"No! No! No!" says the old guy where they distribute the car name plates for the time trial. We've asked if we can follow Bruz; "no, no! not last 20!" "Can we follow Wiggins?" I plead - he shrugs; "si."
It's 27 degrees as we drive north up the valley from Lovere, north to - the Passo Di Gavia. It comes 90 kilometres into the 224 K stage, it's just under 19 k long and rises from 1260 metres at Ponte Di Legno to 2618 metres at the summit - the highest point of this years Giro. The "Cima Coppi" prime is on offer at the top, awarded for the first rider to top the Giro's highest point.
"Savol is doing a trojan's work, gap is now 1-32 to gruppo Bert - wait - ! Di Luca gone alone now - Savol blown -." We're atop of the Passo della Presolana and Richard is watching the action on Cycling.TV, and emailing us from PEZ HQ to my the Black Berry.
"Three days of truth as we await the attacks on Contador." So says the Gazzetta. And the wait was worth it as the Giro GC battle exploded with the kind of attacks the tofosi & historians love - ! We got ourselves down to the start to see what the guys on the ground had to say.
On the day of the Plan de Corones we caught up with a couple of riders who are always happy to talk to PEZ and got their thoughts on the show so far. Ed Hood spoke with Barloworld's Steve Cummings and AG2R's Phillip Deignan to get their ideas on the show so far.
Thursday – stage 18 – Mendrisio to Varese and the finishing laps of the 2008 World’s circuit. The final gc battle begins again tomorrow, but there’s still 147km of hills and racing to get through now. It was another day at the office for the GC boys, but for us - it was another day at the Giro!