Tuesday, June 1, 2010
It's June today, and the Giro is finished. Ivan Basso fought like a tiger through the snow in the Alps, and flew across the finish line into the Roman amphitheater in Verona, and into the arms of his adorable children. After two years' suspension and admitting the intention to dope in connection with Operacion Puerto, Basso is back, he's vindicated, and let's face it, he looks handsome. All hail the conquering Italian hero!
Last year's Giro is still my favorite, because of Armstrong's presence, and the route, which favored the most spectacular tourist destinations Italy can offer—from Vesuvius, to the Amalfi Coast, to my beloved Roma. But it was amazing this year to see the Gavia, where Andy Hampsten won with Bobke Roll's support in 1988. And Basso was the first guy I ever saw win this race after falling in love with cycling in 2006. Complimenti, Ivan!
Now begins the long fallow period between this race and the Tour de France. I think Versus is showing the Tour of Philadelphia next weekend. Between now and then I can do some more research on the Low Countries, because like the Giro this year, the Tour starts there. I can pull out my food and wine books on France. I can start to fantasize about biking around the castles and Medieval villages of the Loire Valley. I'll miss the cinematography of the Italians. The French somehow manage to be drier about their coverage—not so many shots of pretty girls or long lingering shots of fancy bikes, shoes, gear. But we'll have the beauty of the helicopter shots—castles, vineyards, beaches. France is gorgeous. And we'll have Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen, and Bobke Roll at their best, for this is the big kahuna, the fancy dress ball of cycling, and they love it! Aaah, the wondrous cycling grand tour!
And I get a month off! To train for my triathlon, and try to lose weight for Cabo. Saturdays at Zuma beach swimming a half-mile and biking, then boogie boarding and eating with my friends. Working on my running pace, biking up over trash hill in Griffith Park, lap after lap at the San Fernando Valley pool.
Wish me luck! And until the Tour, "Au revoir!"