One half of Manual For Speed (Daniel Wakefield Pasley) has been living in an apartment in Sorrento Province of Naples, Italy for the last three days. Waiting for the 2013 Giro to begin, eating pizza, Naples is the birth place of pizza, and maintaining my commitment to the consumption of one unit (coppa) of gelato (cioccolato fondente) a day during my stay here.
Today was the team presentation. The 18-mile drive into the center of Naples from Sorrento took approximately one hour and forty-five minutes, which time was in fact a good time based on anecdotal evidence collected during the last 72 hours. The last two miles into Naples was bumper-to-bumper traffic three lanes wide on a We (Daniel is with Castelli Agent Ian Marshall) parked in Piazza del Plebiscito and walked to Castel dell’Ovo (a bona fide castle on the sea in Naples) for “accreditation” and press.
Pre-presentation was a blur of half-naked Italians sun bathing on the rocks between the sea wall and the sea itself, a chaperoned group of 23 Italian girls between the ages of 17 and 20 dressed in black tights, tasteful white or blue low-top sneakers and a jersey belonging to one of the teams competing (each of the 23 girls accepted the flag of their respective/corresponding teams following the Team’s official Presentation entrance on stage via a big red Balocco-sponsored arch and a giant pink ramp), old olive-skinned dudes in kit and no helmets “cruising” on lugged old-timey bicis groupoed-out in pre-war campy, a rather unique yogi-inspired balancing-act, an Italian pink jeans and black blazer wearing announcer dude on stage addressing the crowd with, “don’t busta my ballsaaa,” and the Giro’s pink mountain squirrel known for “dormo come un ghiro.”
Presentation was a well amplified mix of hi-vis kit, monochromatic sneakers and Benny Benassi remixes of Crazy on Me, Hells Bells and similar.