Friday, 9 May 2014

The Giro d'Italia comes to Northern Ireland


Introducing the teams
Well!   I cannot let this weekend go by without mentioning the Giro ....

Firstly, let me qualify my experience in this sport by saying that I know a bike has two wheels! And I can go about 2 miles on one!  And there's where it ends lol  That plus the fact that I'm  usually giving out when herds of cyclists clutter up the roads on a Sunday morning - they're worse than tractors.    But all is forgiven today :)

I have been glued to the television this evening as one of the 3 biggest cycling tours in the world started off in Northern Ireland and will be here until Sunday morning when it heads down to Dublin for the close of Stage 3.

And I feel so proud to be from here.  

So wherever you are in the world if you want to get a wee look around this place we'll be on tele for the next couple of days .... This footage will be shown in 176 countries!!   And I have to say that the BBC coverage has been spectacular; Belfast looks gorgeous in pink , not an election poster in sight, nor a politically motivated flag,  and for today at least the weather held up well.  The only sad note was one of the 4 Irish riders had an accident and is out of the race.

But tomorrow, they head up the Antrim Coast and a nicer bit of scenery is not to be seen anywhere.

More details here courtesy of the Visit Belfast Blog



So, I've learned that:
  • There are 22 teams, each with 9 riders.
  • Each member of the team has a speciality - sprinting, endurance or mountain climbing.
  • Each team has a leader that is protected by the rest of the group.  
  • The bikes are state of the art, high tech machines and the riders are super tuned athletes - one guy knew that his saddle was 1mm higher than it had been before!! 
  • The winner of the stage wears the pink jersey - today's winner came from Canada.
  • The winning sprinter gets the red jersey
  • And the winning mountain climber gets the blue jersey. 
  • An Irish guy, Stephen Roche, is one of only 2 riders in the history of the sport who won the Tour de France, the Giro and the World Cup in the same year - 27 years ago and his son is riding in this Giro and is one of the favourites to win.

I've been talking about getting the bike out for weeks now - our road is very dangerous here - no kerbs and it's very narrow and the young drivers treat it like a race track - but maybe I'll check it out over the weekend and see at least if the tyres need replacing...   That'd be a start lol    

How's your fitness?   Do you cycle?  or are you even fitter than that?


16 comments:

  1. Canada here of course. Glad to hear one of our riders won today. I have heard nothing about it on our TV here I'm afraid. Will have to look for it now.

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    1. Haha! I thought you'd like that one Jo :)

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  2. Sorry to hear about the injury, best of luck to the others. Hope the weather holds. I'm not familiar with this race, but it sounds awesome. You've a right to feel pride.

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    1. It was a fantastic spectacle Sandy. Hopefully it'll bring lots more tourists our way.

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  3. All sounds very exciting and I love the design of the Giro badge - makes me feel like going out to a pavement cafe and having a very strong espresso. I'll look out for this now on the TV - I'm looking forward to the Tour de France this year because they are going to start off in Yorkshire, England!! Have already got all my French planning for the little ones linked to it so we will have a real connection with France. I too am contemplating getting my old bike out and doing a bit more cycling - my general fitness level could certainly do with some improvement.

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    1. Fantastic …. I have to confess I'd only heard of the Tour de France before this … but it was great getting it all explained yesterday. And they were playing some gorgeous Italian music which I'm going to have to find out more about.

      They'll have a challenging ride around those hills in Yorkshire - it's one of my favourite parts of the world. I lived there for a while:)

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  4. Fil, I do have a bike..and yeah, I need to get it dusted off, have the tires pumped, and maybe just maybe get on it! Enjoy!

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    1. sounds like we're around the same standard Corinne lol -

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  5. I too love a good race and one that shows off the beauty of my country would be ever better. I used to bike when I was younger, not any longer, but I know I still could.

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  6. Thanks for following, I have done a follow back. It is rare for me to do this but it is very late and I have just watched the Eurovision Song Contest, a strange and bizarre thing, but full of interesting little bits and pieces. So my head is far from normal which means I will sneak back tomorrow to have a read.

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    1. Strange and bizarre are two very good words for it :)

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  7. Just wanted to say thanks for trying to help with my technical difficulties - going to try this and see if it works - fingers crossed - Pempis Palace

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  8. Hi Fil .. sad about Stephen Roche crashing out .. the weather was treacherous for those guys ...

    We've got the Tour de France starting here sometime soon I think ... and it's coming down to this neck of the woods - whether I'll brave the seafront to watch with the hordes is questionable!

    I did see the early race years ago - The Milk Race as it was known ... and they came careering down a VERY steep hill in Cornwall ... to reach a hump back bridge at the bottom ...and with people 'floating' around - how they hold their nerve and don't crash I fail to understand ... that hump back bridge was the interesting bit!

    Cheers and they are so fit those guys ... Hilary

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    1. Gosh that would have been exciting to see Hilary … but I'm afraid I just watched from the dry and safety of the TV screen … woose that i am…:)

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