You Think You Know. You Have No Idea.

I hadn’t planned on writing anything about stage 7, after warning the armchair quarterbacks out there to also keep quiet. “No comment” looped through my mind hour after hour once the stage finished as I went through the motions of showering, stretching, and getting horizontal. I suppose, however, if you’re going to get a summary it may as well be from someone taking it in live and in person. So pardon the brevity; here’s a brief run-down.

Yesterday really did up the ante and took the concept of misery on the bike to a new level. Two hours of attacks that I was either in or covering (ave speed +50kph in those two hours), then a break of two riders escaped so we slowed down a bit and I proceeded to become frozen to the core and shivered incessantly for 90 minutes. Next, unwarned from the race profile so seemingly out of nowhere we began climbing rolling hills that didn’t roll – they just went up. Narrow, pouring rain, fully strung out for 90 minutes, followed unceremoniously by someone opening up a gap to the wheel in front of them and the peloton split in two. Chase chase chase, nothing. Game over. 90 more minutes of physical and mental anguish, wishing I were in the front helping Carlos and *hoping* that he wasn’t having problems. It was not to be; he was great position, ~10th wheel just shy of the strade blanca, or however you say, then was crashed into. Mechanical issues plagued him to the finish and he came in 5′ down. My groupetto lost nearly 25′. Adding insult to injury, I was gassed from the first 120 minutes of sprinting like a madman to get into a breakaway so each pedal stroke in the final hour singed the ol’ legs. Slogging through the mud, it was the kind of day your mind just shuts off. Nothing, blank, comatose.


Orrrrrr being the optimist I am, yesterday was the kind of day that makes most other days seem really really good. Reaaaally good.

p.s. To all the superfans out there, I recommend spending your morning hotel dumpster diving. There’s guaranteed to be lot, and I mean, a LOT of filthy, gritty, sandy cycling kit in the trash. Socks, caps, jerseys, bib, you name it!


  1. Craig

    That was an epic stage, for the viewers, not so much the racers :). Good luck for the final week!

  2. Antonio Costa

    After this reading, I should say “no comments” but, have to say, ouch!

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  4. Charsa

    And we thought it was all glamour! Hang in there, Mr. K!

    • Derek

      Thanks for the insight.

      Anyone armchairing the stage, or any stage really, should
      post some video of their exceptional performance. Oh wait…that’s right…they didn’t have what it takes to be riding the race to begin with.

  5. Becky B

    If it makes you feel better (which it won’t), I had a pretty tough day too. Yes, yours was much worse. At least I can drink when I get home from work. I’ll have a glass for you.

  6. JAS

    God bless ya for sticking it out on the bike AND living to blog about it!

  7. the 12th Man

    You may have been suffering, but million of bike race fans were loving every minute of it. Chapeau!

  8. largearge

    looks like you made it to work for stage 8…

    stylishly clean.

    sorry to hear about stage 9 on what i will from now on be calling the Giro d’Sastre. it seems, one after another, a new disaster consumes Carlos and CTT is forced to fight to minimize the damage rather than to inflict it. keep up the fight.

  9. Rica

    Is it just me, or is this year’s Giro particularly evil compared to most tours? It just seems like Paris-Roubaix+Hurricane Katrina+Everything that can go wrong/most go wrong rolled into one! It should be renamed the Giro d’Murphy’s Law! Or, is this simply because I’m a mere novice?


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