Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: cyclism

Les contradictions de l’Italie

Aujourd’hui les contradictions de l’Italie se reflètent dans cette alliance, cette cohabitation contre nature, il n’y a pas d’extrêmes politiquement plus opposés que le parti Cinq étoiles et la Ligue, c’est inquiétant, car ces contrastes viennent brouiller nos relations avec les autres pays européens.

Oggi le contraddizioni dell’Italia si riflettono nell’attuale alleanza di governo: una coabitazione contro natura …e inquietante, perché questi contrasti complicano enormemente le nostre relazioni con gli altri paesi europei.

(Domenico Pozzovivo, ciclista e gregario di Vincenzo Nibali. Da “L’Équipe” del 18 luglio 2018)

Cyclop

Do you remember the Black Office? We are now turning into a cinema. Gaetan and Romain set up a large screen and a stereo. Annique and Stephanie improved the concept and created the layout. Johanna helped with the selection of movies. And we now have a calendar of movie sessions that are somehow related to the bike.

Cyclop - 1Cyclop - 2

Do you have ideas on other films that can be included in the future? Write me an email at lorenzo.piccoli@unine.ch or get in touch on twitter @piccolimeister.

Adam Hansen

Cycling outfit is expensive and difficult to pick. Most cycling teams have horrible jerseys, packed with dodgy sponsors and eccric colours. I have Mapei jersey and shorts since I was a kid. It was a present from my uncle. At the time, I wanted to dress like the Russian Pavel Tonkov, the archi-enemy of Marco Pantani at the Giro d’Italia of 1997 and 1998. Indeed, the whole of Italy was cheering for the latter, but I was already a bit of a bastian contrario at the time.

Last year I decided it was time to get a new outfit. It took me one year to pick, but I eventually chose the Australian national team. This is my own tribute to Adam Hansen, the one cyclist in the circus that truly entertains his fans.

At the Giro d’Italia in Spring this year Adam Hansen will attempt to continue his unbroken run of Grand Tour finishes. The Aussie’s consecutive Grand Tour rides started at the 2011 Vuelta a España. Since then, he has participated and finished every Vuelta, Giro and Tour del France.

This is a unique challenge. Riding one Grand Tour takes plenty of strength; riding all three Grand Tours for seven consecutive years is a gigantic and somehow extremely lucky effort. Think of all things that can go wrong before and during the race, from crashing to being sick. Yet, Adam Hansen is now close to bringing his total to 20 – twice as many consecutive races as those of Marino Lejarreta, previous record’s holder from the 1980s.

Hansen is a spectacular rider who built up his own antics and style race after race. Seizing the moment to rejoice in the purity of the race he often provides an extra thrill for the fans.

 

 

Hansen likes to change things up in order to remain mentally fresh. He created several companies and he often works on matters relating to those in his hotel room in the evenings after Grand Tour stages. This is how he channels his energy in other ways and keeping his mind occupied while switching off from the race. Over the years he has started to manufacture his own carbon fibre shoes and to develop a software called “Logicycle” that he’s written for his Lotto-Soudal team to help their logistics. Marginal gains.

Plenty of riders are popular, but few earn the cult following of Adam Hansen.

 

 

Life is about the people you meet

Pugni in Provenza

1984, quinta tappa della Parigi-Nizza con partenza da Miramas e arrivo a La Seyne-sur-Mer. Leader di classifica è lo scozzese Robert Millar, di gran lunga il miglior ciclista britannico fino all’epoca d’oro di Sir Bradley Wiggins e Chris Froome. Oggi Millar si fa chiamare Philippa York e vive nel Dorset.

Torniamo in Francia. E’ una giornata all’apparenza interlocutoria; ma è un’epoca, questa, in cui i big si danno battaglia ogni giorno. Nella discesa del col d’Espigoulier, nel cuore della Provenza, Bernard Hinault attacca e porta in avanscoperta un gruppetto di una ventina di corridori. Bell’imboscata.

A 35 chilometri dall’arrivo, però, il gruppo in fuga si scontra con una protesta sindacale. Qualche decina di lavoratori protesta contro licenziamenti di massa. Strada bloccata, tutti fermi, manifestanti agitati, corridori disorientati, organizzatori spiazzati. La situazione degenera in spintoni e Hinault si fa strada a modo suo.

