Culture

Vande Velde’s View: What day is this?

I am officially out of touch with the outside world. I had no idea that they evacuated the capitol and the White House the other day because of what they thought might be some kind of terrorist attack. I don't even know what day that was... heck I don't even know what day this is. My daily concerns tend to focus on just a few things: eating, sleeping and spending the stage helping to keep Ivan out of trouble here and there. We've already done one week of racing and when we're not on the bike, we're often looking for something – anything – to do. That's especially

By Christian Vande Velde, CSC Professional cycling team

Another day at the office

Another day at the office

Photo: Graham Watson

I am officially out of touch with the outside world.

I had no idea that they evacuated the capitol and the White House the other day because of what they thought might be some kind of terrorist attack. I don’t even know what day that was… heck I don’t even know what day this is.

My daily concerns tend to focus on just a few things: eating, sleeping and spending the stage helping to keep Ivan out of trouble here and there.

We’ve already done one week of racing and when we’re not on the bike, we’re often looking for something – anything – to do. That’s especially dangerous when your name is Dave Zabriske.

Yesterday (Thursday) sucked and I bonked, which made a long day – the longest of the Giro at 233km – seem even longer. Today’s 153 seemed really short in comparison. As it turned out, both days finished up the same way and odds are good the out come would have been the same had the stages been 30k or 230k. I guess that’s racing at the Giro.

This morning (Friday) after a few Fast Freddie coffees on the bus, Dave decided that we need something different to listen to. We’d been listening tot he same CDs over and over again, when Dave suddenly remembered a good mix of music that he had burned onto a CD four years ago when we were on Postal. We had called it the “Four Days of Dirk” (as in Demol) and Dave was sure that the team still had in on their bus – the same rig with a new Discovery Channel paint job. So he decides he wants his CD back.

Dave runs into the Discovery bus, obviously without asking permission to get on, and starts digging around in the CD collection. He runs into Savoldelli and Dave basically tells him to “shut the $#@& up, if you know what’s good for you,” and keeps searching for the CD.

I’m pretty sure Savoldelli had no idea what he was talking about.

After his hunt for the CD – successful it turns out – we head over to the sign-in and Dave proceeds to shout at everyone he sees. He didn’t care who he shouted to. He just wanted to try out what little Italian he’s learned from Giovanni (Lombardi) on anyone he saw, be they Dutch, French, German or Italian.

“Italy is cool!” or whatever popped into his head.

He then sprints to the village and straight to the Enervit booth, telling me “Hey man, this is the best tent in the village. You can eat and drink for free.” And then he sets about bothering the poor girl who happened to be working the booth that day.

So I pretty much rode the Dave wave for the hour before the stage. Crazy and pretty much impossible to replicate.

We took the bull by the horns early today. We moved to 30 kilometers and did everything we could to keep Ivan out of trouble. You know, some people have been getting a little upset with us, because those last few kilometers are “supposed” to be for the sprinters’ tams, like Fassa, who like battle it out amongst themselves. They aren’t used to having to deal with teams like ours – with no real interest in the outcome of the sprint – moving up there also. But we gotta do what we gotta do and that’s to keep Basso ahead of any problems, which happened again today (Friday).

It was energy worth wasting. There were crashes throughout the closing part of this stage and we kept him up where it was a lot safer. Actually I had no clue what was going on behind me. I heard at one point that there were only 50 guys behind us. We were just going for it up there.

He stayed out ahead of the bad stuff. He was finally caught behind the Fassa crash on the second-to-last turn and he was a little worried about whether he would lose time behind that, so he really sprinted to the finish. But this year, the UCI has extended that one-kilometer rule – where you get the same time as the group you’re with in the event of a mishap or delay – to three kilometers. He didn’t have to worry but, better safe than sorry.

Saturday we head to the hills over the last part of the stage, so we will all have our work cut out for us.

Keep checking in. I’ll write soon.