Ed’s journey from Torino in the north, to Etna in the south has been a journey indeed.
We headed for Selinunte, a pizza (just for a change) too much Dreher beer (Roger de Vlaeminck rode for their team in the 70’s) and a bottle of local red.
By the time we got back, it was the ‘Blues Brothers’ – ‘Murph and the Magic Tones.’
Fabio was on the Hammond organ; ‘Que Sera Sera’ was oozing – but did we dance ? naw ! we needed a grappa.
There are no flights off the island to the UK on a Monday so PEZ did the ‘tourist thing’ and then sat down to think about the ‘story so far’ – those first nine days, what did they tell us ?
HTC are still the TTT kings, and that’s without Tony Martin and Matt Goss. And whilst I hate to moan; in the ‘too much of a good thing’ file – Torino was insane.
Surely the ‘Giro hits town’ is enough without all those mad, drunken ‘Alpini’ ?
Underestimate Alessandro Petacchi at your peril.
Whilst Cav mumped and moaned as he donned that sacred pink tunic; Ale shrugged off the Manxman’s word with a simple; ‘Cavendish is still young, he doesn’t understand . . .
Pro bike riders live on the edge. I’ve had my share of bad days; but that was one of the worst. It was like Stefano Zanini reminded us; ‘cycling is a dangerous sport.’
As my girl, Marlene said; ‘that poor boy, and his loved ones . . .
This sport is unique; there’s a bond between the fans and the athletes that even the best wordsmith finds hard to explain. The crowds were big, patient, respectful, loving – it was a privilege to be amongst them.
Surprises are one of the things that make our sport great – Weening ? But he rode a great race. And does ‘off road’ belong in a Grand Tour ? I say, ‘once in a while, but not every year’ – what do you think ?
You can come back ! Ventoso was too good too young; he journeyed to ‘Continental Team purgatory’ then came back – a wiser man.
Respect ! And you’ll hear more of him – he’s rapid.
The next generation is coming. They’re young, talented – and please God, be cleaner.
Bart de Clerq – a Belgian ‘mountain man,’ we like that. But please, Giro – no more funicolares.
Persevere ! It was beginning to look like Oscar Gatto was that saddest of all the beasts; ‘ a sprinter who can’t win sprints.’ Respect to the man – and let’s hope he’s found his new niche, as an opportunist supreme.
Alberto rules. Before this stage he was a scant one second up on Scarponi and 11 seconds up on Nibali – by the end he was 1:21 up on Nibali and 1:28 up on Scarponi.
And I got it wrong on Menchov when I said; ‘We didn’t spot Menchov; but it’s unlikely big Denis would get the chop on these climbs.’
‘Big Denis; now languishes at 3:18 – who’s betting against ‘Bert’ in pink in Milano ?
~ Keep it dialed to PEZ as we sadly say ‘arrivaderci’ to Ed and Jim, but ‘benvenuto’ to Alessandro – who’ll take through the next three stages of roadside action up the Adriatic Coast.