I have been watching the highlights of both the Giro d Italia and the Tour of California over the last few days. The last 2 days of the Giro and Saturday’s stage of the Tour of California both involved some rather 'lumpy' territory.
Watching the Radio Shack duo Levi Leipmheimer and Chris Horner as they went up Mount Baldy was a sight to see. How the hell Horner can keep smiling whilst he does this is beyond me. Plus this dude being 39 years old! Well done that apprentice pensioner. Respect. The mountain name is quite apt as well considering the tonsurial elegance of our two heroes.
The climb of Baldy looks to have the potential to become the ‘Mythical Stage’ for the ToC that all tours need- Ventoux/ ď Heuz in the Tour de France, Zoncolan/ Mortirolo in the Giro. The fans were all over the place on this climb, right in the face of the riders- like they are in the other classic climbs. Just the sort of spectacle to improve the feel of the ToC.
As for the Giro, Watching the suffering going on on Monte Zoncolan was awesome. Some of the sections looked like they were almost vertical. The climbs in the Giro are not as long as they are in the TdF but they are certainly steeper. To add insult to injury in the Giro, some of the climbs they use finish on unmade tracks. The riders can’t stand up in the pedals and honk up the hills as the wheels spin out!
I love it.