Friday, May 08, 2009

It's The 100th Giro d'Italia, Baby!

All right folks, I've already tormented both my faithful readers with Giro previews in prior years, so I'll spare you that but first, I'd like to warmly welcome any Giro d'Italia/Grand Tour newcomers--because even if you *are* only watching it because Lance Armstrong is riding it despite the fact that he is the least important and certainly most annoying aspect of this year's race, I love you anyway, and I know you'll come to adore the three weeks of hand-to-hand combat, spectacular climbs, thrilling sprints, fanatic-driven spectacle, and inevitable doping scandals that are the Giro as much as we do. So let's round it up, kids!:

The Team Time Trial: I'm not gonna lie to you, I had Liquigas pegged for this one, not because I didn't think Garmin Astana or possibly High Road couldn't beat them on the merits, but because I was damn near certain the Italians would've run visible IV lines directly from the team car to the rider's rear ends right in front of the cameras to keep some foreigner from taking the 1st maglia rosa in the 100th Giro d'Italia. So apparently they didn't, but I must ask: am I the only shocked by how well freakin' *LPR* did today? Not that I'm suggesting anything untowards here--after all, Danilo's Barbiesque post-race testosterone levels'll probably do that later in this year's race quite nicely on their own--I'm just sayin'.

The Quick and the Dead: okay, it's on to a day or two of sprint stages, and while with Bennati, Head-Butt, Hushovd and pretty well everyone except Petacchi and Cav out of the race the range of possibilities seems rather narrow at best, for my money the fun begins immediately thereafter in the Dolomites, where Gilberto Simoni will be blowing right by his home stomping grounds and hence desperate--no matter how Mr. Rogers our resident smack-talking peloton Mr. T has become of late--to slap around Ivan Basso one last time before he retires. Forza, forza Gibo!--I mean, you guys already lost a bucket of time this morning, so you might as well redeem yourselves in the mountains, right?

Paris Hilton On Wheels: like anything else matters but the Giro, but anyhoo, you've all heard by now that babelicious Belgian party-slut Tom Boonen has sadly tested poz for coke again, and now, sensing serious trouble apparently, he's ditching the rakish charm that's saved his !@# so far, expressing gratitude and regret to the family friends and team he's disappointed, saying he blacked out from drinking too much, and claiming he needs, and is now sincerely seeking, help. Y'know, only he can tell if it's just a club-happy frat-boy sympathy ploy, mindbending reckless career-trashing stupidity, or a genuine problem requiring professional aid, but either way, I hope Boonen, who is really quite thrilling to watch, comes back soon. Clean, this time, get it?

Holy Moly, Ivan Basso Really *Does* Walk On Water!: finally, from the opening festivities in Venice, I give you this proof of St. Ivan of Varese's supernatural talent (now stick with it, through the yappin'):

4 comments:

Tom said...

I wish I could put a big screen on the trail I usually ride, right at the point where all the little sissy boys walk their bikes around the water when it floods, and play that over and over and over . . . while I stand there and heckle them.

Rosemary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosemary said...

Oh my....After reading your blog I did a search for Universal Sports on my local cable line up and it looks like it's an included channel. It also lists the Giro as airing 3x a day at 9 am, 6 pm and 8 pm.

Normally, I got the basic-basic cable for 10 months out the year and during the TdF, I upgraded to digital to get VS. This was the first year I did not go back to my 10 or so basic channels.

racejunkie said...

Thanks so much again to everyone for all the tech help--while I anticipate a long and expensive conversation w/Verizon this morning, RAISport Piu's got post-work reruns with great commentary! Of course, it's mostly about Ivan Basso no matter what's going on in the stage....