Giro d’Italia – Pretty in Pink

Excitable, passionate, traditional, gesticulating, epic: Giro!


There is something about grand tour stage races that brings out the epic victory salute. Here we will bring you all 21 Giro victory salutes as they happen. Cav has been low-key so far this year, but don’t be fooled: he has been practicing his salutes and a stunning new victory salute is rumoured to be imminent.


Contador wins Giro!

Stage 21: David Millar
1 Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador
2 Michelle Scarponi (6:10)
3 Vincenzo Nibali (6:56)
:
81 Richie Porte (2:46:57)
137 Cameron Meyer (4:05:04)
159 Maglia Nera: Jos Van Emden (4:49:15)

In an extraordinary display, Contador executes that most rarest of things: a time trial victory salute. First directing the eyes to the team name. Or is it a double finger-bang victory suicide?

Then the double overhead fists.

Then .. no, it’s a single finger-bang. What a tease.

The official results will have to await a xmas epic drug analysis. Richie Porte is actually quite well placed. At the moment he is at 81 and may yet win this years Giro.


Stage 20: Vasili Kiryienka. Isn’t he the Man from UNCLE? Another victory salute to dead Movistar rider Xavier Tondo.
1 Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador (leads Scarponi by 5:18)
83 Richie Porte (2:46:50)
137 Cameron Meyer (4:04:36)
159 Maglia Nera: Jos Van Emden (4:48:49)


Stage 19: Paolo Tiralongo.
1 Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador (leads Scarponi by 5:18)
87 Richie Porte (2:25:57)
144 Cameron Meyer (3:27:56)
159 Maglia Nera: Jos Van Emden (4:07:12)
You will notice that in many of these stages a pink jersey lurks behind in second. Alberto is keeping his finger-powder dry.Bert allows others to win stages (unlike some other GC winners whose M.O. is: “no free lunch”). Bert crosses the line with a neutral expression, belying his inner turmoil:


Stage 18: Eros Capecchi. Another Italian!
1 Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador (leads Scarponi by 4:58)
107 Richie Porte (2:24:25)
136 Cameron Meyer (3:07:25)
162 Maglia Nera: Jos Van Emden (3:40:11)


Stage 17: Diego Ulissi. No victory salute, too busy gesticating (above is before they crossed). Giovanni Visconti (on right) first to line, but penalised for pushing.
Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador (leads Scarponi by 4:58)
104 Richie Porte (2:18:13)
141 Cameron Meyer (2:58:33)
162 Maglia Nera: Jos Van Emden (3:31:00) (Matthew Wilson DNF)


Stage 16: Alberto Contador . No victory salutes in a time trial, but Bert salutes Tondo on the podium. Xavier Tondo was killed in a freak accident by his garage door at home. Having just cooperated with investigators breaking a spanish doping ring, the conspiracy theorists will have a field day. Note the thumb of the fingerbang is on safety.
Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador (leads Scarponi by 4:58)
113 Richie Porte (2:15:35)
137 Cameron Meyer (2:37:15)
165 Maglia Nera: Matthew Wilson (3:24:59)


Rest day.
Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador (leads Scarponi by 4:20)
Yes, Contador is in pink, but just to show that not everything is going his way. Pursued by a long-horn who is wearing lederhosen and wielding a giant syringe – the stuff of nightmares.


Stage 15: Mikel Nieve.
Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador (leads Scarponi by 4:20)


Stage 14: Igor Anton.
Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador (leads Nabali by 3:20)
Contador is in pink, but has a choice of other colours: He leads
General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification
Most combative rider classification
Azzurri d’Italia classification


Stage 13: Jose Rujano.
Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador (leads Nabali by 3:09)



Stage 12: Mark Cavendish.
Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador

With maturity come subtlety and nuance. A simple, “Look I’ve won two” salute?
I think not. This is part of the classic Cavendish repertoire and has been worked on for years. Here we see an early version at the Tour of Romandie last year:

HTC pulled him from the race after this, citing that it was “too experimental”, “the world was not ready”. Cavendish explained “Its for all you journalists and commentators out there that don’t know Jackshit about racing”.

