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Giro Stage 02 Preview: Amsterdam - Utrecht

Stage 02 :: Sunday May 9, 2010
209km :: Amsterdam - Utrecht

The Giro is underway now, the prologue is behind us and a road course awaits, 200+ km through the Dutch country side between Amsterdam and Utrecht.  It seems like we were here just yesterday, celebrating that greatest of Dutch bicycle races: La Vuelta a España.  But this race is about pasta not paella; prosciutto not jamón.  We celebrate those differences by not being in either Spain or Italy for this stage, but rather in Holland, where Google Translate tells me the dutch word for "ham" is "ham".

Well, whether you call it "ham" or you call it "ham", it's a bike race and this will be one for the sprinters.

Gavia can't decide between Fizik or Mr. Zogs:

This space is occupied by this text.  Technically it's squatter text so as soon as Gavia has words to share, we'll roust this goldbricking text out of the beach community of PodiumCafe.

I went for a bike ride. Then, there was some other stuff. Fun was had.

Tomorrow's Giro stage will be a sprint. Someone will win. Vive il Giro!

Nobody puts Frinky in a corner:

So... Everybody bought the pancakes? They are there to enjoy while looking to the stage... Because really... We are at the Eneco Tour here! Sort of... Nothing to ! about.

From Amsterdam to Utrecht today/tomorrow. That's about 40 km, so making 200km of it is quite a performance! Corner after corner after corner we will see.. Outcome.. Sprint.. I'll be there with my hockeystick to let the outcome as it has to be.. What that is.. We see that after the finish.. 

Enjoy you! After the computer in the middle of the night! I'll be there.. (: (not that I wanted to rub that in)

Chris believes even G-d has time to watch the Giro...

Action: Between the barriers, it will be all about the inevitable sprint. Can Oscarito fly the home colors? Or alternatively Graeme Brown? Personally I would settle for a Greipel-Farrar showdown. Outside the fence, there will be some tension as to whether Frinking or Superted can get themselves on camera. My money's on the latter: Ted lives so close to the finish that the UCI has rented his living room for the post-stage doping controls.

Pageantry: Not good. After Saturday's big blowout, the entire RAI staff will be simultaneously unburdened and available to indulge in a night out on A-Dam. Come Sunday morning, look for everyone wearing sunglasses, even indoors, and a collective loss of short-term memory. Can they explain the Treaty of Utrecht without stopping to order a pizza? Doubtful.

The Plan: Hm, Sunday morning. If we can't wrap up the sprint before Sunday School, well... G-d will still be around in June.

So, 210 odd kilometers from Amsterdam to Utrect. Much like last years Vuelta start in Holland (which was the reason I wound up going to Oktoberfest... the logic is twisted as you can imagine), the climbs are a bit of a joke, elevation wise. But this is the part of Europe that loves it's Spring Classics, so while the climbs are short, they can be painful.

Two climbs today: the Kaapse Bossen at 49km in and the Amerongse Bos arriving at 70km. The Kaapse Bossen baffles me slightly; Gazzetta reports that the climb is 49m tall while 20km long, averaging a 1.4% gradient but having a max at 10%. This is a grand tour climb!? The Amerongse Bos is 70m high, climbed over 2.4km with a max of 11%. Crazy these Dutchie climbs.

Sadly, these stages don't have any roll or contour to them at all, so I don't really have much to do with Google Earth. Forgive the somewhat boring mappage.