Post-Giro Roadside: This year I chased just three stages. I chose the three stages closest to home for me, in the centre of Italy, on the Adriatic side. At the end these three days, they had been the warmest days of the entire Giro; we have never had it so hot in May. Now it’s colder and those days seem so far in the past. Was it just a dream?
Post-Giro Roadside: I love Scotland; but there’s no Gazzetta in the morning, most of the coffee tastes like John Wayne brewed it beside the Rio Grande and 19 million people watched the same reality TV show on Saturday night - thank God I was at the Giro. The Giro, ah, yes; where all that matters is the race - stars, water carriers, heroes and a few villains.
Post-Giro Roadside: Two weeks can be a long time, unless you’re chasing a Grand Tour. I flew over to cover the Giro’s second week, and crammed a trunk full of memories into my short time there – here’s a bunch that didn’t make it into my reports, but shall forever be enjoyed when I look back to 2009.
After any adventure to cover the great races of our sport, there’s always one story I can’t wait to write – about an experience so amazing, that it must be shared – with as many people as possible. The telling and retelling takes me back to a moment that passed all too quickly, but left an impression that both surprised me by its intensity, and also restored some faith in human nature.
Roadside St.20: The Rough Guide to Italy says of Naples; ‘it is filthy, it is very large and overbearing; it is crime infested and most definitely like nowhere else in Italy.’ One team DS told us; ‘this is not Italy!’
Roadside St.19: It's time for one last mountaintop finish boys and girls. Height: 1000 metres above sea level. Length: 13 kilometres. Elevation: 967 metres from a starting height of 33 metres. Average grade: 7.4%. Maximum grade: 12%. Description: Active volcano. But, we have to get there first.
Santini have been the official skins of the Giro for several years and while not everyone has the goods to pull off a pink kit, just about anyone can fit one of the commemorative jerseys for this year's Giro and or most of the rest of the line.
Italy: A nation since 1861; 116,346 square miles; population 58,842,800 (23rd largest in the world); capital Rome, with 2,700,000 souls. If you're a man, you can expect to live to 78, but your woman will outlive you by six years. Favourite sports are football, Formula One, Moto GP and - cycling - and we’ve landed for the final week!
Roadside St. 14 When you start each new Giro you understand you’re a year older. You feel a stranger to the village approach and for a moment you believe it’s better to return home and proceed with your “normal” life. But it’s just a moment. The call of the road is stronger than any other.
Roadside St. 13: It’s been 3 tough 'tappe' chasing this Giro, so today would be a chance to get ahead of the race, get some internet that worked, and get caught up. By now we all know how well my plans turn out, but my stop at the start in Lido di Camaiore was worth the inevitable delays…
Roadside St. 11: My efforts to get ahead of the race paid off today with a Top Ride in the hills around Sestri Levante, which was exactly what I’d planned – sort of...
Roadside St. 8 As any of the PEZ-Crew will tell you, it’s not a problem starting the day without any idea on a storyline – the problem is distilling an entire day on tour down into a readable chunk of ‘entertainment’… The PEZ has landed and here’s the proof!
Roadside St. 5 With the race arriving in the mountains yesterday and making it’s way further towards the north today, there was one more chance for a PEZ Roadside report from ‘Team Week 1’ before Austrian resident Jered takes over for two stages tomorrow and then The Pez himself arrives on Saturday to guide our race coverage south through Tuscany. So, with one last chance to soak up some Giro atmosphere, it was on with the creds and down into action.
Roadside St. 4: It was a day of changes today at the Giro. Jerseys changed hands, we left behind the flat plains and seaside of the Veneto and Friuli, and the mountains have started. After a wander around (and above!) the start in Padova, Pez hit the road and drove one of the day’s two climbs, then camped out at 1.5k to go to see who was doing it easy and who was doing it tough.
Roadside St. 1: Venetians, or those that they adopt as their own, have throughout history had the ending of their names adorned with “etto.” Team Columbia High Road came to Lido di Venezia to ride 20.5km and climbed back on the boat with a stage win in their back pack and the first Maglia Rosa for the new king of Venice, Cavendetto.
Giro '09 St. 1: We all go to the cycling to see the riders but it’s the fans and the other “goings ons” that make the bike race. After a late dinner and drinks session with some old friends was followed by a sleepless night thanks to a disco over the road, a nice morning walk to have a look around the course was just what the doctor ordered.
This year's 100th anniversary Giro d'Italia visits some of the great Italian cities, including my old home town of Bergamo, which hosted a stage finish just 2 years ago. It was pretty much your average northern Giro stage - big climbs, epic weather, super racing and amazing food... here's a look back to get us in the mood...
Say Arrivederci to the Giro as it’s almost Bonjour to Le Tour. We’ve got the latest on the ASO/UCI punch-up as well as the tune up events in Luxembourg and France. Stateside, it’s Philly and a full-up Nature Valley as well as Johan serving up some bedtime reading. It’s a global ET and it’s full today.