Arriva poi la polizia e la corsa riparte. I fuggitivi spingono a tutta e mantengono un piccolo margine. La tappa la vince Eddy Planckaert in volata davanti a Sean Kelly, che spodesta Millar in classifica e va a vincere la corsa.

Hinault vinse poi molte altre gare e mantenne i suoi modi di fare piuttosto sbrigativi anche quando si trovò poi a lavorare nelle Pubbliche Relazioni al Tour de France, spostando in maniera memorabile diversi intrusi dal podio.

Panache

This is a post I wrote exactly one year ago from now. I am not sure why I did not publish it then. It clearly inspired me to take up some more serious cycling in the following months. I will share it now that my bike is getting rusty again. Perhaps it will wake my spirit up to some new competitions.

***

In December I bought a card game that features thirty of the greatest cyclists of all time and gives them somehow objectionable ratings on different aspects of their character. Before returning home for Christmas I started playing the game with Dani and the question arose: what, exactly, is panache? We looked it up and found that it means elegance, courage, style, verve. I liked the adjective and started throwing it into random conversations, often as a joke.

Part II: Lance Armstrong – again

Those of you who have been reading this blog for some time will know that there is one recurring topic here. And yes, here we go again: during the Christmas vacation I spent time watching a few more documentaries on my old obsession. Not only that: I watched interviews and short clips about some of the other characters of this epic – meant in the literal, ancient Greek sense of the word – tale. There is the simple man who fell from grace; the lesser man who betrayed, threatened, and begged; and there are a few wise men, who seem to be able to reckon what is right and what is wrong. There are many other fascinating characters – the evil doctor, the famous girlfriend, the evasive team director to mention just a few – but I am not going to talk about them now. This period of my life I have been fascinated by one wise man who appears in Lance Armstrong’s story. Until a month ago I did not know him well – at all. And the more I learnt, the more I liked this man. This is what I know now about him. His name is Greg LeMond.

Part III: Greg LeMond
(large parts of this section are taken from a variety of pages online, including wikipedia)

Greg LeMond was born in Lakewood and raised in Washoe Valley, which is a ranch country on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains. LeMond was a standout amateur rider. He turned professional in 1981 and in 1983 he won the World Championship outright, becoming the first American rider to do so. LeMond rode his first Tour de France in 1984, finishing third in support of team leader Laurent Fignon.

The following year he was brought across to La Vie Claire to ride in support of team captain Bernard Hinault who was attempting to win his fifth Tour. In the race Hinault led through the early mountain stages, but suffered a crash and came into difficulty. At this point it was clear that LeMond was an elite rider capable of winning the Tour in his own right. The injured Hinault was vulnerable, and his competitors knew it. At stage 17, which included three major climbs in the Pyrenees, LeMond followed Stephen Roche in an attack, but was not given permission to help build on the gap over the field. The managers of his La Vie Claire team ordered LeMond to sit on his wheel, a tactic to use the rider in front as cover for wind resistance so the following rider uses less energy. At the end of the stage LeMond was frustrated to the point of tears. He later revealed that team management and his own coach Paul Köchli had misled him as to how far back Hinault had dropped during the stage.. Hinault won the 1985 Tour, with LeMond riding as a dutiful lieutenant finishing second, 1:42 behind. As a repayment for his sacrifice Hinault promised to help LeMond win the Tour the following year.

However, Hinault’s support seemed less certain the closer the race approached. LeMond had bad luck during the fist stages, having suffered punctured tires and bicycle changes and slipped to the second stage behind Hinault. By the end of Stage 12, Hinault had a five-minute lead over LeMond and the other top riders. By Stage 17 LeMond has managed to fill the gap, dropping Hinault in four consecutive stages and pulling on the yellow jersey of race leader. The following day in the Alps saw Hinault attack again early on the first climb, but he was pulled back. Attempting an escape on the descent, he was unable to separate himself from LeMond. As they ascended up the next col they continued to pull away from the field, and maintained the gap as they reached the base of the final climb, the vaunted Alpe d’Huez. They pressed on through the crowd, ascending the twenty-one switchbacks of Alpe d’Huez and reaching the summit together. LeMond put an arm around Hinault and gave him a smile and the stage win in a show of unity.

