Why does a city need that many names? Oh ya, I forgot. The city actually doesn’t have that many names. It only looks that way, because we people from other languages insist on changing a city's name into something that we think sounds better in our language. Just how presumptuous is that? And it is not only us Americans that do it…no way. The Dutch do it, the Germans do it, the French do it, the Spanish do it, etc… Geez that gets me (I feel a rant coming on, and this one has nothing to do with burrito’s – although a burrito would certainly go well right now. For that matter a burrito, an IPA and some Pearl Jam – but that would be acting all middle America). Why can’t we just say it the way the original version is said? If you told me your name was Jack, and I started calling you John - that just would not make sense. You probably would think I was daft. (Of course this is not related to someone telling you that you do not know Jack. In this case, they would be right. You wouldn't. You would know John, who was actually Jack. But it would be best to just admit you only know John as it just confuses things further if we get into the whole 'named Jack, but answering to John' thing.) But we all just live with it when it comes to names for cities and countries.
If the name of the city is Firenze in Italian, and the city is in Italy and the locals call it Firenze, then the rest of us (who are not from there, but may be named Jack or John) need to respect that and call it Firenze. Not Florence or (??).
Who started this whole thing anyway? My guess it was the English, as they do not really like the name Jack in the first place. It would probably have been done in the name of the Queen (which was made up). I hope they have pudding at lunch.
That settles it.
So after the barn burner time we had in Chatel, being all
Big Mountain Alpey and all, we decided we needed culture, Italian food, the
worlds best coffee and bad ass bike racing.
(What do they call Italian food in Italy?). On to Firenze it is. Unfortunately, there was no Pearl Jam to be
had and I did not have a good outfit for it at all. One Dopio Machiatto to go...
We arrived on Friday and headed out to a meeting with the directors of the new Trek Factory Racing effort. Luca runs a tight ship, and I just wanted to start to get acquainted with how things go. It is going to be a dynamite effort – just wait and see what we have in store… More on that later.
Saturday was walk around the city day and then we watched the women’s race from a little bar along the street in the old part of the city. The women’s race came down as I thought it would. Last lap Vos the Boss took over and brought it home. Of course there was way more to the race than that, but that pretty much summed it up. Women’s racing has arrived, though. It is much more exciting than it has ever been in the past. Congratulations Mademoiselle Vos, you are amazing.
The men’s race was nothing short of apocalyptic. Rainstorms more suited for an ark, and 270km took its toll and made it so only 61 riders even finished. Whole teams were left on the side of the roadway in tatters. It made me glad that I was not a pro bike racer (not that I ever could have that kind of ability on a bicycle). The finish was super exciting, and Rui Costa was a deserved winner.
Here is a little video taken from the Shimano support car. It gives you a feel for just how treacherous the conditions were out on the road. Wow.
What really amazed me the most was that the city of Firenze really rolled it out for the race. The streets were marked off all week, writing on the streets everywhere, signage up on all the places that they could be. And talk about a historic and scenic course. Wow. Around the Duomo, past Ponte Vecchio, through the small streets in the city, etc.
On top of that, it seemed that almost every shop seemed to have something up in its windows about the race. They were just a ton of different types of decorations for businesses that were cycling themed. Some of the displays were really professionally done and others that were just thrown up in support. Nonetheless, they were all impressive in their own way.
Here is my photo essay about the city and how one small aspect of the city embraced its race.
Cannot wait until the Worlds in Richmond. Not sure they will be able to top Florencja though.