TV camera in my face at Sestriere I related the misadventures of the morning ! Not often I am seen wheeling a one wheeled race bike so that would have attracted comment even if my main purpose of helping “Sporti Disabili” was overlooked ! Poor Italian vocabulary skills seem to have worked however . At the tourist office I found that my arrangements made before the start of the Giro had been ineffective ! Quelle surprise (they speak French in this part of Italy!) !
Went down to the Ski Sports store on the corner where there was no Race bike but I was welcome to use the computer , thanks folks ! After setting up the blog posts I headed up to the Amazing Hotel of Sestriere to meet with Gian Franco . He and his people have built a Hotel that is Especially for “Disabled Clients”! All that the Disabled need whilst travelling or on holiday can be found there and more ! But only mountain bikes ! After a coffee break I decided that the day was slipping away so headed over to the Camper parking area . Here after garbled Italian I found someone who lent me a wheel .
This was not what I was looking for though ! This was a Mavic Kyrisium with carbon spokes , not the sort of wheel you could afford to lose OR break . Vincenzo obviously is one of a kind that he could lend such an expensive piece of kit ! Took off before he could change his mind and put in a few climbs and descents in the area whilst filling the afternoon with rendezvous’ with people that I have met before both at the Giro and TDF . Belgium friends Luc & Annie were entertaining Carlos Sastre’s parents and as I left I gave him a hug and her a kiss as I reported to Carlos when we met Sunday afternoon at the ITT !
Returned the wheel in good condition a bit before 1800hrs and started the slog down the road looking for the lift back to Ricardo’s car . First asked was a station wagon (5 door car) who kindly dropped me alongside Ricardo who had come down from the Finestre minutes before . Luckily for us the traffic was light so we made good time back to Torino to be reunited with MY wheel .
Several hours after the wheel was misplaced at the side of the apartment house the local butcher found the neighbour that Ricardo had phoned to look around for the wheel . Ricardo was so amazed at our good fortune that he said he would report the story to the newspaper “La Stampa” ! Not only are the locals honest but the Drivers that I hitched with were helpful and I hope they are reading this since they deserve credit for going out of their way to assist . My wheel is unique in that it has “Aiuto (help Disabled ) Disabili” in Italian and several other languages , so this could have helped . No intention of repeating the situation though !
Evening at Ricardo’s allowed me to see the dismal efforts of Manchester United which was followed by a repeat of the day’s action on the Giro ! Spectacular viewing with action both from the motorcycle and chopper . Italian language was difficult for me but the tension and excitement carried through !
SBS employ a cretin by the name of “Tommo” to report to Australia the action at the Tour de France and he recently blogged decrying the efforts of RAI TV ! Fact is the guy has long passed his “sell by date” , what knowledge he has of cycling can be seen from another post of his about what he has seen of Sydney Cyclists whilst sitting in a car at traffic lights !
In 2004 I asked him to give the Paralympics a boost on his program and his reply was “There is no room on my TDF program for Disabled Sport”! Just as well Sara won Gold Cycling on Athens rOlympic Roads isn’t it Tommo ? Paralympians did rather well for Oz cycling in Athens , and tommo reckons they do not deserve a mention ?
Shame on you Tommo , seems you have mates you can rely on in the SBS management but all I hear from the Oz fans of TDF , your viewers is to the contrary, could be the reason you asked Gatesy to pump your ego in a Pau interview .
Sunday was ITT and after collecting on a couple of promises and garnering some Racer numbers I was at the end of another Giro . During the afternoon managed to surprise a few people by realising some of their ambitions to meet the greats of Cycling .
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE GIRO WILL BE REPORTED ON “TOURDAFRANCE.BLOGSPOT ” as time permits and access to computers at the Dauphine Libere allows !