back to the 1949 giro d'italia . . .stage 2, catania-messina, 163 km [flat] 1-s. maggini in 4:46:46 [ave 33.985 k/h]; 2-cottur, @ :30; 3-schaer, @ :45. stage 3, villa san giovanni-cosenza, 214 km [mountains] 1-desanti in 7:02:31 [ave 30.817]; 2-pasotti, @ 2:08; 3-l. maggini, @ 2:58. overall note: by virtue of a 15 second bonus for 3d in the stage KOM, f. coppi leads bartali by :15. stage 4, cosenza-salerno, 292 km [mountains] of bartali, he writes: "i am a little in awe of him: he pedals with a frown on his face, and he is never seen walking aroound, not even in the lobby or corridors of his hotel." of today's stage, he says "the frightful exertion of a stage like today's, 292 kilometers, almost all of them in the mountains, with a discouraging, uniterrupted succession of very steep climbs and descents that didn't let up for a minute; and then there was the violent storm that brought wind, cold, fog and rain, to say nothing of the depressing effect of the andscape, no doubt beautiful when the sun is out, but today, pallid, wild, and repulsive." of the towns along the route, some were "hanging lopsided on the lofty flanks of hte mountain, with a main street sloping at least 30 degrees in places, absolutely out of a fairytale." bartali flatted three times, and no one deigned to attack--the respect and fear for the champions. the result? a classic battle of the day, and for the ages: 1-f. coppi, in 9:59:21 [ave 29.3 k/h, plus a 1:00 bonus]; 2-leoni [:30 bonus]; 3-bartali [:15 bonus]. imagine this: coppi, leoni, and bartali SPRINTING after 10 hours in the mountains! coppi leads bartali by 1:00 in the overall after today's epic battle. think about THIS stage next time you want to describe any training ride, or even race, as epic, lance armstrong! the next day, deservedly, is a rest day in amalfi. bartali is not seen all day; he remains in his hotel room, as the rumors fly: ill? exhausted? still aching after his finish line crash in cosenza? he doesn't ride, he doesn't appear for his adoring fans. wtf? for bartali, "it almost seems as if--and perhaps his faith plays a part--he finds a sort of bitter comfort in suffering. and that he perceives in his misfortune a sign that heaven is talking to him." stage 5, salerno-naples, 161 km [flat] "bartali was dropped. on the pratola hill, 50 km out of slaerno, fausto coppi pedals with all his might." he is in a group of 12 riders, no teammates, hammering. no one dares to pull through, lest they offend bartali! bartali gets dropped on a rise of 585 meters. he loses a minute and a half. he flats. this could be the end of the line for the great one. but he changes his own wheel in ten seconds, and charges on, working entirely by himself--no ekimov, no mccartney to do the work, chasing coppi, who is also doing solo work, pulling, among others, the maglia rosa. the result? on the line, bartali not only catches on, he finishes 7th to coppis' 4th. neither gets a bonus, and the gap between the two remains 1:00.
an endorsement by the reverend: yesterday's cold wind and snow finally allowed me to try out my new specialized thermal deflect tights that i bought at rasmussen's. they are to replace my old battle wear from the days of the ordinary bike shop in iowa city, circa 1990s. have i really found a pair of tights that can keep me warm for 15 winters? YUP, sure did! gotta love those "strategically placed wind proof panels." they REALLY did the trick. i rode in them well past very cold yesterday, and they moved well, flexed where they were supposed to, and kept all the essentials toasty, including the knees! sweet!!! thanks, sterling. let's see, now, if they last until 2015.
it's moving day in ankeny, as team all9liberals pitches in for our own little habitat for humanity project. we are helping the rooby-dos move to cyclocross farms, lured by the promise of pork and beer. i put out the pitch for a group ride north, but the lack of responses makes me think THAT ain't gonna happen!
FLASH! final results from the tour of the southland: 13 Thurlow Rogers (Aus) Hilo Decorating 8.33; 14 Stephen Tilford (Aus) Hilo Decorating 9.12. combined age: approx 130.