Five hours and 199km of hard labor, only to be spat out the back of the peloton the moment the tough get going. A depressingly real end to Salvatore Puccio’s fairytale day in the Maglia Rosa.
Two kilometres later and he’s a minute behind the pack. Puccio’s finished just as last year’s winner Ryder Hesjedal gets going. The Canadian’s excitable today. Attacking. Probing. Pushing the peloton’s limits – and his own.
The Giro’s third stage has just enough climbing to get into trouble and a fast, technical descent to the finish. Vincenzo Nibali’s as good as they get at those, so his peers make to keep him under wraps. Last year’s Maglia Rosa wants to make a point, prove himself worthy of the name. Bradley Wiggins keeps his powder dry for the battles still to come. Continue reading →
If you think today’s third stage of the 2013 Giro d’Italia was something to behold, consider this: It’s already too late for the winner of this year’s Giro to match the 1934 performance of this guy, Learco “The Human Locomotive” Guerra. In that ’34 event, Guerra not only took home the final Maglia Rosa for the overall victory, but won stages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 14. A perfect 10.
The photo above shows Guerra (circa 1930) pumping his tire with an old Silca frame pump after fixing a flat.
To one side of me, the Castel dell’Ovo is nestled on a rocky outcrop and resplendent against the glistening cerulean bay. To the other, steep and grotty streets full of dirty cars and drying laundry wind away from the coast, into the heart of the old city. There’s a warning scrawled in four-foot letters on a bend: “Park here and die – you’ll understand my pistol”.
Paying the bill at a cafe down the street I looked behind me to see Felice Gimondi enjoying a coffee with friends and outside of the hotel, Francesco Moser is chatting away while on the other side of the street a guy on a bicycle cart sells snow cones to locals fishing off the promenade.
Benvenuto a Napoli, one of the world’s most idiosyncratic cities and home to 2013′s Giro d’Italia grande partenza. Continue reading →
I sit in a coffee shop and read the Garibaldi. And I’m not talking about gold fish. Is that obscure? Maybe for you, but the Garibaldi is the state fish in California. It’s big and orange. This really has nothing to do with the Giro except for a coincidence of name. But it’s the kind of coincidence that plays tricks on the mind and blurs the boundaries between disparate things.
The road book for the Giro d’Italia is called the Garibaldi and that is the book I read sitting here, drinking an espresso from a paper cup in a coffee shop that feels a long way from anywhere. The American Southwest has a vastness that defies description and invites the kind of gluttony of adjectives we reserve in the normal way of things for the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Continue reading →
Giro offered a behind the scenes look at their headquarters in Scotts Valley, California, revealing a few secrets and insights into the process of creating new products and their constant quest for innovation.
The theme of the tour centered on the handmade approach Giro’s designers and engineers take when creating products. From the initial sketch of a new helmet to the graphics that adorn the finished product, the development process is far more hands on than one may expect. Continue reading →
If you appreciate gravel riding, leather saddles, or steel frames, send a postcard to Walnut Creek, California’s Grant Petersen. His lazer focus on getting more people on bikes dates back to his days riding across the country in 1976, when thousands loaded their bikes Tom Joad style and discovered the nuances of the United States en masse. This led to a job at the Berkeley REI, followed by 10 years working for Bridgestone Cycles USA, where moustache handlebars and a yeoman’s approach to bike design and sales made him a folk hero. That, and his penchant for Bob Dylan, wool jerseys and a fellow named Pineapple Bob. Continue reading →
You can’t fast-forward the Giro d’Italia. You can’t buy an advance copy before your friends. You have to wait. In the rain and in the cold, you don’t bitch about the weather. It, too, is part of the Giro. You, me and the Stelvio. We wait for the riders, but we also wait for our moment in the Giro. We see the banners overhead with the saints of the Giro. Saints who are now looking down at us as we wait.
Italy’s grand tour is an organic thing, a living organism that forms itself every spring, like a tulip bulb buried in the garden. It waits. It accepts the rain. The sun is not necessary for either the tulip or the Giro. Both will arrive regardless of our prayers and shuffling damp shoes. Continue reading →
I rolled up to Nikola Farat’s house in Santa Rosa, less than an hour after Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert earned the rainbow jersey with a fabulous Walloonian display of strength and panache on the final climb of the Cauberg in Valkenburg September 23, 2012.
“Congratulations on Gilbert’s big win today, Rich!” I said to Team BMC’s mechanic Rich Sangalli, who was kitted head to toe in the familiar red and black of chief operating officer Gavin Chilcott’s team, coincidentally based in Santa Rosa.
In less than a week, the 2013 Giro d’Italia will kick off in Naples. In Brescia, on May 26th, we’ll find out if Ryder Hesjedal can repeat on his history-making victory in last year’s Giro or if Sir Bradley Wiggins can add the 2013 Maglia Rosa of the Tour of Italy to his 2012 Maillot Jaune from the Tour de France. For the rest of the week, before the flag drops in Naples, we’ll remind you just how epic the Giro d’Italia can be.
In the miracle 1987 season that brought the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and World Championship road race to Stephen Roche’s noteworthy palmarès, the silky-smooth Irish bike racer first had to defeat his own teammate, Roberto Visenti—and most of the rest of his Carrera team—en route to the final Maglia Rosa.
Interesting note: Check the two top riders on the leader board at the end of the final time trial—both have sons racing now in the pro peloton.
Since we’re currently stuck in our office in a decidedly overcast hamlet of Southern California, it’s always nice when we get items like this in the post.
So while we were imagining ourselves on a bit of a riding trip across the pond, we took note of the guide’s smart design (it’s printed on waterproof, pocketable cards) and well-written descriptions. With 50 routes there’s surely no shortage of options, and the cards abound with much more than just basic route information. Lodging information and other practical information such as where to find provisions along the way is also contained on the cards.
For further information, check out the guide on Amazon.