Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Can't Phalt The As-ses

There has been much written about the parcours of Wednesday's Stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia. After seeing the intial pictures of the Plan de Corones, it was easy to see why so many people were paying attention to it. Although everything seems to be falling into place, I'm amazed, no dumbfounded, at the nonchalant attitude in regard to venue preparation that seems to accompany so many major events that occur in Europe (I'm reminded of the last minute constructions of the various Olympic venues, from Munich in 1972 to Athens in 2004).



As of Monday, May 22, the organizers have decided to simply cut short the course route depending on how much work is completed up the final climb. I'm sure there will be no arguments raised by the riders as their legs and lungs will certainly be burning after tackling some of the 24% graded portions. However, the possiblity of Stage 17 becoming the gem of the 89th edition shouldn't be dependent upon the skill or motivation of pavers, but rather that of the cyclists.

Update: (via Jered Gruber's Pezcyclingnews.com EuroTrash column)
"Tomorrow's stage to the much-feared Plan de Corones has turned into a complete nightmare for the organizers. Giro organizers tried to pave the final super-super-steep kilometers in the last days, but the weather has been less than cooperative, so the newly paved road has not been drying well at all - reports are that wheels sink a few mm's into the surface!"

5 comments:

Tour of '03 said...

As I remember, construction on Olympic sites in Greece and Turin were last minute.
And when the Cleveland Coliseum between Cleveland and Akron in Ridgefield, Ohio, opened in 1975 (it was torn down around 2000!) for a Frank Sinatra concert (talk about a long time ago!), construction was still continuing! In fact, the first TWO Cleveland Crusaders (World Hockey Association) games were postponed because they couldn't adequately make ice.
So while I share you're surprise about the course route, it's not that unusual.

53rd Tooth said...

There happens to be an enormous difference between brick and mortar construction and PAVING a remote road that has been announced for over a year. It's pure laziness and mismanagement. Which IS very surprising given the gravity of the Giro in Italy.

Granny's 30 said...

I guess that's my point T-o-03, you have to go back to the mid to late 70's to recall a time when a US sporting venue has been very last minute, whereas the last two Olympic venues in Europe have pushed the envelope. For me, laziness and mismanagement maybe a part of it (a great part of it from our vantage point), but it seems to be more cultural than anything as any hard laborer from any of the Mediterranean countries will certainly tell you how hard they are working. Even with an event which is not only a display of great cycling, but of national pride, the workers still maintain a "it'll get done, but on my time" attitude. Case in point, we had a patient who was scheduled at a certain time on a certain day. He happened to come in 4 hours late with the expectation of still being seen, despite the fact that clinic was about done for that day. His argument, "what's the problem, you said Thursday, and I'm here on Thursday."

Can you imagine the conversation between Giro organizers and the paving company..."We'll finish paving, when we finish paving." "But we planned and organized this Stage a year ago." "Hey what did I tell you!"

Tour of '03 said...

Can you imagine the conversation between Giro organizers and the paving company..."We'll finish paving, when we finish paving."

Hey, that was probably exactly the conversation!
You'll both be happy to know that the Wilson Bridge construction in D.C. (the bridge across the Potomac from Alexandria to Maryland) is not only on budget but ahead of schedule!

Granny's 30 said...

Now you can really go and mock the people in Boston for the "Big Dig"

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Can't Phalt The As-ses

There has been much written about the parcours of Wednesday's Stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia. After seeing the intial pictures of the Plan de Corones, it was easy to see why so many people were paying attention to it. Although everything seems to be falling into place, I'm amazed, no dumbfounded, at the nonchalant attitude in regard to venue preparation that seems to accompany so many major events that occur in Europe (I'm reminded of the last minute constructions of the various Olympic venues, from Munich in 1972 to Athens in 2004).



As of Monday, May 22, the organizers have decided to simply cut short the course route depending on how much work is completed up the final climb. I'm sure there will be no arguments raised by the riders as their legs and lungs will certainly be burning after tackling some of the 24% graded portions. However, the possiblity of Stage 17 becoming the gem of the 89th edition shouldn't be dependent upon the skill or motivation of pavers, but rather that of the cyclists.

Update: (via Jered Gruber's Pezcyclingnews.com EuroTrash column)
"Tomorrow's stage to the much-feared Plan de Corones has turned into a complete nightmare for the organizers. Giro organizers tried to pave the final super-super-steep kilometers in the last days, but the weather has been less than cooperative, so the newly paved road has not been drying well at all - reports are that wheels sink a few mm's into the surface!"

5 comments:

Tour of '03 said...

As I remember, construction on Olympic sites in Greece and Turin were last minute.
And when the Cleveland Coliseum between Cleveland and Akron in Ridgefield, Ohio, opened in 1975 (it was torn down around 2000!) for a Frank Sinatra concert (talk about a long time ago!), construction was still continuing! In fact, the first TWO Cleveland Crusaders (World Hockey Association) games were postponed because they couldn't adequately make ice.
So while I share you're surprise about the course route, it's not that unusual.

53rd Tooth said...

There happens to be an enormous difference between brick and mortar construction and PAVING a remote road that has been announced for over a year. It's pure laziness and mismanagement. Which IS very surprising given the gravity of the Giro in Italy.

Granny's 30 said...

I guess that's my point T-o-03, you have to go back to the mid to late 70's to recall a time when a US sporting venue has been very last minute, whereas the last two Olympic venues in Europe have pushed the envelope. For me, laziness and mismanagement maybe a part of it (a great part of it from our vantage point), but it seems to be more cultural than anything as any hard laborer from any of the Mediterranean countries will certainly tell you how hard they are working. Even with an event which is not only a display of great cycling, but of national pride, the workers still maintain a "it'll get done, but on my time" attitude. Case in point, we had a patient who was scheduled at a certain time on a certain day. He happened to come in 4 hours late with the expectation of still being seen, despite the fact that clinic was about done for that day. His argument, "what's the problem, you said Thursday, and I'm here on Thursday."

Can you imagine the conversation between Giro organizers and the paving company..."We'll finish paving, when we finish paving." "But we planned and organized this Stage a year ago." "Hey what did I tell you!"

Tour of '03 said...

Can you imagine the conversation between Giro organizers and the paving company..."We'll finish paving, when we finish paving."

Hey, that was probably exactly the conversation!
You'll both be happy to know that the Wilson Bridge construction in D.C. (the bridge across the Potomac from Alexandria to Maryland) is not only on budget but ahead of schedule!

Granny's 30 said...

Now you can really go and mock the people in Boston for the "Big Dig"