|As a Merican I always think about Andy Hampsten during the Giro. The only American to win it. This is him on the Gavia Pass. Sealing the deal for his victory.|
The Giro is here! I am so excited I could pee (Yes, I have a bladder like a 5 year old girl. Shut up!). The Giro d'Italia is my favorite race of the year. Even more so than the tour. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there right now saying, "What!? What!? What!?"
But the fact is that the Giro just has more of everything that I love about cycling. Drama, BEAUTIFUL scenery, good ol' fashioned Italian passion, crazy hard stages, a huge handful of the world's best cyclist, hot podium girls (Did I say that out loud?) and history. What else could you possibly ask for?
I know that a lot of people out there prefer the tour. And for sure there is more prestige and attention thrown it's way. Winning a stage there will make your career. Winning a stage at the Giro will make your next season or two. But if I was a pro and a stage racer. The answer from my heart on which of the two tour's I would rather win? I would say the Giro every time. And this years race doesn't look like it will disappoint.
|Cadel in the world champion stripes and Vino looking like he's about ready to pass out. Beautiful!|
They route of the race is one of the craziest of any grand tour that I've seen in a while. From the opening team time trial to stage elevation charts that look like a saw blade. 7 (!) mountain top finishes. As well as 2 individual time trials. This thing is going to be a true sight to behold. They even go back to the 'strada bianchi' dirt roads. Which, in my opinion was the best day of racing all year long last year. Truly epic stuff.
Contador is back this year and says he's hungry for a win. Which I fully believe. Because quite frankly with all this Clenbuterol/UCI crap going on I think he knows his chances of riding the tour this year are a 50/50 shot. Don't you just love how the UCI waits until right before the tour starts to have a verdict? That's just total coincidence right? Pfff... Ass hats.
2009 winner Denis Menchov is back and because of a snub from ASO in the Tour de France team selection he'll get a nice break from racing in July. So you better believe he's coming to play. He can't answer the hard attacks on the climbs. But he can motor up them pretty damn well and he's a good time trialist. So I would fully expect the "Silent Assassin" to podium. And if someone else screws up he very well could take it.
Vincenzo Nibali is the guy that I think has the potential (At least on paper.) to de-throne Contador from the top spot. He has an exceptionally strong team. Which with the opening team time trial could come into play. He's probably one of the few riders who could answer a hard attack on a steep mountain ascent. He also is the lone leader of the Liquigas team. With Ivan Basso opting out of defending his title in order to have a better shot at the Tour de France. And Nibali having won the Vuelta last year, along with a pretty string of showings in the races coming up to the Giro. Makes me think he has a good shot. They only thing that makes me hesitate completely is that Alberto is a much better against the clock. And with two individual time trials in this years race. I'm not sure that he can best the Spaniard. But we shall see...
This is going to be AWESOME!
More poor wife is going to be a Giro widow for the next three weeks. Thank goodness she's understanding. Because I'm going to be glued to the computer screen (We don't get Universal Sports. Grrr. Stupid directv.) every chance I get!
It's time to kick the tires and light the fires big daddy!