To all who love to suffer, and for those fallen heroes….

A few words on this years Giro:

Overall, everyone should tip their hat to the fine (almost super human) performance of Contador at this years giro; he was simply unstoppable. He took time on his rivals whenever he wanted and proved himself in the time trials. With all the fuss surrounding his alleged doping I have a hard time believing that he would even try to dope during any of this years races. Everyone must be watching him so closely.

So, with this freak of nature dominating the Giro, it may have seemed a little boring at times. Where was the passion, the pain, and glory? The performances that would go down in history.

Well on the second to last day, the cycling world had a glimpse of greatness. An image of beautiful suffering. Vasili Kiryienka gave a performance that was one of the most inspiring efforts I have seen in a while. He soloed the 18.9 km Finestre climb averaging at 9.1%, with its endless switch backs and 8 km gravel section to the top, and then continued up the 10 km Sestriere climb averaging at 5.1%. After 242 km Kiryienka crossed the line with a awe inspiring win that embodied everything I love about bike racing. His win was truly epic and all his suffering was for a purpose, to honor the death of another inspiring hero, Xavier Tondo, who passed away a few days earlier. In his own words:

“The dedication for my victory today is without doubt for my friend Tondo, I knew him very well in the races of the north, he was a good person who enjoyed cycling, liked life, he liked to suffer … the best way to remember was to win and I’m really happy to be able to do so. After his death, we remained at Giro to honor his memory and his passion.”

RIP Tondo

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