Giro d’Italia – A Look At Average Speeds In Stage 1

By Simon Cadzow Ok. First things first…This is my first Giro. By that I mean the first one I am going to follow each and every step of the way, on SBS 2 live and highlights that is…so here we go. The first thing I noticed about the team?s presentation, pink carpet and all, was the similarity to ?The Tour? (The Tour of course refers to the [W:Tour de France] who has by its history earned that title); similar but similar in the way a teenager is to his adult big brother. Where is Phil and Paul? This leaves me asking the question ?have I been conditioned? for without them it somehow seems less professional, less polished or maybe I?m just looking at the wrong channel. A look at the teams presentation reveals the same riders that you see at other events during the year and yes at The Tour also, so why is it somehow less exciting than in July? Hmmmmm interesting as these are questions are, and the subsequent debates that may arise, they are for another day. Today is about Herning in Denmark (Anyone know why the national flag of Denmark or Dannebrog as it is known by those in the know, is a white cross on a red background? Later) Tappas or Stage, 1 of the [W:Giro D?Italia]. It?s an Individual Time Trial or ITT, of 8.9km. The first half of the course has 15 of its 20 corners in it, the majority of them being right angles. What does this mean: technical? You bet!! Twisting with long straight stretches in the wind: uh-huh!! If you were trying to travel this route by using the public transport system of Herning: forget it!! (Mind you the argument could be made that the Denmark public transport system is in fact a bicycle or many bicycles) It?s a short course so here?s a short sum up. [W:Geraint Thomas]- SKY blew everyone away by covering the course in around 10:35, he is good, very good and not only over 4000m; [W:Taylor Phinney] -?BMC then went 10:26 and looked ?the business?; it actually looked like he didn?t slow down at any point, corners, wind, local chick screaming his name: nothing altered a picture perfect TT position. [W:Frank Schleck] -?Radioshack-Trek ?then went something over 11:20 in 100th place (didn?t actually look like he was working too hard, though, he and his family are meant to be on holidays) causing the commentator to sum things up like this: ?Average speed 45, winning speed above 50, all you need to know really?. TT people rounded out the top ten. So no surprises really. The time trial is for the time trialist. Going from 23-24kmph on the road isn?t hard; going from 49-50kmph IS when you?re putting out max effort and that?s where the gaps come (yes, being able to corner and be aerodynamic does help too). Bring on the Team Time Trial: face it, it?s for the fans. Time trial kit always looks good particularly Sky, Garmin and Liquigas. [W:Ivan Basso] crossed somewhere around 30th and without being a time trial specialist looks solid, as does Scarponi et al. ? With 21 stages ahead and the time gaps between top 10 and 100th place of only 40 odd secs after the ITT, not a lot depends on this from an overall stance. That said it?s cool to win, cool to wear the leaders jersey and it does happen to validate the sponsors and your teams investment in you. Taylor Phinney: more power to him, he did look awfully comfortable (oxymoron?) putting his arms around those podium girls. 10 recon rides paid off. 20 stages or tappas to go…let the sprinters come out….now for the flag… Legend states that during the Battle of Lyndanisse or Vlademar in Estonia on June 15th 1219 AD, when things were going badly for the Danes and defeat seemed imminent, the flag fell from heaven. Grasping the flag before it could ever touch the ground, the king took it in his hand and waved it in front of his discouraged troops, giving them hope and leading them to glorious victory. Wow. Cool….Yeah, right. For the record, there is no proof that this actually occurred and there are more theories: To find them out see you in stage 2.

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