I've received some mail asking where Lisa's Mum has been while I've been in Belgium. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure. I stowed her in my hand luggage when I left in Melbourne, and by the time I hit Italy she was nowhere to be found.
It wasn't until I checked my credit card statement and saw several purchases made at Gucci in Milano that I realised where she was. It is no secret that Lisa's Mum has lofty ambitions for joining the SBS commentary team at Le Tour de France, and it looks like she has taken this one step further by heading to the Giro d'Italia.
Lisa's Mum was extremely excited about today's Giro stage, where a break of 56 riders caught Vinokourov and Cadel napping and rode off to a 10min lead by the day's end. Her word from the inside is that both stopped for a picnic and, while arguing about who forgot to pack the cutlery, the break slipped past unnoticed. Mum is particularly pleased that Richie Porte has kicked Vino out of the pink, mostly because Richie is a superstar but also because blue lycra suits Vino's eyes much better.
Lisa's Mum doesn't want to be greedy but does think that Australia's dominance over all the jerseys of significance in the Giro so far is reflective of Aussies' grit, determination, and ability to withstand a large number of gels without encountering gastro-intestinal difficulty. She suspects some talent may be involved too. Mum is hoping that Richie's catapultion into the maglia rosa today will also serve as inspiration to other Tasmanians that they too can leave Tasmania one day and travel further than Melbourne.*
Lisa's Mum is enjoying the Giro at the moment but she is struggling to adjust to some of the cultural differences in Italy. For example, in Carrara, home of the stage 6 finish, it is customary to appoint only extremely tall women as podium chicks.
Don't let the picture fool you, Matty Lloyd is actually 6 ft 4
However, despite the differences, Lisa's Mum has found Italians very friendly and approachable. She even got to see her idol Mario Cipollini, who was thrilled to meet her and immediately demanded a photo. Lisa's Mum is usually camera-shy, but few women are able to say no to Cipo.
Lisa's Mum pauses for a photo with Cipo
That's enough from Lisa's Mum for now. She is off to par-tay with Saxo Bank (SOMEONE has to drink all that champagne, those riders certainly can't).
*Lisa's Mum wishes to apologise in advance to any Tasmanians she may have offended with that last statement, and also to anyone she may have offended with the Tasmanian jokes she told at the stage 11 after-party. Mum wishes to emphasise that in no way did she mean that you all had 2 heads and married your sister.