I’ve been enjoying watching the 87th Giro d’Italia, 2004 this year.
I’ve got a few thoughts about it, though.
First of all, thank goodness today is going to be hilly. The flat stages are all exactly the same – a group breaks away early, but the peleton, lead by the Fassa Bortello team catches them with 20km or so to go, and then for the rest of the race it’s 5 Fassa Bortello white jerseys up front (known in Italy as “the silver train”), followed by Petacchi wearing the points leader’s jersey instead of his white Fassa Bortello jersey, followed by a bunch of other sprinters practically getting into fist fights over getting on Petacchi’s wheel. Then comes the sprint, and maybe somebody will beat Petacchi, but probably not.
The only exciting part is to see what Rob McEwan is doing. Is he going to do a lone break at the 5km point like he did yesterday? (Just how strong do you have to be to make a break from the pack when the pack is going 50km/hr or better?) Is he going to get an illegal sling from one of his teammates like he did a few days ago? Is he going to win like he did a few days before that?
Speaking of Australians, I was surprised to see Brad McGee coming second on the last climbing stage. I think of him more as a sprinter, but looking at last year’s Tour de France results I see he only came about 25th in the points.
I’m watching the “live” coverage time delayed by Tivo, and it’s looking like SAECO isn’t doing as well as they should. There is a lone rider (Sella) way out ahead, and a smaller pack behind him, and then the main peleton lead by SAECO. The team told one of the SAECO riders who was in the small chase pack to drop back to the peleton to help lead them back to help bring down the time gap. If they don’t do something special, Sella is going to end up in the pink jersey tonight, and SAECO isn’t going to like that.