But the infighting was not over. Hinault attacked again on Stage 19 and had to be brought back by teammates Andy Hampsten and Steve Bauer. Commenting on the team situation prior to the final individual time trial at Stage 20, LeMond offered the following with a wry smile: “He’s attacked me from the beginning of the Tour De France. He’s never helped me once, and I don’t feel confident at all with him.” LeMond would keep the yellow jersey to the end of the race and win his first Tour, but he felt betrayed by Hinault and the La Vie Claire team leadership. LeMond later stated the 1986 Tour was the most difficult and stressful race of his career.

LeMond had planned to defend his title in the 1987 Tour de France with La Vie Claire, but he was unable to participate because he was shot during a session of turkey hunting. The facts went as follows. LeMond was resting before the Tour in a ranch co owned by his father in Lincoln, California, together with Rodney Barber and Patrick Blades, his uncle and brother-in-law. The trio had become separated when Blades, who heard movement behind him, turned and fired through a bush. The movement had come from LeMond, who was hit in his back and right side with a devastating blast of approximately 60 No. 2-sized pellets. LeMond’s injuries were life-threatening, but fortunately, a police helicopter was already airborne near the scene and transported LeMond on a 15-minute air medical flight to the Medical Center at University of California-Davis. LeMond was taken for emergency surgery. He had suffered a pneumothorax to his right lung and extensive bleeding, having lost some 65 percent of his blood volume. A physician informed LeMond later that he had been within 20 minutes of bleeding to death. The events effectively ended his 1987 and 1988 seasons.

After struggling in the 1989 Paris–Nice early-season race and failing to improve his condition, LeMond informed his wife Kathy that he intended to retire from professional cycling after the 1989 Tour de France. He had some flashes of form in the Giro d’Italia’s final 53 km (33 mi) individual time trial into Florence. LeMond placed a surpising second there, more than a minute ahead of overall winner Laurent Fignon. However, at the start of the Tour de France LeMond was not considered a contender for the general classification. His own most optimistic hope was to finish his final Tour in the top 20. Without the weight of expectation and other pressures of being a Tour favorite, LeMond surprised observers with a strong ride in the 7.8 km (4.8 mi) prologue in Luxembourg, finishing fourth out of 198 riders. Buoyed by the result, LeMond continued to ride well over the opening flat stages, winning the 73 km (45 mi) stage 5 individual time trial, and gaining the yellow jersey of race leader for the first time in three years.  LeMond remained at the front of the race in the Pyrénées, but lost the lead to his former teammate and rival Laurent Fignon on stage 10 in Superbagnères. After a fierce fight on the mountains, with the yellow jersey quickly passing from one to the other, Fignon held a 50-second advantage over LeMond going into the 21st and final stage, a rare 24.5 km (15.2 mi) individual time trial from Versailles to the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Fignon had won the Tour twice before, in 1983 and 1984, and was a very capable time trialist. It seemed improbable that LeMond could take 50 seconds off Fignon over the short course. Le Monde rode the time trial with a rear disc wheel, a cut-down Giro aero helmet and the same Scott clip-on aero bars which had helped him to the Stage 5 time trial win. Instructing his support car not to give him his split times, LeMond rode flat-out and finished at a record pace to beat Fignon by 8 seconds and claim his second Tour de France victory. The final margin of victory of eight seconds was the closest in the Tour’s history.

LeMond’s return to the pinnacle of cycling was confirmed on August 27, when he won the 259 km (161 mi) World Championships road race in Chambéry, France, defeating Fignon again and edging Dimitri Konyshev and Sean Kelly on the line. The next year Le Mond won the Tour de France again, though in a less spectacular fashion than 1989. But then his conditions deteriorated. LeMond acknowledged that the increasing prevalence of doping contributed to his lack of competitiveness. Said LeMond: “Something had changed in cycling. The speeds were faster and riders that I had easily out performed were now dropping me”. Nonetheless, LeMond said there was something more, related to his body not functioning as it would have before. “I figure I had three months that went right for me after the hunting accident,” three months in which he won the two Tours and a world road race championship. “The rest were just pure suffering, struggling, fatigue, always tired.”

