It’s interesting to watch cycling through a Twitter stream sometimes. In today’s world where most of us have various race streams silently playing next to our paying jobs, going back to the days of yesteryear when the masses followed the racing action only as much as it appeared on their Twitter timeline is. . . oh, what’s the word? Old-timey, yet nostalgic. Having only watched the final two kilometers with my own eyes, that’s how I kept tabs on today’s Giro Stage 13 – refreshing my Twitter app whenever I remembered to do so, living the race in a delayed fashion through whatever someone posted on Twitter.
Cycling fans, one and all, stand up and give yourself a jolly good pat on the back for making it through to the end of Stage 6 of this year’s Giro D’Italia. A long, painful, uneventful affair ultimately saw Arnaud Demare double up the stage wins, all the while tightening his grip on the maglia ciclamino. In a horribly frantic final kilometre, in which frankly it was a miracle there were no crashes, the best of the best sprinters went to battle for the day’s honours. Lotto Soudal’s Caleb Ewan lost out to Demare by truly the finest of margins (see our 50-slide powerpoint presentation on the camera angles being wrong later), and Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) rounded out the podium with his first ever(!) third place finish at the Italian Grand Tour. No change in the jerseys or the GC.
Stage Five of the Giro saw the Groupama-FDJ team deliver Arnaud Demare perfectly to claim his first victory of the year – and the beautiful maglia ciclamino. The French speedster survived a climb which took hot favourites Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Lotto-Soudal’s Caleb Ewan out of contention with 100km to go. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates and Israel Premier Tech’s Giacomo Nizzolo joined him to complete the podium. There was little change in the GC with Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) retaining the pink jersey for another day. In other news from Messina, local hero Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qaxaqstan) announced his retirement from the sport at the end of the 2022 season.