"The bib saga, Pt. 1."
As a little background - when you get your media accreditation at the Giro, you are supposed to receive an ID card and a coloured bib. The bib is to wear at the finish and it has a number so officials can easily identify media. Needless to say, no bib no service - and I don't currently, as I write this, have a bib.
Before the first stage I went to accreditation (at the start) and was told I needed to pick up my bib from accreditation at the finish. So I drove to the end of the stage, but accreditation was closed.
This morning I got to the start line even earlier and headed to accreditation, only to be told this time I would need to visit Race HQ at the finish. When I arrived at the finish it was already crowded and I had to park the car half on the footpath. No-one seemed to mind.
There were two girls at the accreditation section of Race HQ and I asked them about my bib. The response was that there was no bib for me there - and I should speak to another accreditation team member, who had already left.
So, with no bib, and security everywhere, how was I going to shoot the finish? Squeezing between throngs of people I finally got to the other side of the barriers and hid behind some photographers. I shuffled along to the finish line position trying to keep out of sight.
However, just when I thought I was in the clear, an official spots me.
I try to explain my situation to the official - but get nowhere. By now the story is so complicated, he needs to get his boss.
Finally, after much begging and pleading, the official lets me stay in the media pack. Which is good news - until tomorrow.
“So, with no bib, and security everywhere, how was I going to shoot the finish? Squeezing between throngs of people I finally got to the other side of the barriers and hid behind some photographers. I shuffled along to the finish line position trying to keep out of sight.”
While planning this trip back in Australia (on Google Maps), I had spotted a location near coastal cliffs which promised to deliver some great shots.
I climbed out onto the rocks, cameras and gear hanging off me on all sides. Gear getting caught, making it hard to balance. The rest of the media pack drove by, looking at me rather strangely – a lone figure trying to balance on a rocky outcrop, happily snapping away.
Today also brought the first of the colourful personalities that make this one of my favourite races. Vintage bikes, period outfits and larger-than-life personalities – with a real passion for the sport, the Giro and it’s collective history.
And, of course, the racing. In ideal conditions, Elia Viviani from Team Sky sprinted away from Moreno Hofland and pre-stage favourite Andre Greipel to take victory in Genoa. Michael Matthews finished strongly in seventh and, in doing so, captured the pink leader’s jersey from teammate Simon Gerrans.
DATE: Saturday 10th May, 2015 DISTANCE: 177km, Largely Flat STAGE PODIUM. 1. VIVIANI Elia 04:13:18 2. HOFLAND Moreno 3. GREIPEL André GC TOP 5. 1. MATTHEWS Michael 04:32:44 2. GERRANS Simon 3. CLARKE Simon 4. CHAVES Esteban 5. KREUZIGER Roman +00:00:07
See beardy’s coverage of previous stages below.