Ed Hood signs off our Giro di PEZ with his favorite moments that stood out from the blur of his final week reporting. “It sounds silly, but the thing I miss most about the Giro is our morning ritual with the Gazzetta. As Dave drove our little hire car to our next adventure, I would be quoting those pink pages to him...
There’s no other sport that takes you so near to the everyday life. On the road you meet and mix with a huge variety of unselected people. Some are there to see the Giro itself, others losing time and waiting for the opening of the roads, and still others who just live there.
The Giro is over, and I’ve been back home for 10 days, but there’s a certain sadness that always follows the completion of a Grand Tour. Ed & Ale will agree, and as much as I missed some things about home, I still miss Italy and my favorite race. So much happens each day, that we simply can’t report it all, so here’s a few ‘never before seen’ moments that made week 1 truly memorable…
In Italian we say “Un mazzo cosм!” that can be translated “So mazzo!” to mean you have to sweat a lot for doing something. This “mazzo” is a slang word coming from a card game and gives the idea of the suffering, of the difficulties. Certainly anyone who rode the Mortirolo knows the meaning of “mazzo”.
"No! No! No!" says the old guy where they distribute the car name plates for the time trial. We've asked if we can follow Bruz; "no, no! not last 20!" "Can we follow Wiggins?" I plead - he shrugs; "si."
It's 27 degrees as we drive north up the valley from Lovere, north to - the Passo Di Gavia. It comes 90 kilometres into the 224 K stage, it's just under 19 k long and rises from 1260 metres at Ponte Di Legno to 2618 metres at the summit - the highest point of this years Giro. The "Cima Coppi" prime is on offer at the top, awarded for the first rider to top the Giro's highest point.
I rode both the Passo Gavia and Mortirolo ahead of the race on the May 27 stage 20 at the 2006 Giro. After 7 hours, over 3 hours of climbing, 130km, and some serious pain, I can say that was one of the best rides ever… check this out…
"Savol is doing a trojan's work, gap is now 1-32 to gruppo Bert - wait - ! Di Luca gone alone now - Savol blown -." We're atop of the Passo della Presolana and Richard is watching the action on Cycling.TV, and emailing us from PEZ HQ to my the Black Berry.
"Three days of truth as we await the attacks on Contador." So says the Gazzetta. And the wait was worth it as the Giro GC battle exploded with the kind of attacks the tofosi & historians love - ! We got ourselves down to the start to see what the guys on the ground had to say.
On the day of the Plan de Corones we caught up with a couple of riders who are always happy to talk to PEZ and got their thoughts on the show so far. Ed Hood spoke with Barloworld's Steve Cummings and AG2R's Phillip Deignan to get their ideas on the show so far.
Thursday – stage 18 – Mendrisio to Varese and the finishing laps of the 2008 World’s circuit. The final gc battle begins again tomorrow, but there’s still 147km of hills and racing to get through now. It was another day at the office for the GC boys, but for us - it was another day at the Giro!
It’s back to work at the Giro d’Italia, and the valiant PEZ Crew hit the road early to take in the start, the finish, and all points in between on today’s 17th tappa to Switzerland – plus have a quick chat with Team High Road’s Mark Cavendish.
It’s the last day of rest before the final chase to Milano, but the car trip to tomorrow’s stage start is a long one. Good thing the sun is shining and the countryside is gorgeous… here’s how the day looked to us.
Another day in the Trentino region of northern Italy and we’re getting used to the views and car service – it’s the endless up & down of traversing the Dolomiti that makes life on a schedule more challenging. We’re at the northern most point of this year’s Giro for today’s uber-steep and graveled TT up the Plan de Corones climb…
Arabba, kilometre zero and the Passa Pordoi starts NOW. Welcome to the Queen Stage of the 2008 Giro, "only" 153 kilometres but five passes - the Pordoi, San Pellegrino, Giau, Falzarego and the Marmolada. You maybe won't win the Giro today, but you could sure lose it, and we drove 148 of those kms ahead of the race for a closer look…
Four kilometres doesn't seem like a long way - but when you're walking up a mountain it is! But I'm ahead of myself, the day started much earlier, 195km away down in 'Shakespeare's town' of Verona.
To find the border between the Emilia and Romagna, you’ve to walk along the main way to Bologna and, near Imola, start to ask for food and drink. The Romagnoli will serve you wine immediately. Once someone won’t serve it anymore but will propose to you a dish of “tagliatelle”, you’re in Emilia. I would like to discover today the exact border between these two lands.
Loyal readers will know our long standing tradition to interview at least one of the beautiful ladies who grace the stage for each day’s award ceremonies. At the stage 8 start in Rivasondoli, we met and talked with the lovely, intelligent, and I suspect heartbreaking Laura - …
Where’s Hoffman? Richard had told me: “Ask for Hoffman, he is a kind guy.” My duty today is to get on board in the High Road car and follow the Adam Hansen's time trial from that privileged position. So I’m here, in the rain, looking for Hoffman, who should be "the man."
The weekend is a time of rest and relaxation for most folks; but not for PEZ’s man in the peloton, Adam Hansen of High Road. Saturday saw him out front for more than one hundred miles and on Sunday he was back playing the locomotive for Cav, as the young Manxman went for another stage win.