First Giro Update! And It's Only Stage 4!

May 10 2006

Ok! I’m settled in, I have a bed, at least one of my computers works, I found a passable burrito stand within walking distance of my office, and I’m pretty sure I can blog during lunch without getting fired. Unfortunately that means I’ll have to browse with IE, which is something (at least the way I surf) like trying to explain the nuances of bridge to an eight-year-old who hasn’t had his juice; I can’t open new tabs, there is no RSS feeds support, athe search window is a god-awful pop-up, new windows open don’t open at the home page, there’s no built-in search in the toolbar, and as an added slap in the balls, mistyped URLs trigger an MSN search. Awesome.

Anyway, the Giro. Already it’s delivered on its promises of action and adventure. Savoldelli recovered from a bad case of the runs at Romandie to take his second consecutive prologue win, though technically, it was a “Stage One”. On the next day, Robbie McEwen took the unusual step of using the Giro to snag his team’s first Belgian win since the first day of the classics season began (and to add a nice follow-up to teammate Steegmans’ win at Dunkirk). Robbie’s win so impressed Milram’s Alessandro Petacchi that the very next day, he decided to crash and break a kneecap, so that McEwen – essentially the only sprinter in the race – now has a legit shot to break Ale-Jet’s modern record of nine wins in a single Giro. Robbie Mac has wasted no time capitalizing on the Italian’s absense, though whether McEwen intends to (or even can, given this year’s parcours) make it to Milan remains to be seen.

While Petacchi was limping home yesterday, his countryman, Paolo Bettini, was denied a win he had previously set his sights upon forthe second time in a month (the previous instance can be seen on video here). Once again, Bettini’s come-uppance came at the fresh-faced hands (fresh-faced hands?) of a member of the U27 project. Of course, Il Grillo‘s recent lack of wins hasn’t stopped the low-watts over at T-Mobile from tossing him a fat 2 million Euros (scroll down) to suit up in fuscia next year (and then denying it). Gotta love a team with lots of money, but not so much sense. Sure, Bettini’s still a threat at neatry any one-day, but let’s keep in mind he’s well past 30. Not exactly over the hill, but with Sinkewitz, Klier and Wesemann all racing so well this past spring, I’ve gotta say that’d be dough better invested in a GC threat who can get his leg over a top tube before April. Then again, why expect rationality from team that seems to think cutting your hair counts as training?

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