Just now, I read an article about how, in order to get his weight down for the Tour, Vincenzo Nibali allowed himself only dried apricots for dessert. A lot of pro cycling has become number crunching—apparently, one can tell if a rider is probably maybe possibly doping by doing calculations?—and the Grand Tours especially so. The article outlined Nibali’s struggle to arrive at and maintain 5-6% body fat, which would have put him on par with his would’ve-been-should’ve-been rivals Chris Froome and Alberto Contador.
Last year, after Nibali won Giro d’Italia, one of the first questions asked by Italian TV was: “What’s the first thing you want to eat?” Such a wonderfully Italian question, isn’t it? Knowing Nibali’s weight-control regimen (only 90g dry weight of pasta at dinner, dried apricots, etc.) is interesting in a pragmatic way, but knowing the one food he misses the most makes him real and relatable. Brioche was his answer, by the way.
We usually think of brioche as typically French, but it is also common in Sicily, where it comes fluffier than the French version. The Sicilians use their brioche to make ice cream sandwiches for breakfast in the sweltering summer days. If a gelato sandwich is a bit heavy in the morning for you, they also eat the bread with a side of granita siciliana. Coffee granita is a specialty in Messina (yes, Messina as in “Shark of Messina”) and in the header photo (taken in 2010 by his ex-teammate Francesco Chicchi), Vincenzo Nibali enjoys his Sicilian brioche with granita al caffe con panna, coffee granita with whipped cream. The way he ripped the head from the bread and ate it first—maybe that speaks to his racing style during this year’s Tour de France.
One of the reasons why I prefer the Giro over the Tour is that the discussion about the Giro tends to be more soulful, while the Tour dialog is heavier on weight/power, VAMs, etc. as a means to police doping from afar. This year, on top of that old chestnut, we piled on the “If Froome and Contador were there” talk (even Froome himself went there). Those are valid points to consider post mortem, but to all that I would add: one should never underestimate a man’s desire to go home and eat ice cream for breakfast.
2013/2014 has basically been a "We Can Rebuild Him" period for Thibaut Pinot. France 2 had ALL TEH training montage (but not of Pinot punching a frozen cow carcass). Here’s Pinot on the floor getting a feel for the TT position.
Guy on the left is Pinot’s brother, who is one of his trainers.
Remember how Thibaut Pinot was going to drive a race car to get over the fear of speed in descending?
It was way more BADASS than you could imagine. He raced a car at night on a snowy course.
LOL if only Google knew about this…
After a mediated handshake, not much seems open for discussion regarding the incident in which Michael Albasini used a racial slur against Kévin Reza. Albasini clarified his unrepeatable remark as a misunderstanding under duress of being in a breakaway. Alas, the Albasini test for racism would be: work your heart rate up to Zone 4 or 5, say some ethnic slurs, then figure out if you mean it or if you are just stressed. What a crock of bullshit! That the almighty ASO actually involved itself to resolve the situation indicates how the Tour de France org feared the incident may blow up and tarnish the event.