Monday, May 16, 2011

Struggling to Catch Up

Due to what seemed to be a technical issue with Blogger, I was unable to post last Friday; with that in mind today's post will cover the last four Giro stages save for Saturday's stage 8. I was unable to watch that stage on account of the fact that I was flying a cross-country trip. For those of you wondering, cross country only means that the flight has three legs and the legs are longer than 25 miles. So that took up my Saturday morning. In other news of flying, I soloed last weekend so now I am able to fly by myself to train for my private pilot flying test I plan to take this summer. It was a little unnerving at first, realizing that there is no one else in the plane with you, but I've almost gotten used to it.

Back to cycling. In stages 6 and 7, Rabobank's maglia rosa wearer Pieter Weening (yes, once more!) somehow worked it out to have two Italian teams put in the work to catch each days' break:

Why are we doing this again?
Did we learn nothing from Farnese Vini?
As I stated earlier, I was unable to watch stage 8, but I'm sure Weening (it never fails to humor me) had Androni Giocattoli do all the work to close down any gap that may or may not have developed. Weening's (it's not as funny in the possessive) strategy obviously worked well as he kept the leader's jersey until the race headed to Sicily and Mount Etna during stage 9. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Stage 6 saw a second stage victory this year for Movistar's Francisco Ventoso as well as Campagnolo's electronic group.

Ale-Jet had some engine trouble.After the stage the media didn't seem to care about talking with the stage winner, but instead Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi. I understand that there are a lot of media outlets, but who would hire the guy on the right:

Excuse me, is my scarf straight?Seriously, did that guy just get off the douche tourist bus? Actually, after more thought he looks more like he could be a rider on LEOPARD-TREK.

Stage 7 was won by Omega Pharma-Lotto's Bart de Clercq after he broke away from the peloton up the final climb:

Don't ahve a cow, man!And while that is all well and good, the big news of the day was CSF-Colnago's Federico Canuti demonstrating some amazing descending skills ala Vincenzo Nibali:

Better luck next time Freddy.Unfortunately, unlike Nibali, Canuti attempted the "alternative" descending on a day that was dry.

Stage 8 happened, I think. I didn't watch it so I'm not so sure that it actually took place, but if it did, Weening (yes!) kept the maglia rosa for the race's visit to Sicily and Europe's most active volcano. Mount Etna was sure to shake things up, and that was easy to see on Weening's (ugh) face as he was clearly cracking:

Get a bigger bike.While the maglia rosa was suffering off the back, 2008 champion AC was destroying all but the smallest of riders up the mountain. After his initial break from the peloton, AC quickly caught and shed every rider up the road except Androni Giocattoli's José Rujano and some crazy Italian wearing a brightly colored kit and pink hat:

A very select group.The crazy Italian was soon dropped and it was only AC and Rujano up to the top. As expected, AC won and (warning: made up word ahead) imaginaringly shot the chef who gave him the tainted beef from last year's TdF. Here is the aftermath of the imaginary murder:

Feed me tainted beef, will ya.When the smoke had cleared, not from the volcanic eruption that was taking place but the absolute destruction AC caused in the peloton, AC had ridden into the maglia rosa and gained almost a minute on his closest rivals:

DamnToday saw the first rest day, which I know the riders need, but makes for a slow Monday for me. A day off also gives me time to reflect on the horrible commercials Sidi produces and are shown on Eurosport. Last year it was a shot of AC in all white tapping his shoes against his chest. This year's commercial involves Liquigas rider Ivan Basso chopping up and cooking his shoes, which he then serves to his teammate Vincenzo Nibali:

Eat up, bitch!That commercial is about as awesome as Blogger having technical difficulties or the sales has on its sunglasses:

What a great price, one for the price of one!I'm not one to pass up a sale this good.

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