Normally I’d be very excited about today’s stage of the Giro. Stage 5 from Piombino to Orvieto is a moderate 191km long but includes the sterrato or unpaved sections. The race leaves the Mediterranean, heading inland to use the strade bianche, white roads, of Tuscany as well as some climbs. But it’s impossible to forget Wouter Weylandt, any battles on dusty roads today just won’t have the same urgency or importance as they might normally get.
With Wouter Weylandt in mind, note the Leopard-Trek team have left the race. Yesterday’s stage must have been impossibly hard to ride for them. They’ll be back. The same for Tyler Farrar, he was very close to Weylandt and has returned home. If you’ve ever watched a Sporza internet stream and discovered Farrar speaking excellent Flemish in a post-race interview then a lot of this is because of time spent hanging out with Weylandt and others in the Ghent area.
The Leopard team have set up a way to donate money to Weylandt’s family. You’ll find full details for donations here and they’re working on adding a PayPal facility soon.
Back to the race
Anyway, with the heart and spirit somewhat subdued, here’s the profile of the end of the stage:
The image above is from the Gazzetta dello Sport’s Giro website. It’s full of information about each stage with timings, profiles and other information.
But during the race riders, managers and the media carry the “road book” with them. This is a programme for the a race, a bound book of every stage complete with extra information, such the route to drive from the start to the finish of the stage for journalists as well as a map showing where the press room is. There are more precisions on the stage finish, right down to the road surfaces.
Normally it’s not public property but you can download it here: http://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/Giroditalia/2011/it/GARIBALDI2011_new.pdf
Finally a tech tip. You might already be watching the race live via an internet stream. The Giro offers its own stream for free, a great way to watch the race and for the event to promote itself around the world. Race organisers can tell potential sponsors of a giant audience. The only downside to the stream is that the image quality isn’t great, it’s often a bit small. You don’t miss the action but you get the detail plus sitting in front of a computer might not be as comfortable as sitting in front of your TV.
So if you can, try using an HDMI cable to hook up your computer to your TV. Maybe you’ve done this already but I’ve been surprised by the boost to the image quality. It’s not amazingly better… but noticeable. It might just be my hardware so don’t rush out to buy new things. But if your computer and TV have HDMI sockets and you’ve got a cable nearby, give it a try.