Giro d'Italia Fever
I've got a case of Giro fever. What pro rider has it as well?
What’s a week of cycling without some cycling drama? Naturally we had another doping revelation. It wasn’t huge, but it was interesting. David Walsh reported in The Sunday Times that according to a rider, Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife was passing out performance enhancing drugs like Pez candies to fellow American Postal riders at the 1998 road world championships. A bit of a shocker, but after a couple of years she knew what she signed on for and was now another person caught up in something bigger than themselves.
For those curious about who was on the team, I did a quick blog post on my personal site (neilbrowne.com) about the whole sordid affair.
In about two weeks the infamous USADA file will be made public and if Travis Tygart really means that the revelations revealed are “30 times worse than any book” everyone needs to brace themselves. Some people more than others ...
Enough of that - let’s move on ...
The news that I really liked this week was twofold. The first is cyclocross season is truly underway and two: the announcement of the 2013 Giro d’Italia route.
Yes at Interbike a couple of weeks ago we had the kickoff to American cyclocross with CrossVegas which Rapha-Focus’ Jeremy Powers took convincingly. In a tight sprint Sanne Van Paassen won the women’s race. It was a great night of racing and a bit of excessive drinking.
In Europe Sven Nys picked up where he left off last year and has already put two victories in the win column. And thanks to the wonders of the Internet we can watch them through either pirated video streams or in the case of some races, a legitimate video feed from the sponsor. And that leads me to the Giro d’Italia.
In a video produced by RCS Sport, the owners of the Giro, the Italian national tour was described by managing director Michele Aquarone as, “a love story between their fans and their champions.” How very Italian.
Garmin-Sharp director Charles Wegelius, calls the Giro, “A reflection of the Italian soul for a month.”
After looking at the stages included in the 2013 Giro d’Italia route I have to agree with several of my fellow cycling journalists - RCS Sport is trying to convince Alberto Contador and Bradley Wiggins to race in Italy for three weeks in May.
In attendance was Alberto Contador, the winner of the 2011 ... err ... I mean winner of the 2008 Giro. In a previous year’s presentation Contador was lowered to the stage in a go-go dancer’s cage. I’m not sure if they expected him to strip, but thankfully there was no nudity.
This year the presentation was casual with defending champion Ryder Hesjedal on stage with fellow marquee riders such as afore mentioned Contador and Mark Cavendish, and towering over them all was BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney. In true Italian style the Giro organizers had the riders cook pasta. Don’t ask me why. I didn’t read anything explaining the reason they had the riders reenact the often played Sidi commercial,