of pasta, a glass of beer and a stroll by Maggiore in the warm air. "The only reason I watch the race is because there's nothing else on TV, those photos you take are holiday snaps, Sella looks like a schoolboy, 'certain of the GB rider's' aren't proper pros, the scenery is terrible... "
The girl in the petrol station where we just filled up was stunningly beautiful - I sent Dave back in to buy Coke, so he could see her; why don't they have girls like her in the filling station at Wester Hailes? The Gazzetta is on my lap as we head for 'partenza' in Sondrio. Even though you can't speak Italian, you can get the jist of most of what's being said; "Sorpresa Van Den Broeck, delusione Savoldelli."
Rest Day at the Giro d'Italia 2008... "When you hear the tootin' of the whistle, you never have to guess; it's Casey at the throttle of the Cannonball Express" - Dave and I were just debating the lyrics of the Casey Jones 60's TV programme, if anyone can give us the full lyrics, we'd be much obliged. Sorry, on long transfer drives like this, you get to talking about all sorts of things.
The balcony from our digs has the most perfect views you can imagine. It was a hassle to find, but now that we're here it's simply magnificent, it's like looking out of a plane, we're so high and the view across the valley is so spectacular. The Plan de Corones stage made for great TV and if we'd had mountain bikes with us and no deadlines to worry about it would have been great to be up there on the dirt section.
"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay," Rabbie Burns must have had a premonition about the Giro when he wrote that. It should have been a short hop over the Pordoi Pass from the digs to the start at Arabba to Marmolada. The jobsworth policeman at the top of the Pordoi settled our hash though; "No, you stop now, road closed, no journalists, only team cars!" Aye, cheers pal, you'll soon get that job you want in the riot squad, bludgeoning students. Sorry..., I was ranting, wasn't I?
Another long one, from Verona, it's 11.35 pm local time, Saturday and we're still in this pizzeria at Pozza di Fassa. The stage finished down on schedule and by the time we walked off the mountain; got set up in the press room, fired the pics away, completed the words, drove here, found the hotel and checked in, it was well after 10.00. The hotel is nice, this is ski country and the Austrian border isn't far away so it's all chalets, wide eaves and timber - very picturesque.
Ciao ! Ciao ! It's 9.30 pm here in Verona, city of opera, Romeo and Juliet and Stage 14 of the 2008 Giro., from Modena. We're sitting outside our hotel with our "welcome drink" - not a bad beer, as it happens. It's been a long one - up at 03.30 am; car to Turnhouse; Easyjet to Stanstead; Ryanair to Brescia with two screeching Essex girls in the seats in front of us, then hire car to Verona.