The jetlag is slowly lifting after a full 24 hour travel day to bring me back to the reality of home, and I’m still sorting through the days, events, and adventures that were my life for the past two weeks at the Giro. I didn’t have time to write about everything, but here are a few final Grappa-worthy moments…
I was staying in the same hotel as Team Lampre for the second Giro Rest Day, and seized the opp to interview both Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego. Since neither of ‘em speak English, and my Italian is “poco”, I knew it would be a challenge – but I had no idea how confusing a language barrier could be.
Saturday’s Giro Stage 20 to Sestriere was epic – as you should already know. But I experienced it first hand as we rode the final 100km of the stage – starting with the 20km climb of Sestriere and then onto the feared 2174m Colle delle Finestre. It was the ride of a lifetime, and a day like none other.
As PEZ has done in the two Rest Days before, we'll take a look back at the final five stages of the 2005 Giro d'Italia, as we begin the long rest until next year's Giro. If next year's Giro can amount to half of the drama of the 2005 edition, we can consider ourselves lucky.
After a miserable 2 Ѕ years of injuries, illnesses and bad luck that not even the most hard-bitten pulp fiction writer could dream up, ‘Il Falco’ has once more swooped down on his prey – the Maglia Rosa.
The day we’ve all been waiting for, the day with two ascensions of the Sestriere and the famous half off-road climb of the Finestre has finally arrived!
It’s 4:23PM at the Stage 18 TT in Torino, the heat is melting the pavement, and Simoni just left the start house. The past few days have been action-packed as ever, but today was extra-special as we followed Alessandro Petacchi through his entire TT ride – and got the pics to prove it!
Can he make it three in a row tomorrow? It's all Basso all the time now. It appears that Basso gave the top 4 on GC most likely the biggest gift of their careers when he fell ill (albeit unintentionally) - there's no doubt as to who the strongest rider in this year's Giro is. Savoldelli, though under a pressure a bit in the last few days, rode excellently and put decent time into his nearest rivals - Simoni, Rujano, and Di Luca.
Rejoice! Normal service appears to have been resumed in the Basso digestive system, allowing CSC’s leader to get back on the road at full speed. Things are now looking distinctly prettier for cycling’s most debonair man.
The riders in the Giro can do more than just race their bikes, turns out they can talk too. True, the commentary is often guarded and overly modest, but sometimes it's candid, and every once in awhile, heartfelt. PEZ has a nice selection of the real story straight from the riders - from both today's Stage 16 and the second Rest Day.
210km, warm sun, tailwind and almost three weeks of fatigue seemed like the perfect combination for 18 Giro participants today. In the final 130km before the finish in Varazze, the day’s victor was decided and the recipient of the crown today was a young Frenchman by the name of Christophe Le Mevel.
It’s Rest Day near Monza, and I’m staying in the hotel of Team Lampre, which has been an interesting exercise in observing the pro racer in unfamiliar surroundings – ie: off the bike. Only one thing remains the same from day to day, that is they’re separated by a few hours of sleep.
The second and final Rest Day of the 2005 Giro d'Italia will be welcomed by all of the riders. There will be a collective sigh of relief as they look back at what they have covered, but a sigh of trepidation as they are reminded of what is still to come. PEZ takes a look back at Stages 10-15, and then previews the coming fireworks over this final week of 2005's first Grand Tour.
It’s raining as the bunch approaches the Stage 15 finish near Monza and I’m racing to get this posted in time to get into the press tent on the finish line, and in spite of an amazing series of unfortunate events, I’m still in the thick of this Giro…
Rain, Wind and 50km lopped off the race distance seemed to be the perfect recipe for a Petacchi pie as the Italian super sprinter made it a ‘hat-trick’ with three victories in this years edition of the Giro d’Italia.
The incredible Ivan Parra of Selle-Italia Colombia won his second stage in a row, Stage 14, a 210 km mountain stage between Egna and Livigno while Savoldelli narrowly kept his overall lead.
A monster day out in the Dolomites for the Giro d’Ialia survivors, and the overall picture changes once again. With time gaps like we saw today in the first ten placings, it was like the good old days of how mountain stages used to be.
Giro Stage 13 was the second real mountain stage, running 218 km between Mezzocorona and Ortisei. Things got really shook up today, with Basso faltering and Savoldelli showing his stuff, and I bit off most of my fingernails with all the tension!
After yesterday’s hard stage and before the next two very big mountain stages, it was a day of rest for most of the peloton, not much action for the overall, but yet again another day for the sprinters.
It’s already Day 3, or 4, or 5 – I don’t know really - here at the Giro di Pez- ermmm – d’Italia - ! As my brother, Big Red told me (yes - my bro’s actual nickname…) – “hey man, life’s an adventure and you’re living it.”. True… true. So much, and so little has happened that this can only be Italy…
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