The first day of the Giro d’Italia and a day of walking around Venice. The TTT really got me excited for the rest of the tour. This was my first experience with the pro circuit and it was very exciting to see all the teams and the excitement around the Giro. I’m a fan of all the races, from the classics to the stage-races, but the Giro has always been the tops for me. I think it’s the hardest, longest, most demanding stage race and I was excited to experience and watch the centenary edition.
Day of Journey:
Spectator Day, May 9th, 2009.
I walked a lot
Total Distance Biked:
575km (4 stages, two rest days)
Twitter: “Watched the TTT today, impressive speed, but not much to watch, gone in 2s. Shook hands with Simoni and Basso and wished them Buona Fortuna.”
“Im off to Trieste tomorrow, apparently the trains may be on strike so…thats an issue. Excited to get back riding, walking is for dogs.”
So What Happened?
I woke up early to walk around Venice and left my bike in Mestre, and headed into Venice. After a few hours of the tourist thing, I took the ferry over to the Island of Lido and took in the festivities – where I could find them. It really was surprising just how few people were watching the stage. I don’t know if it’s a Venice thing – that there is so much more to see/do, if it’s a Giro D’Italia thing – that it’s just not that big of a race, or if it’s a accessibility thing – if you didn’t know about the Giro, you wouldn’t stumble across it, because it was a 30 minute ferry ride away.
The TTT was fascinating, and upon arriving I walked right past the hotel and lunch spot for Liquigas, and snapped up some pictures of their huge armada of Cannondales. After this I went to the weigh-in and grabbed pictures of most of the teams, chatted with some of the Tifosi and even talked with some of the riders. When the TTT started it was over almost as soon as it started, the event was brief, the riders so fast their wasn’t much to see. Check the videos.
While the event was winding down, I was standing beside the road and their was the classic wanna-be Euro dressed up in the full Liquigas kit wearing a toque. He came and stood right beside me and I realized that this wanna-be was Franco Pellizotti – who we don’t like much so I didn’t say anything to him. Then as he walked across the road, I turned around and Ivan Basso was standing right there. I was surprised, held out my hand and said “Buono Fortuna, Ivan, Good work today.” He smiled and said “Thanks.” From there it was to the end of the stage where the teams and their cars were lined waiting for the ferry. I spoke with Simoni one of my all time favorite riders and laughed to myself as Sastre walked on the ferry in full time trail kit, running shoes and a backpack. He was completely unbothered by fans. This is the man who just won the Tour de France and he walked on the ferry. I walk on the ferry. This is one reason why I like cycling so much. The humble roots of the bicycle seem to have extended to the sport, the riders are just normal people, who ride fast. Try shaking hands with Ovechkin, Crosby, Ronaldo, Beckham, Bryant, Nadal or any other stars of their sport, and they sure as hell ain’t walking on the ferry. Tomorrow, the first stage of the Giro I ride, I didn’t know when they would close the roads, how aggressive the police would be, or if I could even catch my train to Jesolo, the departure city.
Picture(s) of the Day:
Carlos … respect, after I yelled congrats for the Tour in Spanish – he probably didn’t know what I said.
Cunego, Lampre and Columbia. Michael Barry, the only Canadian in the race is in the background.
It’s true! Huh! Cannondales do cause problems for being too light. The only bike they weighed 10 times.
Menchov pulling the train. Every second is important…he’s already dropped 3 teammates, but he won the Giro.