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Better of ED: The Giro’s Saddest Day

“I’m by no means happier than after I’m writing.”
~ Ed Hood, as spoken to Martin Williamson from the passenger seat, driving alongside a stage route on the Tour de France.

Pricey Readers – Our beloved colleague and buddy Ed Hood suffered a severe stroke in February.  We don’t count on Ed will make it again into our bunch, so we’ve began a GoFundMe web page to assist Ed along with his future.  Learn the total submit right here – and please think about donating.

** Click on this hyperlink to donate to the GoFundMe web page to assist Ed **

We’ll be posting a collection of Ed’s work from the previous 16 years, as a result of nice story-telling by no means will get outdated.

Roadside St.3: Biking is a merciless mistress, she takes you to the very best highs and generally, the bottom of lows. Most days we drive the corsa, see the followers, the great thing about Italy and take in the environment. However we additionally attempt to take you contained in the race, even on this saddest of days on the Giro.

Take right this moment: since yesterday was a day for the sprinters, we thought we’d chat to the fellows which might be concerned – we spoke to Roberto Ferrari’s DS at Androni, Gianni Savio; Movistar’s Fran Ventoso; Borut Bozic’s DS at Vacansoleil, John Paul Van Poppel; The Shack’s Robbie Hunter and HTC’s Alex Rasmussen.

I needed yet one more, and headed over to the Staff Leopard bus to attempt to discuss to Wouter Weylandt – however the time ran away with us and we needed to depart as roll out time drew close to.

‘I’ll get a chat with him, possibly tomorrow,’ I believed to myself.

Wouter with PEZ’s Martin Williamson on the 2010 Vuelta.

Martin and I spoke to him final 12 months on the Vuelta, he was cocky, humorous and really straightforward to speak to; I had him marked down as a person for good quotes sooner or later.

We left the Leopard bus and headed for the beginning – it had been a superb morning for us, thus far . . . .

The tifosi sticks the cell phone up towards Marco Pinotti’s ear; ‘ciao Claudio!’ he instructs; ‘ciao Claudio!’ Marco dutifully repeats into the telephone – everybody’s joyful.

The Giro is cool, human and enjoyable; nonetheless, outdated Cav isn’t in the very best of moods – but when you understand how to learn Cavendish which means he’ll be onerous to beat, right this moment – he’s ignoring the requests to show in direction of the tifosi for footage.

However it’s tough to get the higher of the Italian followers; ‘Ale ! Ale !’ they chant throughout to Cav.

He scowls and fiddles along with his pink crash hat.

The beginning of stage three from Reggio Emilia to Rapallo, extra sunshine, fairly women and good espresso.

The sweetness within the gold sequins glides out with the Giro trophy and the temper is full.

It’s time for us to fly, however not earlier than we get a fast chat with greatest below 25 rider and wearer of the white jersey, The Shack’s Bjorn Selander.

We met his dad – who’s Norwegian – yesterday on the best way to Parma, however Bjorn has US citizenship.

‘The TTT was extra technical than it regarded, there have been tram strains and pot holes.
We had been shocked with our time at half manner, we didn’t understand we had been going so effectively – we had been very clean. The stage yesterday was very onerous on the finish, you’re cruising then abruptly (he makes the movement of opening a motor bike throttle) however the climb wasn’t so unhealthy. I wasn’t designated to assist Robbie within the dash so simply saved out of hassle – and for those who’re not on the entrance with 15 Okay to go it’s not possible to maneuver up, anyway.’

The early kilometres are city and there’s little to {photograph} or discuss, however after an hour we’re within the inexperienced stuff; followers are skinny on the bottom nevertheless it’s one good a part of the world.

Then the climbing begins, gradual, winding via the timber and the occasional outdated village. It’s not a killer climb nevertheless it’s no cake stroll both with the final Okay to the GPM fairly powerful; the saving grace is a pleasant floor.

The highest is a little bit of an anti-climax however the respectable is loopy; steep, technical and really harmful.

Jim stated that it was unhealthy sufficient with 4 massive fats tyres in a Peugeot scorching hatch, by no means thoughts two skinny 23mm tubulars.

Abruptly it’s ‘online game’ time because the lead motos catch us and point out that we’d greatest get shifting. Jimmy drives an important respectable and by the underside we’re nearly away from them – however we marvel on the velocity these professionals descend.

We ease off a little bit – however Jeez ! there’s the automotive behind us and Jim has as well it once more.

We’ve determined to gap up on the cat 4 at eight Okay to go; Robbie Hunter reckons that there can be a break – and we wish to see it.

However simply as we’re about to hit it, the mobile phone rings, it’s Viktor; ‘Wouter Weylandt has had a foul crash, I believe he might be lifeless.’

I inform Jim, we go silent – certainly not, he’s an enormous robust boy.

The cat 4 comes after a quick, flat part and rears up steep and hard instantly.

We drive via the prime line, park up and stroll again to the road; the views are gorgeous.

There isn’t an enormous crowd so it’s no drawback to discover a spot.

Al emails that they’ve been massaging Wouter’s coronary heart for 20 minutes – we go quiet.

Right here’s the race – a Garmin and a Movistar are simply clear, then a Katusha and an Androni.

The bunch isn’t far behind; I believe the 4 will get caught – Jimmy reckons they’ll keep clear on the technical coast street.

Matt sends an SMS to ask if we find out about Wouter.

Tyler Farrar is dropped, Cam Meyer is making an attempt to get him again nevertheless it doesn’t look good.

Cav is manner again, and so is Bjorn – that’s no less than two jerseys altering arms.

Al emails once more, the helicopter has flown Wouter out and the scenario is grave.

Robbie McEwen paddles previous adopted by the ‘cyclists touring membership’ as Jim describes a Rabobank lead gruppo.

A Katusha bottle lands at my ft, the outdated lady subsequent to me appears at it longingly and I go it to her – I’d most likely bin it on the airport.

A Rabobank and a BMC are stone final – we head for the end.

Rapallo is gorgeous, the solar shines, the yachts bob and the pavement cafes bustle.

The race is completed, the barrier crews are at work.

We stroll the end straight; it’s all unusually quiet – Paolo Savoldelli sits shocked on the open air TV studio, the blonde lady on the mic is near tears.

Wouter is lifeless; we stumble again to the automotive in a daze and all I can suppose is that I want I’d waited a minute or two longer this morning outdoors that Leopard bus.

All of us at PEZ ship our condolescences to Wouter’s household and associates. And though we didn’t know him personally, we really feel his loss.
– Richard Pestes, Writer –

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