Eight Different Stories

Column
29 May 2016

Tom Dumoulin from the Netherlands of Team Giant Alpecin celebrates winning the first stage of the Giro d'Italia 2016 at Apeldoorn, Netherlands, 06 May 2016, an individual time trial over 9.8km through Apeldoorn. ANSA/LUCA ZENNARO

10-05-2016 Giro D'italia; Tappa 04 Catanzaro - Praia A Mare; 2016, Etixx - Quick Step; Kittel, Marcel; Catanzaro;

Giro pink Brambilla

Giro pink Jungels

Giro pink Amador

Giro d'Italia 2016. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO

Giro d'Italia 2016

Three weeks of cycling. Three weeks of hard work, suffering, joy and pain. Three weeks fighting for pink. Eight different riders wearing the maglia rosa. Eight smiling boys on the podium. Eight different stories.  Only one of them takes the jersey home. It all started in the Netherlands. Tom Dumoulin (TGA), the local boy, made the Dutch people proud by winning the first stage and thus claiming the pink jersey. In the third stage he lost the jersey to his old teammate Marcel Kittel (EQS). Nevertheless, in the fourth stage in Italy he got the jersey back. In stage eight Gianluca Brambilla (EQS) took over the pink jersey, but after two days his teammate Bob Jungels (EQS) showed that he was stronger in the mountains. The young rider from Luxembourg wore the jersey for three days. Then Andrey Amador (MOV) was lucky enough to feel how it is to wear the leaders jersey. Just for one day. The next day he could not follow the best climbers of the peloton, Esteban Chaves and Steven Kruijswijk. Kruijswijk (TLJ) took over the pink jersey. This was in stage fourteen. He gained more time in the next stages and it seemed like nothing could go wrong anymore. Until Friday. A nasty crash made an end to the dream of becoming the first Dutch winner of the Giro d’Italia. Esteban Chaves (OGE) took over the pink jersey and apologized to Kruijswijk with a ‘sorry, mate’. In the last mountain stage Chaves fought to keep  the pink jersey and bring it home to Colombia, but Vincenzo Nibali was very strong during the last couple of days. Chaves could not keep his wheel and had to let him go. And with that he also let go of the pink jersey. Vincenzo Nibali (AST) is the one that takes the pink jersey home with him.

Giro d'Italia 2016

 Copyright photos: steephill.tv / Sirotti /RCS

Spaghetti

It is the 16th stage in the Giro d’Italia of 1966. The riders left Brescia for a ride of 143 kilometres to Bezzecca. This is almost exactly 50 years ago, on the 3rd of June. Only a few minutes after the start, Jacques Anquetil puts on his chef’s hat and presents a plate of spaghetti to some other riders in the peloton. The question is, of course, if he made this himself? Or did he grab this plate from the hotel? Vittorio Adorni, the winner of the Giro in 1965, does not care about this at all. Immediately he takes over the plate and tries some of the spaghetti. He knows that it is of great importance to eat enough food during a stage and this is a great opportunity to gain some energy for the rest of the stage. Gianni Motta, on the left, also wants a bit of the spaghetti. Felice Gimondi is also fond of Italian food and wants to try it too. The funny thing about this photo is that a Frenchman is serving Italian spaghetti  to three Italian riders. They even enjoyed it. Motta won two stages in the next days and secured his first and only win of the Giro d’Italia. With special thanks to the spaghetti from cook Jacques.

1966giro_mottaadornianquetilgimondi
© Olycom SPA/Rex Shutterstock

Wonderful


The Giro d’Italia. It is almost over. After the incredible start in the Netherlands, the magnicifent sprint stages and the amazing stages in the mountains, there are only a few days left. If you are still in denial that the Giro d’Italia is not one of the best races in the world, then change your mind right now. You have not change your mind? Then I will present you ten photos that were taken in this year’s Giro to show you why the Giro d’Italia is such a good  and wonderful race.

Giro Tom GiroGelderland
© Giro Gelderland

1. The start in the Netherlands. What a start was that! The weather was nice, the people were kind, the riders were happy. Lots and lots of people aside the roads. Beat that, Tour de France! And Holland got what it wanted: Tom Dumoulin won the first stage in Apeldoorn and got to wear the pink jersey. As you can see for yourself, he and his team Giant-Alpecin were happy with it too.

Giro bus OGE Brian Nygaard
© Orica GreenEDGE

2. Bus drama. Oh no, Orica – GreenEDGE again! They probably thought that it was also allowed in the Giro d’Italia. Stuck under the finish line in the Tour de France, stuck under the finish line in the Giro d’Italia. In Australia they would say: ‘it happens, mate.’

Giro Zoidl Trek Segafredo
© Trek – Segafredo

3. New bus drivers. Riccardo Zoidl already has a job when he decides to quit cycling. He will become the new bus driver. Well, my point is that there is plenty of time to joke around in the Giro d’Italia.

Giro Rojas
© José Joaquin Rojas

4. Bed scenes. Sleep tight! Or otherwise together? The boys from Team Movistar thought that it was a good idea to sleep in one bed. It seems that it is the bed of Andrey Amador and it looks like the other boys crashed into his bed. Bed scenes also let us discover what the riders are wearing when they are sleeping. Purple pants? Lovely.

