Giro d'Italia stage 5 analysis: Concentrated action

The sprint on stage 5 of the 2021 Giro d'Italia
The sprint on stage 5 of the 2021 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

One must, the 19th century French political author Germaine de Staël observed, choose in life between boredom and suffering. It’s a dichotomy that is familiar to the riders of a Grand Tour; just as much so to those who follow cycling on television. 

Grand Tours are endurance events and we think that what the riders most have to endure is physical discomfort. This discomfort arises at various points in the race from pedalling hard, or from pedalling for a long time; sometimes the two happen in conjunction.

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Edward Pickering is Procycling magazine's editor. He graduated in French and Art History from Leeds University and spent three years teaching English in Japan before returning to do a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism at Harlow College, Essex. He did a two-week internship at Cycling Weekly in late 2001 and didn't leave until 11 years later, by which time he was Cycle Sport magazine's deputy editor. After two years as a freelance writer, he joined Procycling as editor in 2015. He is the author of The Race Against Time, The Yellow Jersey Club and Ronde, and he spends his spare time running, playing the piano and playing taiko drums.