Thursday, July 03, 2014

Yeah, the Hell With the Tour--It's the Giro Rosa, Baby!

Already annoyed with the hype (including mine) over the Tour? Still just a little heartbroken every day that the Giro d'Italia's over? Me too! Well, it ain't three weeks long yet, but the women's Giro d'Italia is here, with an all-star field, some bitchin' roads, and no stupid Lance Armstrong questions at the daily press conference! So what to expect:

The Course: 9 stages plus a 2.5k--I swear it--maglia-rosa-startin' prologue! 2 opening sprint-n-circuit stages, with a climb and some KOM points on stage 1; more flats on stage 4; a cat 2 climb and an uphill finish on stage 3; a touching tribute to Marco Pantani to Romagna on stage 5. On stage 6: yeeeee-haaaaaah, we hit the Alps, honey, with a cat 1 Pian del Cansiglio and a swift descent to the finish; mostly flat with an uphill end to stage 7; and stage 8 is the Queen, with an air-gaspin' finale on the cat 1 San Domenico di Varzo! Yer last chance: stage 9, ending the race on the hallowed Ghisallo. Forza donne!

The Riders: oh yes, defending champ/United Healthcare goddess Mara Abbott's gonna be defending her maglia rosa with a great squad, but she's not the only with eyes (and legs!) on the prizes: the smashing field includes near-unbeatable Marianne Vos, ever-tough Emma Pooley, Tatiana Guderzo, Fabiana Luperini, Silvia Cecchini, 2012 double Olympic bronze medalist Olga Zabelinskaya (whew, I'm getting tired here, I should've broken this down by category), Kirsten Wild, Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Johansson, and, of course, my personal fave, rocketeer and general bad!@# Giorgia Bronzini. Watch out for Georgia in the sprints, Mara to keep her overall, and Vos--well, better watch out for her *everywhere*! But here, UHC and Mara throw it *down*:

The Jerseys: Five jersey to rule them all, including the GC's maglia rosa, white for Young Rider, blue for Best Italian Rider (and holy crap, is there a *huge* talent pool to slug it out for that), blazin' hot pink for Best Sprinter, and green for Queen o' the Mountains. Gentle plea to Marianne: you might wanna give someone else a chance at at least *one* of 'em!

The Song: finally, lest you think the Giro Rosa hasn't got an official song, grab yer glow stick, pump up the volume, and get ready to party as jimmygianmario starts us off!

Arriva il Giro Rosa, baby!

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