Giro BBQ Lotto Soudal
© Team Lotto – Soudal

5.  Rest days. Lots and lots of photos on the rest days of this Giro. And this year we have three of them. Photos of riders on their bike, photos of riders on the massage table (why?) and photos with kids and dogs. Team Lotto-Soudal thought on the third rest day that it was time for a barbeque. And why not. If the meat is there and the mood is good, bring out the food!

Giro Lupo Wolfie Team Sky
© Team Sky

6. Lupo Wolfie. A mascotte in a Grand Tour? That is new. But Lupo Wolfie has managed to get into the hearts of the fans of the Giro d’Italia. And the riders like him too. In fact, who does not love Lupo Wolfie?

Giro Sacha Modolo
© Valentina Saccon

7. Weird faces. Sacha Modolo. Do I need to say more? This can only happen in the Giro d’Italia. Riders are relaxed and almost always in a good or goofy mood.

Giro Sam Bewley
© Sam Bewley

8. Every number counts. The Italian people cheer for every rider in the peloton. They don’t care if you are in second place or in the 138th position. So Sam, don’t be jealous. The press will come to you… in a minute. Or ten.

Giro Simon Clarke
© Simon Clarke

9. The view. Old Italian village. Mountains. Blue sky. Do I need to repeat myself?

Giro Bob TDW sport
© Tim de Waele

10. The podium. It is classic. The riders have to walk through a wall that opens up and then they have to stand on a little podium. It is all glitter and glamour, there is champagne, there are red lip marks on the cheeks of the riders. It is fun to watch, so dear Giro, do not change this protocol.

Ten good reasons why the Giro d’Italia is a great race.

Ride On! at the Giro d’Italia 2016

Luxembourg’s New Hope

Column
17 May 2016

Bob Jungels. He was born on the 22th of September, 1992. He grew up in Rollingen, a city in the middle of Luxembourg. At a young age, Bobby already dreamed of becoming a professional cyclist. He found out that he could ride hard and fast, so he became a specialist in time trials at a young age. He was still a junior in 2009 and won the time trial at the World Championships. Some already pointed out back then that he was very talented and people in Luxembourg called him the ‘new Andy Schleck’. In 2012, he moved from the amateur team UC Dippach to the Leopard Trek Continental Team. In that year he won Paris-Roubaix under 23 and the overall classification in the Flèche du Sud. After this year he signed for RadioShack – Leopard, which became Trek Factory Racing in 2014. In the three years he spent at this team, he learned how to race in WorldTour races, between the best professional riders of the world. In 2015, he showed to the cycling world that he was capable of climbing in the high mountains. He became 27th overall in the Tour de France and ended up in the top 15 in the stage to the Alpe d’Huez. This was not unnoticed by other teams. The Etixx – Quick Step team saw his potential and the manager Lefevre signed him for 2016. His goals for his first year there were clear. The Spring Classics and the Giro d’Italia. The Spring Classics were a bit disappointing for him, so he was eager to ride a good Giro. After he made it through the first week without too much damage, he knew that the pink jersey was in his reach. Today he succeeded. He is the second rider from Luxembourg who gets to wear the pink jersey. It is 57 years ago that the legendary rider Charly Gaul wore the pink jersey. It is not only a confirmation to himself, but also a mark in the cycling history of Luxembourg. He stated in the interview after the stage that it was one of the best days in his life. Without a doubt, there will come many more days like this for him. Bob Jungels. He is on his way to become Luxembourg’s new hope.

CirpmcsXEAADcpL
© Bob Jungels / @BobJungels

Photos Ronde van Overijssel 2016

Ronde van Overijssel 2016 / 14 May / Rijssen

The day of the 64th edition of the Ronde van Overijssel started with the traditional team presentation. This year it was a very special, emotional presentation, because of the recent and sudden death of Cyclingteam Jo Piels rider Gijs Verdick. He was only 21 years old and to honour him, his teammates and former teammates form Sensa – Kanjers voor Kanjers CT wore a mourning-band with his name on it. Gijs’ parents and sisters were present at the start and there was an impressive minute of silence before the riders started their race at 12 o’clock and had to ride 200 kilometres through Overijssel. At the end, the riders crossed the finish two times before their final lap through Rijssen.

Quite a few riders tried to stay away during the race, but Gert-Jan Bosman (CJP), Wouter Mol (RIJ), Taco van der Hoorn (RIJ), Maarten van Trijp (MET) and Cees Bol (RDT) were able to reach the local circuit in Rijssen. However, they could not make it until the end. It was the Lithuanian sprinter Aidis Kruopis, who has been a rider for Orice-GreenEDGE at the WorldTour level for three years and now rides for the Verandas Willems Cycling Team, who won the sprint.

In Bornerbroek, this year’s town of the Ronde, Jelle Wolsink (CJP) won the sprint and at the end of the race, the jury also decided that he was the most combative rider of the day. It was very special for Cyclingteam Jo Piels that one of its riders ended up on the podium, because they were riding for Gijs Verdick and with Gijs on their minds the whole day. To win a prize is a beautiful tribute.

Joeri Stallaert (CIB) became second and Timothy Stevens (CRV) was the third rider who crossed the finish line in Rijssen. Both riders come from Belgium and with the Lithuanian rider Aidis Kruopis (WIL) as winner, the podium in Holland was completely foreign. This actually was a historical moment, because in the past there was at least always one Dutch rider who ended up on the podium of the race through the east of the Dutch country.

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