Luke Evans is motorbike driver for top cycling photographer Graham Watson at the Giro d’Italia. Aside from piloting motorbikes, Luke is an author, freelance journalist and former editor of Cycle Sport magazine. Graham’s Giro photos can be seen in our gallery section.
May 28, Stage 17, Sondrio – Locarno 146km
It’s my mission to get this blog to you every day. I have been hand writing it and faxing from the press room to my home where my precious types it and forwards it to Nigel at the CW website. Yesterday the press room closed early due to the rest day and I could not get through to the precious at home. In the end there was a guy at the pizza restaurant who took it home and sent it for me at about 9.30pm. Thanks to Robert Bettini, the Watson of Italian photography, who made sure all three pages of scrawl went through.
Tonight I have grabbed a seat at one of the two computers laid on by the press room and my helper tonight with the Italian email is none other than Simone Gambino, President of the Italian Cricket Federation and the only Italian member of the MCC. As a good Italian, he refuses to wear the awful ‘egg and bacon’ MCC tie, however. Lords could do with a few more Gambinos. Check out his website at www.crickitalia.org.
Today’s stage was a scenic meander around the lakes of Como and Lugarno. Pastel washed cafes and restaurants look onto marinas with yachts bobbing up and down on the clear blue waters. Well they would have been blue had the sun not hid behind hazy cloud which just made it quite hot and muggy. The snowy mountains behind would have looked fantastic on a clear day.
We crossed into Switzerland and marvelled at a private garage when we stopped to wait for the peloton. Immaculate white and grey concrete, spotless inside and not a paint tin in sight. The rest of Switzerland was much like this northern part of Italy. But, oh the garages.
Sidled up to Steve Cummings in the Giro Village this morning, the Liverpool rider looking cool in his red Barloworld kit. Steve is having a good race, he has not crashed and took the Corones TT in his stride. He remembered riding the old Horseshoe Pass as a junior in a hill climb once and having ridden many climbs in North Wales was not fazed by the Corones ski slope.
Cummings is one of the new breed of British riders that have come through the track programme and made the grade on the road. Gone are the days of the mavericks, adventurers and eccentric Brits who came out here and forged places for themselves on the continent. Normal, intelligent, polite Brits can ride at the top level now. Steve is proof of it and long may it continue. Such a shame it hasn’t happened earlier – I bet you can name ten riders from the ’80s and ’90s who would have made great pros.
PREVIOUS GIRO BLOGS
May 27: Rest day
May 26: Stage 16, San Vigilio-Plan de Corones TT
May 25: Stage 15, Arabba-Passo Fedaia
May 24: Stage 14, Verona-Alpe di Pampeago
May 23: Stage 13, Modena-Cittadella
May 22: Stage 12, Forlin-Carpi
May 21: Stage 11, Urbino-Cesena
May 20: Stage 10, Pesaro-Urbino