Stage/Finish: Carpi › Novi Ligure
Distance: 221 kilometers (flat)
The first eight days of the Giro saw very little impact to the overall standings but were physically and mentally demanding with around 40 hours of racing. The past few days—from Sunday’s TT to the rest day and finally into today’s sprint stage--were a strange transition. These two sprint days have been about stocking up as much energy as possible and getting the body working again after a bit of shutdown following the end of last week.
It’s worth noting that it is super rare in a Grand Tour that you can back off for more than 1 or 2 consecutive days. Aside from the guys who did a full gas effort on Sunday, the rest of us have been in somewhat of a holding pattern for four days now. While the sprinters have put out some effort and the GC teams are still alert and on the defensive, compared to how we started and what the next 10 days will bring, these past days have been low key.
You won’t hear me complaining during these “easier” transitional sprint days. I know that means we will only race the massive mountains even harder, but it’s a strange formula for a race that is usually peppered with excitement and decisive drama.
Jamie and her cousin Kelly visited over the weekend, which was awesome. This was the first race she’s been to since I’ve raced for Mitchelton-SCOTT and it is great how welcoming the team has been to my family as they realize the energy this brings a rider. At the end of the day, we are more than just robots on the bike.
Over the past few days, I’ve tried to make my rounds to speak with the other Americans in the bunch as I know conversational riding is about to disappear until the race is over and I’m back in Girona. There’s been a lot of hype about the climbing heavy second half and I’m sure we will see some fireworks by Friday, if not already by tomorrow….