Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Giro d’Italia 2011, Stage 8: Sapri – Tropea 217km

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HomeDiariesGiro d'Italia 2011, Stage 8: Sapri - Tropea 217km

Just one stage left to work on the Giro d’Italia 2011 to Tropea … I’ll miss the race, the coffee, the weather, the Gazzetta – but not the time spent sitting in the car, before, during and after stages.

Saturday was a monstro – Salerno was where we spent the night; we had a two hour drive to the start, then a 217 kilometre stage followed by a mad breenge to the Sicily ferry, on the very toe of the Italian boot.

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The Rough Guide to Italy doesn’t rate Sapri; ‘not much of a place in itself’ – that’s not a good start.
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The view from the coastline is amazing though.
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We stayed in Salerno last night, which meant a two hour drive before today’s start.
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The percorso initially clings to the coastline, following every nook and cranny in the base of the tree clad mountains, just before it plunges into the Golfo di Policastro.
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It wouldn’t be hard to be a picture post card photographer in these parts, wherever you point your camera there’s a beautiful view.

At least the ferry was very straightforward, no dramas; and we did get a chat with Paolo Bettini – a nice guy.

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Who you waving at? Oh.
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We also met some nice local cops, but not for the normal reasons!

Saturday’s stage was a long haul down the Mare Tirreno – very much flat but with that little ‘sting in the tale’ climb where Gatto got it just right.

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The Italian sports daily confirms the potential tedium-horror of today’s stage – one star difficulty. Yesterday was given three stars.

We spotted the Rabo guys at the feed zone: ‘hi chaps, what does the pink jersey have for lunch?‘ says I, cheerily.

Your car is dangerously parked!‘ comes the reply.

It’s not that bad and there are 50 minutes ’til the race,’ says me – bearing in mind that there are T-shirt vans parked at jaunty angles all over the road.

Yes, but it is best you move it, now.

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Note to Rabo PR – that money you spent on ‘media coaching,’ it was wasted.
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The photo ops and fans are thin on the ground, down here – just the odd monument and hilltop tower to keep Ed occupied.
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But a little further south the waiters are out from the Tyrrenian Hotel to catch the Giro – this is more like it!
The 'Heads' were all there, Ale Jet, Weening,
The break is doomed on roads like these; long, straight, flat and tail wind assisted along the Golfo di Santa Eufemia.

Contador is impressive – as our pal Ivan said to me in an email; ‘a winners’ mentality.’ He sees a chance to steal some seconds without going too ‘deep’ and he grabs it.

The 'Heads' were all there, Ale Jet, Weening,
Contador is pretty good at grabbing an opportunity when it presents itself.

Petacchi was right at the head of affairs in the bunch but can’t compete with the little men on a ramp like that.

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The ‘Heads’ were all there, Ale Jet, Weening, Scarponi and best ‘giovanni’ Steven Kruijswijk.

And Cav? nowhere in sight.

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One of ‘Ed’s boys’ from the Six Days, Michael Morkov, looks tired.
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As does the other one, Alex Rasmussen.

It’s taken Gatto a year or two to come good; he was a team mate of Dario Cioni’s at ISD in 2009 and was in danger of becoming one of those sprinters who can’t win sprints.

But yesterday he took the step up from ‘nearly man’ to winner. It’s good to see.

Gatto put in a tremendous attack to go and stay clear.

However, I wouldn’t have included that climb in the finale, it was always going to be a place where an opportunist could make his mark – I like those big boulevard blasts, watching Hondo and Ale Jet strut their stuff.

At the start in Messina, this morning, Gatto was happy to chat to all and sundry and pose for any number of pictures.

But now we’re en route Etna, so best get writing, it’s our last day on the race today so I’ll have more time tomorrow to give you the low down on ‘Nibali Day.’

Ciao, ciao.

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Cheers from Jim and Ed!

Tropea Result

1 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli 4:59:45
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard
3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:00:05
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team
5 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
6 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling
7 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Team Garmin-Cervelo
10 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
11 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
12 Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli
13 Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling
14 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShack
15 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Team Garmin-Cervelo
16 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
17 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team
18 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team
19 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre – ISD
20 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
21 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Team RadioShack
22 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana
23 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar Team
24 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
25 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
26 Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
27 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
28 Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC
29 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
30 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Pro Team Astana
31 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
32 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team
33 Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
34 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Geox-TMC
35 Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Highroad
36 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
37 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli
38 Kanstants