Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Giro d'Italia update

On Sunday, the Giro d'Italia ran its "queen stage," (that is, its longest steepest most unendurable day of racing.  And Tadej Pogacar cruised through it, going away alone to the snowy top of the final peak looking like he was on a Sunday pleasure ride. He now has the greatest lead going into the Giro's final week that any rider has had in decades: almost seven minutes over second place Geraint Thomas. 

The commentators spent most of the final minutes of the day discussing whether Pogacar is poised to become the greatest Grand Tour rider ever ... or whether he already is.  Sadly, in bike racing, amazing results automatically triggers thoughts of new drug regimes and new ways of concealing them, and one wants to speculate about mad Slovenian scientist and what they have done to the recent crop of Slovenian riders.  But for the moment Tadej Pogacar is the best rider in the world and seemingly a master at every aspect of the sport.

Below is what I wrote a few days earlier, but held back, due to a bug in Blogger's picture insertion system, pending a fix. (Still pending)

The Giro, looking more every day like Tadej Pogacar's practice run for the Tour, went through Ortona today. The announcers were not well briefed on the military history of the place, saying only that Allied forces fought the German army there -- no Canadiense recognition -- and seemed to get the details wrong.

But grand tour races provide terrific reconnaissances wherever they go. In recent years I have seen Verdun and the Vimy battlefield, the D-Day beaches among military sites.  Yesterday the Giro made a spectacular start at Pompeii, and while they formed up the helicopters gave us the best views of Pompeii I've ever seen.  And every day there are castles and villages and monuments and mountains and seascapes.

Okay some bike racing intrudes.  

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