Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Giro d'Amsterdam begins Saturday

It's amazing to me all three of the Grand Tours within a 12-month window begin in Holland. I'd love to go to Holland, especially Amsterdam, and take in the refreshingly bike-friendly culture in which the need to slow down cars to protect public safety is well established (in stark contrast to the "drivers own the road" mentality in good-old-friendly U-S-A). But from a racing perspective, the convoluted roads and complex network of traffic circles make racing there quite a challenge. Challenge is good when it's a test of skill, but with the Russian Roulette of a peloton surviving an almost endless series of traffic circles in the final kilometers of a win-at-all-costs pro bike race, not so good unless you're into random blood-letting.

So here's the profiles for the first three stages of the Giro d'Italia, from CyclingNews, each stating in Amsterdam:

Heck, I can't ride from home to the local market (in San Francisco) without doing more climbing than two of these stages, and a ride across this compact city is more climbing than all three combined.

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