Giro d'Italia Fever
I've got a case of Giro fever. What pro rider has it as well?
which features Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali sautéing their cycling shoe. I guess it’s an Italian thing?
Regardless, the 2013 Giro route is an interesting one. Stage 2 is a team time trial on the island of Ischia. Stage 8 is another race against the clock - 55.5 kilometers. This stage was designed to tempt Wiggins to race the Giro. The prestige of having a Tour de France and Olympic champion on the start list would be huge! The Giro has always been considered the younger sibling to the Tour de France and it wants to step out of its shadow. The other grand tour, the Vuelta a España, is the odd cousin that you only invite to the house for the holidays and you seat them at the kid’s table. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
In addition to the Wiggo-tempting time trials, Contador was at the presentation and on RCS Sport’s dream list of participating riders. Stage 18’s uphill time trial might be enough to tempt the Spaniard. However, he played it coy telling AP, “In a few weeks we will begin to study the schedule for next season. I’ll wait for the presentation of the other big tours to see their routes and decide based on that.”
Cavendish states that there are five stages to his liking and if he can’t escape from Team Sky in 2013 the Giro might be his only shot at winning a grand tour points jersey. Team Sky has made it clear they are focused on the general classification and poor Cav isn’t part of that equation. I hate to say I told you so ...
No big surprise - Hesjedal is looking to defend his 2012 victory and is pointing to the last week of the 2013 Giro as really difficult - so same plot as 2012.
Don’t get me wrong - the 2012 edition of the Giro was the best race of the year. It by far out-shined that other race in France. The last week was a nail bitter, while in contrast the Tour de France was predictable.
If you read my column regularly you know I’m a big fan of social media. RCS Sport have nailed that category! They sent out videos of the route to bloggers and news agencies. They have an active Twitter account that responds to people! These seem like small things, but the payoff is huge. It shows that the Giro is passionate about their race and they continue to elevate the race every year. I’m a big fan of how they market the Giro as well as the stage design.
Indulge me a bit as I know the Giro is still eight months away, but I think I have an idea of how the race will shake out. The main protagonists will be Hesjedal and Wiggins. That’s right - I predict Wiggo will race the Giro. The 2012 Tour de France was a perfect storm for the Sky rider. But I got one name that will end Wiggo’s dreams of the Tour double: