photo by pedale.forchetta

Pink or Yellow?

Pink or Yellow?

by / / 88 posts

We’re into day four of the Six Days of the Giro series, let’s talk trash. 

Yes the Tour de France started a few years before the Giro and has always been credited as The Tour to win. You win the Giro, you are a stud. Win the Tour and you are a stud for life. Why is that? Is the Tour longer, tougher, more murderous, more beautiful? In the 2013 edition, the Tour is a mere 25 km longer. The number of stages are the same. The Tour has earned a prestige it will never willingly cede. The Tour is it. Teams send their best riders. No one uses the Tour to train since the world championships were moved to September.

Obviously the maglia rosa is better looking than the maillot jaune, no argument. There is no arguing about podium girls; let us never argue about podium girls. Unless they are dudes, like that overly-politically correct scene where guys were pushed onto the stage a few years back. Either go Chippendale dancers or nothing if you can’t handle beautiful women on the stage. The Giro trophy is much hipper than the Tour fruit bowl. Is a leader’s all pink bike nicer than an all yellow bike? If not tarted up too much a De Rosa pearlescent pink paint job is beautiful. The same can be said for a beautiful yellow frame, but when the hubs, spokes and everything else on it matches the paint, arguing which is nicer is a lost cause.

Is France a more beautiful country to race through? From the rider’s perspective, they might not opine. They are looking at the jersey 1.5 meters in front of them or the next hairpin corner coming up fast. Day to day they might not even know which country they are in. From the high definition helicopter shots it would be a hopeless argument: both countries are incredibly varied and beautiful, like the podium ladies. Pastries, France, café, Italy. Before the advent of traveling team chefs, riders were at the mercy of whichever overworked, disgruntled chef was employed by the hotel. The French are renown gastronomies and renown for the terrible pasta they would serve Tour racers. If one was always fueling up on pasta and rice, one was much happier in the Giro.

What the Tour defiantly has over the Giro is Paris. Yes it is a parade but what a parade route. Riding into Paris and doing laps on the Champs Élysée; that’s how you end a Grand Tour. The Giro doesn’t always end in Milan, like this year’s finish in Brescia. They know the ride around Milan is not something to always be repeating. The Italians are more inclined to send the Giro route over strade bianche, gravel and dirt passes and up viciously steep ski station goat paths. Sometimes they go too far but they deserve credit for their craziness. The Giro has unfortunately always been about long transfers. Couple that with Italian inefficiency and riders may often eat too late and sleep too little. The French can whisk teams around the country in hours on the TGV. The Tour routes are more conservative, hitting the familiar climbs, avoiding the active volcanos. 

If the Tour is the big show it’s partially because more money flows there, in almost all directions. There is a long standing fight about how little of that money flows towards the riders. The Giro has started to improve the team’s TV revenue sharing. It’s a smart move, if it benefits the teams financially, they will want to always be invited, they will take it more seriously, the Giro will improve. This could eventually put both the Giro and the Vuelta on a level with the Tour. Then we would really have something to argue about. 

// Six Days Of

  1. @Ron

    Also, where the heck has John Gadret gone? I haven’t heard that dude’s name in awhile…

    Ask this guy

  2. Is it the recession biting, or why are the jersey holders at this year’s Giro wearing easy iron on transfers on the jerseys instead of proper individually logo’d up shirts – not so cool

  3. What I’d like to see is all the big riders taking on the three grand tours by default. Has anybody ever heard of Roger Federer giving the Paris Open a pass in order to be fit for Wimbledon? Does Schweinsteiger not play the Bundesliga so that he can compete in the Champions’ League? I think it would be best to shorten the events so that participation in all three would become the norm.

  4. @Mirko

    What I’d like to see is all the big riders taking on the three grand tours by default. Has anybody ever heard of Roger Federer giving the Paris Open a pass in order to be fit for Wimbledon? Does Schweinsteiger not play the Bundesliga so that he can compete in the Champions’ League? I think it would be best to shorten the events so that participation in all three would become the norm.

    Almost like a Grand slam for cycling! With Huuuuuuuge £/$ etc etc for the man doing the treble!

  5. @the-farmer

    @Mirko

    What I’d like to see is all the big riders taking on the three grand tours by default. Has anybody ever heard of Roger Federer giving the Paris Open a pass in order to be fit for Wimbledon? Does Schweinsteiger not play the Bundesliga so that he can compete in the Champions’ League? I think it would be best to shorten the events so that participation in all three would become the norm.

    Almost like a Grand slam for cycling! With Huuuuuuuge £/$ etc etc for the man doing the treble!

    You could shorten all these wierd non english events and have points carried forwards to a FINALE with a threshold points level for entry……the Tour of Britain?  Steep hills, shitty weather, vicious winds….it would be like Grand Tour and Spring Classics combined as a Grand Fin to the season……c’mmon tell me this does not have merit!

  6. @LA Dave

    This may sound petty or snobbish, but for me Il Giro is better not only for the Maglia Rosa, the route and the racing, but because it separates the casual or occasional fan from the more hardcore cycling fanatics (at least here in the states).

    We all know dozens (hundreds?) of folks who for 23 days in july change their facebook cover photos to a shot of Lance er Floyd er Levi er Tyler(?) and make time to watch the days stage after dinner on their DVR while doing their best Phil Liggett impersonation. But how many of them got up at 5 am this morning and searched through a handful of feeds to watch a veteran Aussie win the race of his life while thinking “what the heck did Kelly just say?” and fighting off a million pop up ads for Russian brides? My over under starts at 3.

    In my opinion, Il Giro is a tour for those who are truly in love with cycling.. who are willing to risk being called out at the office for chewing up all the bandwidth until the stage is over, who’s calendar is blocked out by some mysterious morning meeting every weekday in May, or who calls in late with some lame excuse about your wifes car not starting (who would ever do that?).

    See you all tomorrow morning @ 5:15…

    Very nicely put! +1

  7. @Mirko

    What I’d like to see is all the big riders taking on the three grand tours by default. Has anybody ever heard of Roger Federer giving the Paris Open a pass in order to be fit for Wimbledon? Does Schweinsteiger not play the Bundesliga so that he can compete in the Champions’ League? I think it would be best to shorten the events so that participation in all three would become the norm.

    One would have to be Pharmstrong to full off such a feat.

  8. @LA Dave

    This may sound petty or snobbish, but for me Il Giro is better not only for the Maglia Rosa, the route and the racing, but because it separates the casual or occasional fan from the more hardcore cycling fanatics (at least here in the states).

    We all know dozens (hundreds?) of folks who for 23 days in july change their facebook cover photos to a shot of Lance er Floyd er Levi er Tyler(?) and make time to watch the days stage after dinner on their DVR while doing their best Phil Liggett impersonation. But how many of them got up at 5 am this morning and searched through a handful of feeds to watch a veteran Aussie win the race of his life while thinking “what the heck did Kelly just say?” and fighting off a million pop up ads for Russian brides? My over under starts at 3.

    In my opinion, Il Giro is a tour for those who are truly in love with cycling.. who are willing to risk being called out at the office for chewing up all the bandwidth until the stage is over, who’s calendar is blocked out by some mysterious morning meeting every weekday in May, or who calls in late with some lame excuse about your wifes car not starting (who would ever do that?).

    See you all tomorrow morning @ 5:15…

    Perfect!  Very well said indeed!

  9. @Buck Rogers

    @LA Dave

    This may sound petty or snobbish, but for me Il Giro is better not only for the Maglia Rosa, the route and the racing, but because it separates the casual or occasional fan from the more hardcore cycling fanatics (at least here in the states).

    We all know dozens (hundreds?) of folks who for 23 days in july change their facebook cover photos to a shot of Lance er Floyd er Levi er Tyler(?) and make time to watch the days stage after dinner on their DVR while doing their best Phil Liggett impersonation. But how many of them got up at 5 am this morning and searched through a handful of feeds to watch a veteran Aussie win the race of his life while thinking “what the heck did Kelly just say?” and fighting off a million pop up ads for Russian brides? My over under starts at 3.

    In my opinion, Il Giro is a tour for those who are truly in love with cycling.. who are willing to risk being called out at the office for chewing up all the bandwidth until the stage is over, who’s calendar is blocked out by some mysterious morning meeting every weekday in May, or who calls in late with some lame excuse about your wifes car not starting (who would ever do that?).

    See you all tomorrow morning @ 5:15…

    Perfect! Very well said indeed!

