Exactly one week from today I will be boarding a plane for a two-week vacation in Italy. Not-so-coincidentally, a certain Italian grand tour will be taking place the entire time we’re overseas. However, since man cannot live on professional cycling alone the trip will not be dominated by tifosi-ism, but there will be two stages we’ll see in person. On May 14th, we’ll be at (or very near) the summit of the Giro’s first mountain top finish on stage 8’s Passo Lanciano. The next day, May 15th, we’ll partake in the start village festivities at Francavilla Al Mare for stage 9.

Here’s my action-packed agenda for those 2 days:

1. I will author Passo Lanciano road graffiti (most likely a very prominent

1a. If anybody has a particularly amusing suggestion for road graffiti, I will try to add your comments to Passo Lanciano as well (spray paint supply permitting…)

2. Phil Liggett will mention my road graffiti on OLN that evening.

3. I will stalk the freakiest man in cyclocross who’s making his grand tour debut: AG2R’s John Gadret.

4. I will shake Giovanni Lombardi’s hand and tell him he needs to ride all 3 Grand Tours this year, too, just to shore up his peloton badass rep.

5. I will shake Marino Lejaretta’s hand because he rode 9 grand tours in a row.

6. I will shake Allan Peiper’s hand because he was an inspiration for my early cycling days.

7. I will tell Michael Rasmussen to eat a sandwich.

8. I will tell Basque nutter Roberto Laiseka to eat a sandwich.

9. I will tell Charlie Wegelius to eat a sandwich.

10. I will make sure Jan Ullrich does not eat any sandwiches.

11. I will not be punched in the face by Wladimir Belli.

12. I will not get run over by a motorcycle on the Passo Lanciano.

13. I will “liberate” some Giro signs.

14. I will watch taciturn chain-smokers wash bikes (because I’m a cycling geek).

My other cycling-related venture will be a trip to Madonna del Ghisallo prior to our flight home out of Milan. After all, I must make my pilgrimage to Mecca.

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