The Giro d’Italia’s second rest day is sandwiched between a race-defining uphill finish and a crucial, long time trial. No more fun and games and easy island hopping. The Giro is on. Things are getting serious.
Not too serious, though. The Giro’s American contingent remains intact, mostly crash free, and willing to answer questions about anything but bike racing.
Mario Cipollini says today’s riders “lack personality” and seem “programmed by technology.” This begs the question: If you were a technological device, what device would you be? Would it do anything special?
Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo): A Mario mute button. Anytime he whines to the press a booming voice from the heavens yells “It’s a me, MARIO” in the Nintendo voice.
Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Drapac): An early era Apple iPod, with the click-wheel, in all white. Relatively lightweight. A good ability to retain and regurgitate information. Classic, and of course, aesthetically pleasing!
Alex Howes (Cannondale-Drapac): I would be a robot capable of feeling love. And I would be an amazing skier.
Chad Haga (Sunweb): I’d be a pair of glasses that translates foreign languages to English subtitles in real time and shows them like a heads-up display. Not audio, though, because then everyone would sound like Siri.
Joey Rosskopf (BMC): I’d be the first cellphone I got back in 7th or 8th grade. It called friends, had the game snake, and the screen was a nice color blue.
How do your legs feel, on a scale of one to ten?
Howes: Right now in bed? 11.
Haga: Irrational numbers are even more fun than non-integers. I’d rate my legs a solid -9i^2.
Most random thought you had while climbing Blockhaus?
Stetina: That’s it, ‘stache has gotta go. All this snot and sweat keeps funneling into my mouth. Can you drown in your own mucous?
Dombrowski: There was a bit of soft, freshly-laid tarmac. My wheels sunk in. It felt like a cyclocross sand pit.
Howes: I want steak. So much steak. Vegans would never understand my current need for steak. Tofu can’t help me now. (This thought does not accurately portray my feelings and respect for vegans/vegetarians. Their choice to abstain from meat does our planet a great service.)
Haga: Avoid the patches of new tarmac, they’re still soft.
Rosskopf: Where are the Grubers, I need a friendly face.
Does anything hurt?
Stetina: Taint. Thanks, roads of Southern Italy.
Haga: The ol’ underside is a tad tired of potholed Italian roads.
Rosskopf: Not particularly.
If you had to park a motorcycle in front of a bike race, where would you park it?
Stetina: In front of some metal bollards WITH LIGHTS FLASHING.
Dombrowski: Drones are the future.
Howes: I would ghost it off a cliff.
Haga: In front of something that would hurt even more than a motorcycle.
Rosskopf: I hope I wouldn’t.
Most Italian thing that’s happened to you since hitting the mainland?
Stetina: Jersey Shore is alive and well in Southern Italy. It’s thinning out as we move north though.
Dombrowski: Our rest day hotel is full of carabinieri. Their outfits are excellent, their mustaches are well-groomed, and they could all be in a Ray Ban advertisement.
Howes: We’ve shared a hotel with the publicity caravan two nights. It’s like a real life traveling Jersey Shore (the TV show) but instead of fake Italians in NJ they’re real Italians in Italy. NEXT LEVEL.
Haga: An annoyed spectator yelled at me to get my attention, then irritatedly gestured for me to get out of the way of his photo of Nibali.
Rosskopf: People screaming “BORRACCIA!!! BORRACCIA!!!”
Describe your dream breakfast.
Stetina: Everyday I see my dream. That’s the beauty of team chefs.
Dombrowski: Two pieces of avocado toast with olive oil and an extra crispy on-the-bottom fried egg. Rosemary and corse salt on the egg. Yolks runny in the top half, viscous in the bottom half.
Oatmeal cooked with whole fat milk, cashew butter, coconut oil, fried bananas, and a little bit of cayenne.
And a few slices of bacon
Howes: No oatmeal, no pasta, no rice. Steak.
Haga: Sprouts’s corn/flour blend tortillas with scrambled eggs, sliced avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro and a splash of Cholula. While preparing these, sipping on excellent coffee and eating a banana with peanut butter.
Rosskopf: An All-Star Special from Waffle House.