You’ve probably heard of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Legend has it he was an early adopter of power data to refine his training methods.
He was also a committed proponent of reverse periodisation way before the Team Sky boffins cottoned on; low volume, high intensity training gave him more time to spread the word of Christ, you see.
He was often spotted around Assisi, being religious, on a fixie. Kitted out in Rapha (I’m pretty sure their “Assisi” range hits the shops later this year).
And, he is the original cyclist-named-after-their-home-town; the precursor to Sir Bradley of Kilburn, and Pippo “the Peacock of Sandrigo” Pozzato.
With all this in mind, it’s good to see the Giro honouring his contribution to the sport with a stage start, as Stage 11 ran from Assisi to the town of Osimo.
The stage was a short, punchy affair that would’ve suited Saint Francis well. As the road roller-coastered to it’s finish in Osimo all manner of pro cycling royalty threw their hats in the ring.
Once the day’s break (featuring, among others, Alessandro DeMarchi and Luis Leon Sanchez) was reeled in, Tim Wellens and Zdenek Stybar picked up the familiar scent of a cobbled climb and launched themselves.
Potentially winning moves.Embed from Getty Images
But so far in this Giro d’Italia Simon Yates is the man in charge of winning moves.
Through a corridor of noise he went, as the people of Osimo emptied their lungs for the leader of the Giro. Tom Dumoulin chased, the best of the rest, with demented futility. Formolo, Pozzovivo, Pinot, followed in dribs and drabs.
Yates did that little no-hands-wobble across the line that might yet become his trademark.
A race leader, on the attack, is what every bike race needs. Yates is committed and relentless.
Saint Frances would’ve approved.
(Saint Francis of Assisi image: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)