- Fumiyuki Beppu
May 17, 2011, 11:25 BST,
May 17, 2011, 12:32 BST
My ride on stages 4-6
10th May, Stage 4
Today we rode for Wouter - it was our way of saying goodbye, however hard it was to part from him.
In the peloton there was no usual exchanges of words. We were all very, very, unchracteristically quiet. We kept on riding in this silence.
During this tribute stage, so many spectators were out at the roadside and warmly received us. I could sense they had been waiting for the arrival of Giro de Italia to their towns. Giro, even with its 100-year history, has not yet visited many places and for some cities, today was the first time to welcome Giro. When I think of that, I feel that we have to ride no matter what, as long as there are fans out there, looking forward to watching us ride through their towns.
The race will start again tomorrow. Concentration. That's what I need.
11th May, Stage 5
Just before entering the Strade Bianche, my front wheel punctured! So I had to be at the very bottom of the main group on the "white path". It came at the worst timing imaginable! I was at the front of the peloton until it happened!! Tiago (Machado) and Popo also had some troubles so lagged behind from the general classification contention.
A pretty hard stage. But that makes Giro exciting. Giro is REALLY exciting!
In any case, still a long way to go and I want to keep trying! My condition is good and if I keep on trying, there will be a day where it pays off.
12th May, Stage 6
Another TOUGH stage with a very high speed from the early kilometres. Popo was in the escape and that in itself was good - but Rabobank was setting the pace super-high, so only a small gap was allowed. Not an easy day for Popo :(
My role was to be near Tiago all day and support him. No trouble for us today (good) but the last climb was so hard that I was almost dropped!!
Tomorrow will be the first summit-finish. The total distance is only 110km so I have to be very much aware not to miss the time-cut.
(Original Text by Fumiyuki Beppu, translated by Maki Terao)
- Fumiyuki Beppu
May 12, 2011, 19:52 BST,
May 12, 2011, 20:58 BST
I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Wouter's family and friends.
Such a tragedy... But I will continue to ride and will strive to do my best in doing so, just as he has always done.
On the eve of Giro d'Italia 2011
This is my second participation in a Grand Tour. I have been targetting Giro since early spring and am in a good form. My foremost objective is to work for the team and contribute to the team wins.
This year's Giro is a TOUGH one with hard mountains, but I've trained well so am not too worried. The 2009 Tour was my first-ever grand tour, and my riding was somewhat conservative (at least I feel that way). But this time, I would like to be more aggresive!
I want to ride courageously thoughout Giro, to give encouragement to those affected by the mega-earthquake that hit Japan. I've always been encouraged by the cheerings from the fans lining the streets, and now I want to return this kindness by riding like that all the way to Milan. I will be wearing a wristband with a message saying "You are NOT alone".
7th May, Sat, Stage 1
We went into this 1st stage without being too concious about the stage win. We simply have to ride well, without running a risk of crashes. Despite the festive mood of the Giro opening, we could ride with good concentration. I rode at the front a fair amount of time. I don't feel we missed a stage win; rather, we managed to do our best. Good start. Tomorrow is the real start of the 3-week race.
8th May, Sun, Stage 2
Heat on top of the distance! The stage turned out to be tougher than it appeared on the course profile. I worked up a good sweat and also earned good miles in the legs. Today I carried bottles 3 times - 9 bottles each time, so it makes 27 bottles in total. No one wanted any bottles from the last batch after the speed increased towards the last kilometres. My teammates were like "why the hell are you carrying those bottles right now?" but I don't think it was a waste. You'd always want to make "triply" sure.
Regarding the sprint, my mission was to place my teammates at the front before the street becomes narrow. It went well. Although the team couldn't produce a good result, I think I did a 100% job and am riding well.
9th May, Mon, Stage 3
Wouter Weylandt passed away following a crash on the descent of Passo del Bocco. He was riding alone ahead of me. The moment he glanced behind he crashed into the stone wall on his left.
He was a Belgian sprinter, around my age, was always friendly and we chatted frequently. I'm in shock and grieving for him. My thoughts are with his family and friends.
In the race our team leader Tiago Machado crashed on a descent and we used a lot of energy to bring him back. I lost contact with the main group on the last climb but my legs didn't feel bad. I am determined to continue working for the team.
(Original text by Fumiyuki Beppu, Translated by Maki Terao)
- Fumiyuki Beppu
RadioShack's Fumiyuki Beppu is one of Japan's most famous riders and the 28-year-old talent will be blogging from the 2011 Giro d'Italia for Cyclingnews.com