I should be excited about the Giro. I love the drama and (let’s face it) agony of all the climbing in the Giro d’Italia. I love the uncertain nature of who will win — this early in the season, nobody’s a sure thing. I love Gilberto Simoni’s heated claims, followed (usually) by agonized admissions and self-flagellation when he fails to make good.
On paper, the Giro d’Italia is my favorite grand tour.
And that’s the problem. I’m having a hard time drumming up any enthusiasm at all for this race because — here in America — It’s on paper. Or, technically, it’s on the computer screen, but the computer screen is like paper, but harder to fold into an airplane.
What I Need
To enjoy a cycling race, I have to choose someone I want to win. When I’m watching, that’s easy: I find a favorite racer or an unknown underdog showing some pluck, and I get emotionally invested in him. Nothing even needs to be happening in the race; I’m happy to just watch everyone trundle along, getting ready for the big sprint. I can content myself with watching them turn their freakishly high cadence. I’m happy to watch them watch each other. I can have fun just imagining what the next move is going to be, based on what I see right now.
But—as good as the live reports are on Cyclingnews—and they’re very good—it’s just not the same to read it. You know what just happened, but you don’t really know why. You get a sense for where the key players are, but not the guy whose name you don’t know but are rooting for anyway.
Really, it comes down to this: a race is a visceral experience. Reading a narrative just isn’t the same (said the blogger, fully aware that he has written several interminable writeups of his own races).
As a result, right now I’m kinda-sorta following the Giro. It looks to me like Paolo Savoldelli will repeat (I know it’s too early to make a prediction like that, but that’s my way), which I suppose would be cool. Though I’m actually rooting for Basso, because I love the idea of someone trying to win two grand tours in a year. I would be rooting for Ullrich, but he doesn’t seem to really have his heart in the race, though it’s hard to tell since I can’t actually see him.
I have no trouble whatsoever finding videos of a 500-horsepower Neon online (not that I was looking, mind you), but I cannot find video—preferably with English narrative—of the Giro d’Italia. (except OLN, which has streaming video you can watch if you’re willing to pay $20 for it and will actually be in front of your computer during the two hours in the early morning during which they broadcast it, after which it’s gone and if you missed it, too bad. Guess what, OLN: that’s not a particularly compelling offering you’ve got there. Now, if my $20 meant that I could watch any stage at any time (or even during the next 24 hours), I’d have already signed up and would be blogging right now about how much I love you guys.)
That just seems wrong.
Please, someone over there in Europe. I know you’ve got TV coverage of the Giro. I know you’ve got computers and Internet connections. So quit pretending you don’t, and start uploading the Giro for those of us starved for coverage here in the US. We won’t mind if it’s a day late. We just want to see it with our own eyes. Then either email me with where you’ve posted it, or comment here, and I’ll link to it daily on my blog.
You will have done the world (or at least the U.S., which is a notable subset of the world) a tremendous service.
PS: Today’s weight: 169.8. You know, this weight loss thing would go faster if I started losing some weight.
PPS: Yeah, I know I still need to talk about what kind of contest I’ll do around getting to the right weight for my big races this year. The thing is, I haven’t nailed down an incentive that really works for me yet. Tomorrow, I swear.