Saturday, May 7, 2011

Welcome to the Grand Tours!

As of today, we leave the Spring Classics behind and welcome the beginning of the Grand Tour season. I know a lot of people prefer the classics but I've always been more a fan of the stage races. I'm not exactly sure what it is but I like the extended drama that they provide. Depending on the parcours, you have different protagonists in the peloton. It's like a cycling buffet... one day you have the sprinters, the next day the climbers, then the time-trialists, etc. Maybe it just has to do with my about-to-be-diagnosed ADHD.

The Giro d'Italia is an awesome race. Actually, both the Giro and the Vuelta are, in many ways, more exciting that the Tour de France. Maybe it's because the Tour monopolizes so much of the sports media. It's like the pretty sister that all the boys pay attention to. The (slightly) less popular sisters then work extra hard to get some attention. So the Giro and the Vuelta do some things that the Tour would never do... like that crazy mountain time trial up the Plan de Corones in last year's Giro.

In any case, I am excited that the Giro has started!

For those who haven't seen this movie, it's called the "Greatest Show on Earth" and it's a brilliant documentary about the 1974 Giro. I love the part where the riders just run into a store and take whatever they want to eat or drink. I've tried this before... but then the owners usually make me pay for the food.

The other thing that's pretty awesome about the Giro is the blatant use of pink as the color of the leader's jersey. They take a color that many consider to be "feminine" and made it something that 150 riders dream about wearing. Now that's pretty cool.

As a final note, this is the first blog entry that I've written entire on an iPad and it works surprisingly well. (I'm in Chicago for a work-related conference and didn't want to bring a laptop.)

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