Go on, give your mum a kiss and off you go, to the final stage, a time trial… because this Giro-E 2022 aims to ensure you get the full experience!
Sir Dave Brailsford is the general manager of the Ineos Grenadiers, who’ve won everything with Team Sky thanks to ‘good riders’ like Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome (and Egan Bernal, come on). He’ll go down in history, not just because of his team’s success but for applying marginal gains theory to cycling: improve by 1% overall and you’ll see a huge difference. It makes sense… especially in time trials. Although that won’t really concern the Giro-E riders, for whom a time trial is ‘just’ another day of partying on the pedals.
The Verona stage (Verona hills time trial, Tissot ITT)
Only 17 tiny kilometres, but a fascinating route that faithfully mirrors the pro Giro TT. It zips through the city yet also reaches into the hills, taking in a category 4 climb, the Torricella Massimiliana: nothing to worry about, of course (a 5% average gradient spread over four and a half kilometres) but it adds a little spice to the day and justifies the 3-star difficulty rating for this last lap of the Giro-E 2022. The route retraces the one used in the Verona-held 2004 World Championship (the Circuito delle Torricelle), which was won by Oscar ‘The Cat’ Freire (who’s riding the Giro-E with the Valsir team in these final stages). However, this year the loop goes anti-clockwise. To top things off, the stage ends in the spectacular setting of the Verona Arena.
Rider of the day – Massimiliano Rosolino
He hasn’t exactly pushed himself to the limit in this Giro-E. A brief appearance in Catania (without even cycling), and now in the saddle for perhaps the easiest and definitely the shortest stage of all: the Verona time trial. Yet his Neapolitan charm is irresistible, so it’s with the great Massimiliano Rosolino, Sydney 2000 Olympic gold swimmer, that we wish to close this roundup of special riders.
“My love for my racing bike is more than real: I keep her cosy inside the house; she often sleeps with me in the bedroom”, says the former Olympic and world champion in the 200 m medley. “That said, this year I’m afraid I’ve been out on the road much less. It’s a shame, I know. I hope that doing this last stage of the Giro-E will help get me back in the saddle, and spur me to do some dawn rides in time trial mode so I can get fit for the triathlons I now compete in. I know, I chose the shortest stage of all… I saw Antonio Rossi, who did a really tough stage. But when the idea for the Giro-E 2022 came about, I already had a packed calendar. So I came to the first stage, for the inauguration, and here I am for the final one. Come on… I’ve been here from start to finish! The hope is to return home motivated. Bear in mind that, in October, I also did the Monte Bondone climb on a Giro-E bike, together with none other than Francesco Moser. It wasn’t easy: 18 kilometres, a 1,500 metre elevation gain if I’m not mistaken… but what an experience! I’m not bothered by the climbs, although I’m no lover of anything over 10%. My 90 kilo frame takes some effort to propel upwards, but giving up isn’t for me. The motor sure helps though. E-bikes allow those with passion to eat up a few extra kilometres. There’s less strain on joints and heart and you can keep up with those who are fitter. Bicycles are a means of transport, locomotion, well-being, and the new electric technology allows us fans of physical exercise to enjoy some easier outings. They’re also great for promoting sport. I’m a big fan of electric vehicles. I don’t have just one electric car…. I’ve got two! Only electric cars for our family. It just has to be the way to go. Once you try electric, you never go back. It’s a bit like driving the Batmobile, you know? It just glides through the air silently… We simply have to think about the planet: it’s not a question of thinking about others, it’s about ourselves. I hope for a more sustainable future, because we’ve been pushing our luck long enough”.
And at this point, ladies and gentlemen, what more is there to say? See you again soon… hopefully on a bike!
Click here to see the final Giro-E 2022 rankings.
In the photo, from left: Paolo Belli, Marta Rossetti, Elisa Scarlatta, Massimiliano Rosolino with the Trofeo Senza Fine in Verona.