I picked a rather eventful morning to sleep in, it seems: feeds crashing, bikes airborne, and no shortage of nits to pick with the course. All that, and the first successful breakaway of the Giro. Not too shabby!
First item: apparently Cycling.TV has lost the feed just before the finish two days running now. I experienced this firsthand yesterday but managed to jump over to RAI in time for the conclusion. Today I missed the stage, but apparently it happened again. We have gripe sessions here from time to time about tech issues with their coverage. Mostly they're infrequent, and with a few exceptions most of us who rely on their service have little trouble. But the dropped feeds... that's bad. Apparently our reputation for, um, free speech has caught their attention, and Cycling.TV parks someone on the live feeds everyday. Today's poor guy mentioned a couple things of interest, namely that he's sent around some email internally about the problem -- sounds like they need a wake-up call -- and that the site will be upgraded in some unspecified way next month. Anyway, it's been a frustrating couple of days, but I think we've let Cycling.TV know that the problems cannot continue, and I think at least some of the people there agree. So we'll see where this is headed. For anyone who wants to continue this topic, Crashdan has started a thread in the FanPosts section.
Frustration was the name of the game on the road as well, as David Millar of Slipstream submitted his entry for admission to the Bike Toss Hall of Fame, thanks to a broken chain in the last KM of a day-long, successful group escape. His form is outstanding:
[update] Sporza has it on video. I can't find any clips of Riccardo Ricco's entry (help!) Here's Riccardo Ricco's tepid version... but compared to the standard by which all bike tosses are measured, Millar's is pretty solid.
1997 Tour de France, stage 20 (via SmithersMpls)
Then there are the endless transfers, the subject of frustration to the various traveling caravans, from the riders to the journos. There is a great story on Pez today where Richard introduces us to an important metric: the F-Bomb Quotient. Probably not new to the journalists who've been reluctantly covering the Giro for the better part of a century. One additional onion in the ointment, not considered in my earlier analysis of the transfers, is traffic. It's one thing to say a 130km transfer up the Tyrrhenian coast sounds acceptable; it's another if you have to wait in traffic for three hours before even getting rolling. Apparently the organizers aren't creating getaways for the teams, and the highway crews of southern Italy aren't especially interested in the presence of the Giro either. Welcome to southern Italy.
[update] Things could be worse: they could still be on Sicily. Apparently that lovely volcano the peloton traversed on Monday is erupting.