Paolo Bettini

Wow – First stage of the Giro d’Italia yesterday. Incredible course down along the “toe” of Italy. I’ve been through the Strait of Mesinna (n.b. – it’s always a “Strait”, as in the “Strait of Gibraltar”, “Strait of Hormuz”, “Strait of Malacca”, “Strait of Juan de Fuca”, ’cause there’s only one way through. Easy to spot the folks who don’t actually read charts, ’cause you’ll hear them talking about going through the “Straits”. Sorry for the rant) between Sicily and Italy, and it was incredible. There were tiny (about 4′ long) Med dolphins playing in the bow wave on the sonar dome, and more ferries than I could count heading between insanely beautiful villas built into the side of the limestone cliffs rising out of azure waters. The first stage was all that and a decent (1500′) climb, all about twice as fast as I could possibly go.

Bettini took a flier with about 1 KM to go – the course made a couple of really tight turns, and there was a decent uphill of a couple meters that threw off the sprinters’ teams, and he was able to take the stage and the Maliga Rosa. How cool is that – Olympic Gold last year, and his first Giro stage win this year? With the Pro Tour bringing all the big teams (if not all the big names) to Italy this year, the Giro has a whole new level of cool cycling cred – everyone watches le Tour; only the cool kids watch the Giro.

4 miles along Burma Trail today, 32 ish minutes. I’d be happy, ‘cept the two miles back were tough. Yeah, yeah – almost 8 minute mile average. Frankly, I’m ecstatic at the progress I’ve made.

And Dianna – I did register for the Bluff Point run. Signed up for the 7.4 mile “Long Loop”. I’ve done the section on Bluff Point proper pretty frequently, but haven’t extended out to Haley farm. May have to go preview later this week.