Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Foglie Morte 

Ryder Hesjedal at the race start line eventually finished 6th

It looked like a dark, wet and cold afternoon when Joaquin Rodriguez crossed the finish line after over six hours of racing (6:36:27 hrs) in this years Giro di Lombardia (Tour of Lombardy). The race conditions looked horrible and the recently crowned world champ, Philippe Gilbert was a victim of the slick blacktop. What was probably an awful day for a ride resulted in some classic photos of riders struggling up what were at times 25% inclines (why not just build stairs at that point?)

I like this kind of classic one-day race, especially when they have a legacy such as this one (the iconic Italian racer Faustus Coppi won the race five times and no non-Italian rider has won it more than three times). Another thing about this race is just the poetry of its nickname in Italian, "La classica delle foglie morte"; "Race of the Falling Leaves" in English (sometimes translated as "Race of the Dead Leaves") due to it being held in Autumn. The race was traditionally the last classic of the season so it was important in deciding UCI rankings but, despite it no longer being part of the UCI tour, the race hasn't lost its prestige even if its importance has diminished.

Most importantly, it showed Ryder Hesjedal has recovered his form after a disastrous Tour de France. I don't think he ever threatened on Saturday but he officially finished sixth in a group of nine other riders including the likes of Rigoberto Uran and Alberto Contador. I'm guessing the one-day classics don't suit Hesjedal's form as much as the longer tours but it's nice to see him competitive in a high profile race.



Post a Comment

<< Home