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David L. Stanley
2022 Giro d'Italia - Rest Day Two

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David Stanley is an experienced cycling writer. His work has appeared in Velo, Velo-news.com, Road, Peloton, and the late, lamented Bicycle Guide (my favorite all-time cycling magazine). Here's his Facebook page. He is also a highly regarded voice artist with many audiobooks to his credit, including McGann Publishing's The Story of the Tour de France and Cycling Heroes.

David L Stanley

David L Stanley


David L. Stanley's masterful telling of his bout with skin cancer Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle is available in print, Kindle eBook and audiobook versions, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

David L. Stanley writes:

Is it odd that today, Day Ten of the Giro, is already rest day number two? Not odd, given that this year’s Giro started in Hungary. It’s 1,200 km from Budapest to Rome: two of the most beautiful, historic, and ancient cities in Europe. It’s also about the same distance as from Washington, D.C. to Disney World in Orlando, but since they’ve also staged the Grande Partenza in Jerusalem, Belfast, and Herning, of late … hey, ho, let’s go!

My Ten Favorite (or Noteworthy) Things About Giro22 to Date:

10) Hungary. It was a great visit. The crowds were massive and the cycling-themed murals and artwork along the route were very cool. Yes, there is the issue of sport-washing to parse, but in 2022, I’m not sure if any community, anywhere on the globe, which stages a large scale sporting event can tenably be claimed to be free of human rights violations.

Giro stage one is about to start in Budapest. Sirotti photo

A big shout-out to Jacopo Guarnieri (Groupama - FDJ) who wore a wrist band on the presentation stage in solidarity with the oppressed LGBTQ+ community in Hungary who suffer at hands of the current Hungarian government. One voice can cause a big echo. Mille complimenti, Jacopo!

9) Moto crashes cause bike racer crashes. Stage 6, and a moto tries to make a hole in the peloton where there isn’t one. I’ve said this for several years, both here and on my podcast, The Feed-Zone available on The Cycling Legends page. It is time to pay a dedicated and professionally trained squad of moto and follow car drivers as professionals. Develop a curriculum, train all the drivers, pay the drivers a fair wage, and give the riders the chance to stay upright without any worry from race officials and their transport. The motos and cars are critical to the race. Treat them that way.

8) TT strategy. Rick Zabel and his Israel-Premier Tech coaches hatched a brilliant plan.
Zabel, for the opening kilometers, rode barely fast enough to stay upright on his bike. That left him daisy-fresh for a sprint up the final climb which earned the workhorse points enough to take the climber’s jersey, the maglia azzura, for the next stage.

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7) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli. You have to love the boys from Drone Hopper. They are relentless. Every stage for them is Opening Night at La Scala and they’re all singing The Barber of Seville’s Largo Al Factotum. They have the busiest kit in pro cycling, and the legs to match. No attack on the flats and hills shall pass without a DH-AG rider in the move. Is it the best tactic? I don’t care; I love to see them on the move.

6) Mathieu van der Poel. When Mark Cavendish won his first stage in the Giro, MvdP was 13 years old. No surprise, MvdP’s win was a power sprint, up the hill, and he just nipped Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay (Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert). With that win, MvdP claimed both the maglia rosa and family bragging rights. You see, dad Adri, and grandfather Raymond Poulidor never won Giri stages.

Mathieu van der Poel wins the first stage. Sirotti photo

5) Lennard Kamna. The Bora-Hansgrohe racer rode a statement race. He raced a classic strategy. 1) Get in the break. 2) Stay cool and don’t burn your matches. 3) Attack the survivors and bridge to a solo leader. 4) Win the sprint over the guy who will earn the maglia rosa. We’ve seen this movie many times. Still, it was nice to see Kamna stage a comeback from his crisi del cuore. You can read about it on here, Kamna’s Particular Period,.

4) Return of the Cav. With his victory in stage 3, Mark Cavendish, 37 years old on 21 May, showed that he still has the speed to jump, get a gap, and maintain the power from 250 meters. He also was the beneficiary of the sport’s finest lead-out man, 37-year-old track-ace-turned-roadie Michael Morkov. With Morkov halting his Giro with an illness, it will be interesting to see how well Cav can freelance the remaining sprint stages. He reads a race finish as well as anyone ever; he’ll be in the mix for the rest of the Giro. For a great conversation with Morkov, check out my buddy Patrick Bulger’s interview on Pat’s podcast, The Pack-Filler.
One noteworthy issue, Cav is having fun on the bike. Watch him before the stage, and after. He is all smiles, working the crowd a bit, chatting up other riders. It’s good to see him with a smile on his face.


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3) The Stage Seven Lovefest. It has been a long, few years for Tom Dumoulin (Team Jumbo-Visma). He’s been a Giro winner. He’s been off the bike as he contemplated his life and mental health. On stage seven, after a poor showing on Mt. Etna took him out of the GC, Tom rallied to lead his teammate Koen Bouwman to a victory. You can watch the whole lovely scene here. Watch the full clip. Tom is joyful, Koen is ecstatic. It’ll make your day.

2) Thomas de Gendt. If you are not following the TdG on twitter (@deGendtThomas), you’re missing out on a great follow. Here’s TdG on the first day of the Giro:
I’ll start my 418th grand tour stage today. That’s 1 year and almost 2 months of non-stop grand tour racing. This cycling thing is getting out of hand.  

Ten years ago, Thomas took a Giro stage on the Stelvio. This was different. On a lumpy course in Naples around Monte Procida, de Gendt did decent things. He got in the break. He chased down attacks. He hung tough. And he won the sprint at the conclusion of a very tough day on the bike.

Thomas de Gendt wins stage eight. Sirotti photo

1) Blockhaus. This was a perfect stage. It encapsulated everything I love about stage racing. Blockhaus had a lengthy run-up to the climbs; plenty of time for folks like Joe Dombrowski (Astana) to give us hope that with a lengthy attack, he might just hang in there with the race leaders. It had two superlative climbs late in the parcours. Blockhaus had a pre-race favorite, Simon Yates (Bike Exchange-Jayco) slide out the back with an injured knee from a Stage 4 crash.

Blockhaus showed us the power that Ineos-Grenadiers possess: Jhonatan Narváez pulled back the remaining riders of the breakaway, before newbie Ben Tulett set the pace on the lower slopes. At stage end, Pavel Sivakov and Richie Porte did the work to put Richard Carapaz in an excellent situation. Blockhaus showed us that João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) possesses fine tactical savvy as he let the more powerful teams duel it out in front of him. Blockhaus had Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), second in the 2020 Giro, showing us he’s back for real. If you need to convince a friend that stage racing is thrilling, show them the la­­­­­st 30 km of Blockhaus. If that doesn’t convince them, find new friends. HMU on Twitter, @DStan58.

Jai Hindley (on right) just wins stage nine at Blockhaus. RCS Sport photo

Giro2022 has been an excellent 9 days of racing. This coming week, there is something for everyone: some hills, some sprint stages that are just hilly enough that a long, early move might succeed, and before the next rest day, the 15th stage, 22 May, takes place in the Valle d’Aosta. 177 km from Rivarolo Canavese to Cogne, three serious climbs, and the last is 22.4 kilometers. There is nowhere to hide over 22 km.


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David Stanley, like nearly all of us, has spent his life working and playing outdoors. He got a case of Melanoma as a result. Here's his telling of his beating that disease. And when you go out, please put on sunscreen.

 

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