He later elaborated that actually it was just a part of being English. The French used to cut off the fingers of captured longbow men. The gesture was an act of defiance as the longbow men did battle: “Look I’ve still got my fingers to draw the bow”.

This only goes to show the quality of the team of spin doctors on the Cavendish’s entourage; a team greatly expanded since Cavendish started on Twitter.

The salute we saw today is from a master at his peak. With nowhere else to go, Cavendish immediately withdrew from the Giro. All eyes now turn to Contador. Will we witness a double fingerbang?


Stage 11: John Gadret. Wouter Weylandt laid to rest.
Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador

Meanwhile the tifosi are making their own suggestions to Cavendish.


Stage 10: Mark Cavendish.
Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador
In the long awaited Cavendish victory… here screaming towards the line.

The last person I saw poised like this was Quade Cooper before a launching into a handstand – back flip.

No, its just another grand tour stage victory.

Reassuring Prince Harry that the secret salute is yet to come.



Stage 9: Alberto Contador. In a startling move, Bert sheaths the fingerbang and brings out the hand-whip….
Maglia Rosa: Alberto Contador

No, spoke too soon…
bringing it down….… fingerbang!



Stage 8: Oscar Gatto. An Italian is back on the top step of the podium.
Maglia Rosa: Pieter Weening



Stage 7: Bart De Clercq. No time to zip the jersey.
Maglia Rosa: Pieter Weening



Stage 6: Francisco Ventoso.
Maglia Rosa: Pieter Weening



Stage 5: Pieter Weening. Soloed the last 9 km. Now leads GC by 2 secs.
Maglia Rosa: Pieter Weening



Stage 4: Neutralised. Woulter Weylandt’s team Leopard Trek crosses line together with close friend Tyler Farrar.
Maglia Rosa: David Millar



Stage 3: Angel Vicioso. Unaware that Woulter Weylandt died in accident earlier in race.
Maglia Rosa: David Millar



Stage 2: Alessandro Petacchi. Italians delirious. Cavendish looks on in disbelief. He had been running that new salute through his head for 244km and … a couple of cm short.
Maglia Rosa: Cavendish



Stage 1: Marco Pinotti. Italians delirious. Team time trials are never any good for a victory salute. It also puts him in pink.
Maglia Rosa: Pinotti


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4 Responses to Giro d’Italia – Pretty in Pink

  1. 888riley says:

    I think you’re on the money regarding a fulsome Contator double Finger Bang finale.

    I know I speak for everyone when I say I hope Alberto goes for Gold and does a double Finger Bang WITH SMOKING BARRELS. Wouldn’t that be somethiing?

  2. Leah says:

    You’re making me feel a little queasy, James. Which parts of Cavendish would be employed in an elephant salute, exactly? Wait. Don’t tell me. It’s probabaly best if I don’t know.

  3. 888riley says:

    Prince Harry looks crestfallen, like he’s done all that work for …. what?

    I think Cav feels his big production salute is not ready for prime time and is taking it ‘inside’ to workshop with the boys a little more.

    It’s been a subdued start to the salute race, and I guess the tragedy saw to that. I thought Bart “The Pugilist” De Clerk’s sideways air-punching was going to be the high point. Shame on me for thinking small! Of course Alberto was always going to pull out an epic overhead finger-bang! In hindsight, THERE WAS NEVER ANY DOUBT.

    And so it will be with Cav. It’s making me dizzy thinking about it.

    What’s it going to be? Elephants? Dancing girls? Some kind of trench-digging device?

    • Mark says:

      Trench-digging device? I think I know where you’re going with this. If only the NBN had a Pro Team (and why not) with Cav on it, the possibilities are huge. Memo to Conroy…

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