Day 1: Cancellato, cancellato, cancellato
Helle Kettner - Italy - 25.05.2016
This post was supposed to be about my first day in this year’s Giro d’Italia to develop some of the fieldwork for my PhD, but now it turns out to be a post about not going to the Giro d’Italia after my own personal fight for pink all morning.
The plan was that waking up in Tarragona at 03:45 this morning was going to get me to the finishline in Cassano d’Adda before lunch. That would give me enough time to go and get my accreditation, land in the press room, meet and talk to people and of course enjoy the stage. But the Italian train company had other plans for me today.
“Cancellato”, said the not so friendly man at the desk in Milano’s Centrale FS. “Español? Cerrado [closed]. Tutto cerrado”, he continued. When I asked for other means of transportation to Cassano d’Adda he laughed at my face and said: “No” and his further plan was that I could take the train at 18h when the strike had come to its end”. So I headed to the nearest hostel, booked a bed and took a nap in it to calm down after the disappointment of being stuck in Milano for a whole day.
When I woke up after half an hour, I went to have a look at the host city of one of the biggest sports mega events of the year: the Champions League final. Impressive the set-up around the Duomo already four days before the game at Stadio San Siro on Saturday. The city centre was already decorated with the graphics of the Champions League and with the two Spanish teams playing the final: Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid. And of course all the sponsors were present. The sponsor set-up and the media outlets present around the Duomo proves the mega event it is the Champions League final.
But this is not about football, even though I would love to attend the final on Saturday, this is about cycling and my own personal fight for pink. Thursday morning I’ll do a second attempt to go to this year’s Giro d’Italia. Stage 18 starts in Muggiò a city of 25,000 inhabitants and ends in Pinerolo after 240km. I know I probably shouldn’t count my chickens before the eggs have hatched, but I’m looking forward to Pinerolo, which became a part of the Giro for the first time in 1949, when Fausto Coppi nailed a legendary stage win 11’52” ahead of Bartali and Alfredo Martini. Legendary. I hope my start of this year’s Giro tomorrow will be the same.