Quick, call in sick at work - for about 3 weeks! The Giro is starting this weekend. This race, in my insane-race mind is sick. It is bad-ass. It separates the truly elite cyclists and tells us who is the really the best all-arounder in the world of pro cycling. Sorry TdF. Apologies Vuelta. Tour of California...you are getting there!
But, check it out. 207 riders trying to rip each other's legs and lungs apart. Big hills. Gnarly descents. Nasty sprint finishes. Big time riders like Menchov, Nibali, Contador and the usual sprinkling of surprise talents that emerge from this race. Plus a bunch of inspired Italian cyclists all juiced up on local grape to get a shot at a stage win.
But there is something else here...history that you should appreciate. Heritage. This is Italy. Many of the cycling origins were born here. Pinarello, Selle Italia, Colnago to name a few. Riders like Cipollini brought color and personality to the sport. Rolling through all the wine country. Ascending some of the most majestic mountains like the Dolomites. And all the passionate Italian fans lining the streets and hillsides sucking down Chianti, slicing off cheese and popping olives. Classico.
Of course, the riders see none of this. They have to blow through these towns and passes and just focus on getting to the line. They think about bumping bars, attacking and getting in breaks. Then its all about sleep, food and recovery to do it all over again the next day.
But what I think about is the combination of these things at the Giro, thats what makes it cool. As a bike racer, I really appreciate both sides of the Giro. So, I may just have to cut my ride short on Sunday (not racing this weekend), grab a Stella Artois or a glass of Sangiovese and recline back as I either fall asleep with the race going on or watch it going on wishing I was there to witness the action. Either way, its good. Its the Giro.
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