    Think about all of that and we are the negative slide for it (you know those little square bits of film going chuck k chuck through the carousel on to your living room wall for those that remember).

    My Tour of California stuff starts late and ends late and I have to make the call “Can I get up to go to work this morning”

    But positive slide show or negative….its all still wheels sweat and V! (sweat being the key element by the look of yesterdays stage ToC)

    Best of it is, Jensy is bunking  with someone young enough to be his son!

  10. Time bonuses!  That is all for now.

  11. Damn, Hampsten’s sock/shoe combo was pretty impressive. I didn’t even pick up on the titles on RAI being in English. Damn, I guess I’ve been watching the racers too closely. So…what exactly does “corredore” mean?

    Also, the stage when Rabotini won after falling, maybe posted in the VSP thread. How incredible is it when the announcer goes bonkers when Rabo overtakes Rodriguez. He’s screaming, not announcing, and I love it.

    LA Dave – nice work. And you could even argue the Tour gets extra demerits because for 3 weeks people give a fuck about the sport you love. Interlopers. The rest of the time you’re an outcast that they try to run off the road.

    I thought I was the only one getting those Russian bride popups…glad I can explain that away to the VMH.

  12. @frank Fuck yeah! Awesome love!

  13. One thing is for certain, the Giro certainly makes the TDF more interesting.  Especially this year with what looks like a resurgent Cadel and a Wiggins with what most certainly looks like something to prove.

    Btw, a little off topic but Grimplette didn’t look all bad yesterday in what was a brutally hot stage.  Throw in Froome and Contador and we might have some drama.

  14. The Giro, by a long way !

    Looking from a far in my airconditioned office in Oz, the Giro has that air of mystery and legend.  The Tifosi and the rampant nature of the racing appears much more adhoc than the Tour.

    The Tour “feels” more contrived and controlled and “staged” for want of a better word.

    Dont get me wrong, both are equally awesome and carry big bags of V.

    If I had one shot at visiting a GT it would be the “Pink” variety.

  15. @Deakus

    @the-farmer

    @Mirko

    What I’d like to see is all the big riders taking on the three grand tours by default. Has anybody ever heard of Roger Federer giving the Paris Open a pass in order to be fit for Wimbledon? Does Schweinsteiger not play the Bundesliga so that he can compete in the Champions’ League? I think it would be best to shorten the events so that participation in all three would become the norm.

    Almost like a Grand slam for cycling! With Huuuuuuuge £/$ etc etc for the man doing the treble!

    You could shorten all these wierd non english events and have points carried forwards to a FINALE with a threshold points level for entry……the Tour of Britain? Steep hills, shitty weather, vicious winds….it would be like Grand Tour and Spring Classics combined as a Grand Fin to the season……c’mmon tell me this does not have merit!

    It Does Not Have Merit! Lets see want to go for a bike ride? Spain? Italy? France? Er England, not so much….

    seems like the big bucks for cycling is in the Gulf, Tour of Dubai anyone?

  16. @piwakawaka

    @Deakus

    @the-farmer

    @Mirko

    What I’d like to see is all the big riders taking on the three grand tours by default. Has anybody ever heard of Roger Federer giving the Paris Open a pass in order to be fit for Wimbledon? Does Schweinsteiger not play the Bundesliga so that he can compete in the Champions’ League? I think it would be best to shorten the events so that participation in all three would become the norm.

    Almost like a Grand slam for cycling! With Huuuuuuuge £/$ etc etc for the man doing the treble!

    You could shorten all these wierd non english events and have points carried forwards to a FINALE with a threshold points level for entry……the Tour of Britain? Steep hills, shitty weather, vicious winds….it would be like Grand Tour and Spring Classics combined as a Grand Fin to the season……c’mmon tell me this does not have merit!

    It Does Not Have Merit! Lets see want to go for a bike ride? Spain? Italy? France? Er England, not so much….

    seems like the big bucks for cycling is in the Gulf, Tour of Dubai anyone?

    A Formula 1 or FIFA style globalization might be the danger here, yes. But let’s face it,the idea will never come true anyway, 1. because none of the grand tour organizers will be in favour of it and 2. because the UCI has the same propensity to reforms as North Korea.

