Krushing the Giro: Stage 1

L to R: Nacer Bouhanni, Fran Ventoso with a dopey helmet, Cav and Viviani using his tiny hammer.

Finally, the Giro is here. As I did for the Tour last year, I'll be doing a short post after every stage of the race. Don't expect in-depth analysis about strategy or results. You can get that crap everywhere else. What you'll get is... well, you'll get the 'Krusher's ramblings. High five.

First off, I'm very glad that the Italians opted to open the Giro with a road stage, instead of the boring prologues the French seem to favor. We'll have plenty of time to nap during tomorrow's TTT.

The finish of today's stage saw Mark Cavendish use Elia Viviani as a lead-out in the absence of a real OPQ lead-out train. Not only did Cav win the sprint, but also dropped a huge F-bomb live on TV in the post-stage interview. Can I high five again? Ok, High five to the F-bomb.

I know what you were all wondering: What was Viviani doing after crossing the line? Well, obviously a nail was lose on his handlebar, so he took out a tiny hammer from his jersey pocket and proceeded to hammer it back in. After he was done he "put the hammer down." Unfortunately, by then the stage was over and he'd lost. Puns are fun.

Speaking of Italians, RAI's Alessandra de Stefano was obviously very excited and screaming throughout the day, because by the time I tuned in to see the post stage show on RAI Sport she sounded like an old man who'd been smoking since the Second World War. I almost felt bad for her. Anyone else thinks that she looks like and old Hermione Granger?



The stage had a perfect backdrop. Napoli looks like a gorgeous city. Whatever amount of Euro they had to pay RCS, it's worth it, cuz now I really wanna go there. And as everyone knows, once the SkullKrusher visits your town, tourism booms. Start building more hotels, dudes.

We got to see defending champ Ryder Hesjedal sporting the new, stylish, Pope-blessed, Pink Jersey. Personally (IMHO, as the kids would say), I think it's a bit disrespectful to the maglia to have it worn by a guy who hasn't earned it. Of course Hesjedal earned it last year, but this year, at the beginning of today's stage he was still even with every other rider at the start line. Jersey sponsor Balocco (an Italian cookie company), probably had something to do with the situation and I'm sure Paul Smith wasn't displeased either, but what about Garmin? What about Hesjedal himself? I'm really superstitious (I know a lot of pros are too), and I would hate to wear a jersey I haven't earned. I think it would jinx it and I'd never get to wear it again. I'm weird that way.

Pretty lady in strapless dress to Ryder: "Dude, you are gonna wish you'd never put that Pink Jersey on. You jinxed it."

Finally, I will be watching the Giro on Eurosport this year. Declan Quigley and Sean Kelly... the jury is still out. Actually, the jury hasn't even gotten here. Of course, I'll keep you updated on my feelings about the Irish double-punch.

Randomness:
I mentioned on the podcast that I was going to do a post about all the Colombian riders in the Giro this year, but my brother Klaus beat me to it. Check it out. His is better than mine would have been.

- Sponsor spotlight: italo - Italian high-speed rail service
- Mario Cipollini mention counter: 1
- Helmet talk counter: 2
- Euskaltel guys on the deck counter: 2
- Stage winner wearing cycling cap / baseball hat counter: 0 / 1