After several years of telling PEZ-Fans about Thomson Bike Tours’ trips chasing the big rides and races in Europe, it was time to experience one for myself. My arrival to cover the final week of the 2011 Giro coincided perfectly with their Giro KOM trip, and its promise of several days of climbing some big climbs.
I’m finally dug out from booking cars and sorting our TDF coverage, with just enough time to sort the last of my favorite and as yet unseen memories from this year’s Giro. And one thing that is never disappoints about the Giro - is the food.
Roadside Look Back: After covering the Giro for the last 7 years, this most recent sojourn seemed different. They’re all unique, but things happen too fast when we’re chasing the race day by day… so a look back through my 1500+ photos was proof that I did a lot more than I thought, and was a welcome reminder of how much fun any trip to the Giro can be.
It’s no secret that for many of the crew here at PEZ, the Giro comes in at number 1 for their favourite race of the year and that is definitely true for me as well. This year’s Giro experience was very brief in comparison to my PEZ duties of recent years, but I still feel lucky that I was able to sneak off work, leave the kids at home with the ever-understanding better half and hang out at the Corsa Rosa for what were three very tough days for the boys on the bikes.
The Giro – all that scenery, the whole world in pink, lovely ladies, amazing food and wine, sunshine, grappa... It’s easy to wax lyrical about the Giro; but this year... Ed Hood casts a stern eye at the Giro that was.
Roadside St.21: I comment every year how taxing it is - physically & mentally - chasing this race and doing daily roadside coverage like we do – and for good reason – the truth is that sometimes this job ain’t quite as glamourous as it might seem. As much fun as it is – and it is – it can be tough.
Roadside St.20: I woke to sunny skies in Pinerolo, after almost 7 hours of sleep (my most yet this trip)… conditions looked perfect for my ride up the valley towards Sestriere, and climb to the summit of the feared Colle della Finestre.
Race Report: After twenty stages and countless meters of vertical ascension, the final day concluded with a flat time trial in Milano. The overall win was never in doubt, but there were some intriguing mini-races within the final day. Read on!
Race Report: One last day in the mountains, one last monster climb, one last mountaintop finish, and then it's into Milano for the final time trial and the finale to a race that lived up to the hype - the hardest Grand Tour in memory. Let's see how it went down on the dirt of the Finestre and the finale to Sestriere…
Roadside St.19: "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb." That’s one of my favorite lines from that original Batman movie starring Adam West and Burt Ward… The Caped Crusader running up and down a pier with a bowling ball shaped bomb – lit fuse and all. At every turn, something foils his efforts to dispose of the dangerous device… Sorta like my day.
Race Report: A fairly short day at 209 km with only two rated climbs, the Cat 1 Mottarone and the finishing Cat 3 15k long climb of the Macugnaga, faced the riders today as the peloton was close enough to smell Milan in the 2011 Giro. With tomorrow’s climbing stage up to Sestriere looming, one had to wonder if it would be the favorites throwing punches or saving it for tomorrow.
Roadside St.18: Going to the Giro is fun, but come on, it would suck if you didn’t meet anyone. Today was one of those days that make life great – all because I met up with some old friends, and made some new ones – thanks again to the bike.
Race Report: He’s Italian, tall, dark, handsome, smiles a lot, looks cool on a bike; just a pity about the palmares – but Liquigas’s Eros Capecchi went a long way to rectifying that short coming with a classy win in today’s 151 kilometres Giro d’Italia stage 18 from Morbegno to San Pellegrino Terme.
PEZ sits down with an industry insider who wishes to remain anonymous that offers some unexpected insight, contentious opinions and certain provocations on visual design in cycling.
Race Report: It seemed like it was going to be a simple, easy, quiet stage, but then the final 150 meters happened, and Italian Champion Giovanni Visconti made sure we'd be talking about this one for at least the evening. Read on!
Roadside St.16 In the parking lot outside my car window, a family is enjoying some wine and sausages out of the hatchback while the rest of us sit parked on the road. They’ve got the right idea – they’re still enjoying the day. And even though the rain is falling again in drops, it’s been a hot one - reports of up to 30C degrees at the start, and very humid. And while things got off to a slow start – they picked up speed and finished once again with a bang.
Race Report: Contador iced the 2011 Giro by stuffing another half a minute into his rivals in the short but steep time trial from Belluno to Nevegal. The other top riders threw everything they could at the Spaniard, but all their efforts were in vain as Contador crushed the course.
Roadside St.15: It’s not like this is easy. Sure I get to chase the Giro for a few days, Mrs. Pez says ‘have a nice holiday’… and off I go, half-way across the world, luggage lost, fatigue extreme, patience nil… standing in a freezing downpour as the Giro goes past. Then I see something that sets me back on course…
Roadside St. 15: Five climbs, 229kilometres, the third big day in a row, hot and humid at the start and snow over the highest passes. If you are a rider, there wasn't a lot to look forward to for the next 7 hours. For those of us watching, however, it had all the makings of the toughest and most exciting day of the 2011 race.
Race report: It’s a beast today. There’s the old saying that what goes up must come down again. In the Giro, it might do, but it also goes back up again. And again. And again. And again. Five big climbs to strain the muscle fibers this afternoon. It’s going to be a long, painful ride ...