  17. @piwakawaka

    @Deakus

    @the-farmer

    @Mirko

    What I’d like to see is all the big riders taking on the three grand tours by default. Has anybody ever heard of Roger Federer giving the Paris Open a pass in order to be fit for Wimbledon? Does Schweinsteiger not play the Bundesliga so that he can compete in the Champions’ League? I think it would be best to shorten the events so that participation in all three would become the norm.

    Almost like a Grand slam for cycling! With Huuuuuuuge £/$ etc etc for the man doing the treble!

    You could shorten all these wierd non english events and have points carried forwards to a FINALE with a threshold points level for entry……the Tour of Britain? Steep hills, shitty weather, vicious winds….it would be like Grand Tour and Spring Classics combined as a Grand Fin to the season……c’mmon tell me this does not have merit!

    It Does Not Have Merit! Lets see want to go for a bike ride? Spain? Italy? France? Er England, not so much….

    seems like the big bucks for cycling is in the Gulf, Tour of Dubai anyone?

    I grant you the sun is lovely….but I would suggest they are going to have to change some stuff if yesterdays Tour of California was anything to go by.

    Meanwhile here in Ol Blighty it is another Rule #9 day again……

  18. @Mirko

    @piwakawaka

    @Deakus

    @the-farmer

    @Mirko

    What I’d like to see is all the big riders taking on the three grand tours by default. Has anybody ever heard of Roger Federer giving the Paris Open a pass in order to be fit for Wimbledon? Does Schweinsteiger not play the Bundesliga so that he can compete in the Champions’ League? I think it would be best to shorten the events so that participation in all three would become the norm.

    Almost like a Grand slam for cycling! With Huuuuuuuge £/$ etc etc for the man doing the treble!

    You could shorten all these wierd non english events and have points carried forwards to a FINALE with a threshold points level for entry……the Tour of Britain? Steep hills, shitty weather, vicious winds….it would be like Grand Tour and Spring Classics combined as a Grand Fin to the season……c’mmon tell me this does not have merit!

    It Does Not Have Merit! Lets see want to go for a bike ride? Spain? Italy? France? Er England, not so much….

    seems like the big bucks for cycling is in the Gulf, Tour of Dubai anyone?

    A Formula 1 or FIFA style globalization might be the danger here, yes. But let’s face it,the idea will never come true anyway, 1. because none of the grand tour organizers will be in favour of it and 2. because the UCI has the same propensity to reforms as North Korea.

    It’s the romance and style, almost against the odds, that I love in these bloody things!

    I just cant feel like that about a part of the world where money rules…dirty money.

    I’m all for them going there, getting their piece, they are Pro’s after all but it will never have what you cannot buy.

  19. La finale

  20. @piwakawaka bah! The disc brakes!

  21. @Dr C

    Is it the recession biting, or why are the jersey holders at this year’s Giro wearing easy iron on transfers on the jerseys instead of proper individually logo’d up shirts – not so cool

  22. Live coverage now. Astana using too much. BMC working nicely together behind, saving energy for climbs.

  23. @the-farmer

    @Mirko

    What I’d like to see is all the big riders taking on the three grand tours by default. Has anybody ever heard of Roger Federer giving the Paris Open a pass in order to be fit for Wimbledon? Does Schweinsteiger not play the Bundesliga so that he can compete in the Champions’ League? I think it would be best to shorten the events so that participation in all three would become the norm.

    Almost like a Grand slam for cycling! With Huuuuuuuge £/$ etc etc for the man doing the treble!

    Maybe call it a ‘Triple Crown’ & then a couple of decades later you’ll hear about some douchebag buying off teams so they don’t attack him in the last one…sounds kinda familiar to be honest.

  24. @sthilzy

    These French guys like the pink and the occasional yellow!

    You guys are just kidding here, right? These two noble bastards did well in the Giro d’Italia at some point, admittedly – but can anyone argue that they are anything other than legends of the Tour de France? And that they are among those who have made the Tour de France a race that is decidedly more legendary than any other race on the planet? Please, gemtlemen… let’s not lose our sense of proportion here.

  25. I am in favor of the Giro myself. I am so glad I can actually watch it on tv this year rather than trying to stream it online, bein sports is my favorite channel right now because of this. Although, I do miss watching the giro in Italiano. I can’t put my finger on why I like it better. Maybe it is the architecture of the small towns, the landscapes, the fans, the women, the routes, or the fact that I lived in Italy for a summer but I love watching it.

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