文章: Harry Dowdney | 日付:
There was a touch of fire and brimstone about the race for pink this week, with Team Sky’s Richie Porte choosing martyrdom over another seven days of self-flagellation. Meanwhile, Italy’s latest prodigal son Fabio Aru is also having a tough time of it, finding stepping into the hallowed shoes of Marco Pantani a tricky reckoning as Alberto Contador continues his relentless pilgrimage to the promised land (Milan). He’s looking stronger than ever. We’ve been enjoying the racing at Italy’s Grand Tour as always; we just hope that none of cycling’s sons have sinned in their pursuit of glory.
Valetti and Bartali under a blizzard on the Rolle, 1939. Coppi’s ambush of Koblet on the Stelvio in ’53. Then Massignan and Gaul, Coletto, Nencini and Anquetil on the Gavia in 1960, arguably the greatest of them all. Arguably the murkiest was Gimondi, seven years later. When he went on the Passo Tonale the rest – the “holy alliance” of Motta and Balmamion, Anquetil and Aimar – simply sat up. The fiftieth anniversary Giro had its Italian winner after all, as Salvarani won what amounted to a sealed bids auction. Merckx in extremis on Tre Cime, De Muynck smashed to pieces on the Zambla.
The Doppio is Rapha’s weekly double-shot of Giro reportage and previews. In an opening week that had journalists and fans of the sport going pink in the face with excitement, one Italian reporter suggested we’d seen more action in one week of the Giro than a month of Silvio Berlusconi ‘bunga-bunga’ parties. And much like old Silvio’s career, week two has given us ups, downs, political scandal and plenty of leg action. Solo wins from homeboy Paolo Tiralongo, old-dog Phil Gilbert and young-nuke Illnur Zakarin kept us entertained, but the gossip has come from a touching case of sportsmanship gone wrong, i.e. that wheel change. Forza, Italia!
Doppio is Italian for a ‘double espresso’ but – also – the name for Rapha’s weekly shot of race reportage and previews. And what better week to kick off the return of the Doppio than with the Giro, a race that never disappoints. We’ve already witnessed some magnifica corsa, from Alberto ‘Pistolero’ Contador taking the maglia rosa and riding on despite a dislocated shoulder, to two unknown young guns escaping up the road with beautiful stage wins; so far, so great. We can’t wait to see what else the first [and for our money the best] Grand Tour of the season will bring.