Just thought I’d share the results after the 14th Stage of the Giro d’Italia. This cycling race, along with the Tour de France, the Vuelta de Espana, and the Tour of Californa are the big four of stage races, lasting for multiple stages and 2-3 weeks. The pink jersey worn by the overall race leader is analogous to the more famous maille jaune, or yellow jersey we hear so much about in the Tour.
The Giro is a more dangerous race–the Italians have some seriously fucked up ideas about what’s safe to race on. This, for example:
In what universe is this road, which leads to the summit of Mt. Crostis, safe to race on? The route varies from year to year, and this leg, which you can’t even watch as a spectator, gets onto the program periodically. Last time, saner heads, aka cyclists who’d like to survive the race, objected strenuously enough that the route was changed once the stage was under way. The riders found out via ear bug, or by seeing the signs at the fork of the road. Alberto Contador was one of the major voices against riding this leg, and was called horrible names by commentators who apparently can’t tell the difference between a cycling race and gladiatorial games.
Contador hasn’t won a single stage so far in the Giro, but he doesn’t have to. Stages are often won by specialists: sprinters, climbers, time trialists, and sometimes by rookies with something to prove and who can see past the wiles of the GC (General classification) stars. He just has to finish high enough, often enough, to keep the overall lead. He doesn’t have to be the best at everything, or anything–he just has to be awfully damned good at everything. Contador is.
Added bonus (but not a time bonus) for looking good in (or out of) spandex.
Contador won the Giro in 2011 but didn’t keep the title, nor any of his palmares from that year. I’m going to wish him all success this year, with clean racing.
Because Contador looks fine in pink.
The Marital Unit is a distance cyclist who got me interested in the sport. And, as so often happens when I get interested in something, I wrote a book about it. Luca Biondi looks good in pink too.