Fit. Healthy. Two words which do not describe me very well at present. I think I’ve finally shifted the on-off cold I’ve had for the past 2 months and am geared up to get fitter with my new gym membership. Rather than bemoan my lack of fitness any further, I thought I’d share something topical: 229 very fit pro-cyclists from 23 teams kicked off the 2013 Giro d’Italia yesterday in Naples.
Now, cycling is a bit of a funny one and not really something you might expect me to be interested in, but it’s the sport I grew up with and I love it. My Dad is still a very keen
lycra loonie cyclist at sixty and my sister and I have had the Tour de France forced upon us since we were tiny. So whilst others grew up with a fondness for a particular football team, in our house we grew up with Le Tour.
For those of you who don’t know much about cycling, the Giro represents the first of the three big tours that take place each summer, followed by the Tour de France you know the one kicking off at the end of June and finally the Vuelta a España at the end of August. The Giro is renowned for tough climbs and unpredictable weather and this year, our very own Sir Bradley Wiggins is hoping to top off last year’s Tour and Olympic triumphs with the Paul Smith designed Maglia Rosa pink winner’s jersey.
This year, the Giro (the 96th one, it started way back in 1909) began in sunny Napoli. Now, I don’t want to spoil things for anyone who hasn’t caught up on the race so far and doesn’t want to find out just yet, so for now, a little bit of a Giro fact file courtesy of the Sky Sports* commentators. Previous winners include Belgian cycling legend Eddy Mercx, Sir Wiggo’s professed idol Miguel ‘Big Mig’ Indurain and the celebrated Italian cyclist, Il Campionissimo champion of champions Fausto Coppi. This year’s route should be a good one for Wiggo as it should be suited to a good all rounded who can climb well, and also storm a time trial.
A quick run through of the possible contenders, with photos courtesy of road.cc I think sexy sunglassses were mandatory:
1. Sir Bradley Wiggins Come on, the man has a knighthood, he needs no introduction.
2. Ryder Hesjedal, last year’s champion, pictured in Maglia Rosa glory.
3. Big-mouthed Sicilian cyclist Vicenzo Nibali is in good form and will want to win on home soil.
Come on Wiggo, you can do it, we’re rooting for you!
Also hoping for British glory is sprinter Mark Cavendish- can he make take the Maglia Rosso points jersey all the way to Brescia on 26 May?
So, brief intro out the way, what do you think, weekly summaries of the goings on in Brad’s battle for Italy for the next 3 weeks?
*Side note, this is one of the advantages of living with a boy- Sky- otherwise cycling just isn’t covered by the main channels so I am taking full advantage of the cycling coverage availability
P.S. Dad, if you’re reading this, I’m sure I’ve got something wrong or missed something key along the way…
This post represents day five of Blog Every Day in May #BEDM with Rosalilium