After retiring from cycling, LeMond founded LeMond Bicycles, invested in real estate, and opened a restaurant. He received intense criticism in 2001 when he publicly expressed doubts about the legitimacy of Lance Armstrong’s Tour success after learning of his relationship with Dr. Michele Ferrari. His outspokenness placed him in the center of the anti-doping controversy. Trek, the longtime manufacturer and distributor of LeMond Racing Cycles, had threatened to end the relationship at the behest of Armstrong. He described the two years following the forced apology as the worst in his life, marked by self-destructive behavior that ultimately led him to disclose his sexual abuse to his wife and seek help.

In 2007 Floyd Landis called him in August to ask why the former Tour champ had been so publicly vocal in the days after it was reported that Landis’s A sample from stage 17 of the Tour had tested positive for synthetic testosterone. LeMond made numerous TV appearances in the aftermath, and spoke in general terms about why he thought Landis should come clean if he had in fact doped at the 2006 Tour de France. “At first, I didn’t believe it was him,” said LeMond during direct questioning from USADA attorney Matt Barnett. “I was shocked he was calling me only because I thought it was a prank phone call. I confirmed it was really him and he asked why I would be making these public comments.” LeMond explained that he told Landis that if he did have a positive that it was a devastating thing for the sport. “I was very clear that I didn’t judge that he did or didn’t because the B sample wasn’t positive at the time,” LeMond continued, adding that he told Landis that he could “single handedly salvage the sport” by “[coming] clean.”Landis, according to LeMond, responded, “What good would it do?” then added that if he did “it would destroy a lot of my friends and hurt a lot of people.” LeMond went on to reveal that he told Landis that keeping dark secrets can ruin one’s life, then relayed his own story of being sexually abused as a child, a story LeMond said he had shared with only a few people and never talked about publicly until Thursday. “I was sexually abused before I got into cycling it nearly destroyed me,” LeMond said, adding he told Landis that he should come clean because, “This will come back to haunt you when you are 40 or 50…this will destroy you.

The drama continued on the eve of LeMond’s testimony, when LeMond received a phone call from a mysterious caller, who identified himself only as “Uncle Ron.” LeMond said he was perplexed at first, but that changed to concern when the caller made direct references to the conversation about sexual abuse that he had with Landis last August.“He said ‘Hi Greg, this is your uncle. This is your uncle Ron and I’m going to be there tomorrow,’” LeMond recalled. “I said, ‘Who is this?’ He said, ‘I’m going to be there and we can talk about how we used to hide your weenie.’ I got the picture right away that there are very few people who know about that. I figured this was intimidation.” The three-time Tour champ said the caller then hung up, and when LeMond redialed he got a voicemail message identifying the call recipient as “Will.” LeMond said he tried calling back three more times, finally getting an answer from someone who identified himself only as “Bill.” The conversation was inconclusive, so LeMond hung up and then called the police. A subsequent check of the number saved on LeMond’s mobile phone showed that it belonged to Landis’s business manager Will Geoghegan. Undeterred, LeMond took the stand and testified, before admitting to the world that he had been molested.

That initial sense of freedom

Everybody has her/his own obsession. Some people are obsessed with power; others are obsessed with death; others are obsessed with money. i am obsessed with Lance Armstrong, because he represents all of the above. This is going to be my eighth post about him in less than four years, so much so that I am starting to think that I should create a Lance sub-category on this blog.

This time I am writing Lance because of a new movie, The Program, which is out in the cinemas now. Oddly, however, I am going to write about another, slightly older movie on the topic. If you read The Guardian‘s review, you will be told that Stephen Frears’s feature “pedals hard enough but comes second to Alex Gibney’s 2013 documentary on the subject“. I have watched the Gibney’s documentary a few months ago and after watching this new movie I watched it again – and again. I would include it among the best documentaries I ever stumbled upon, but this might have something to do with my own obsession for the subject.

Regardless of that, however, there are some bits of the movie I could highly reccommed. Not only to fellow cycling fans – my dad, Giallu, Niccolò, Alvise – but to everybody with a taste for sweet things in life, really. Even those for are not into cycling at all might appreciate the poetry that is occasionally provided in it, even that coming from an evil mind like Lance’s – the title of this post is a tribute to this part of the movie. More generally, however, I managed to find at least three reasons why The Armstrong Lie (the title is probably the only thing of the movie that comes short of creativity) is a great piece of cinema:

  1. the soundtrack – there are some bits of the movie that are among the sweetest and most exciting things I have seen in the last few years. For instance, the one-minute sequence with the peloton riding under pouring rain at the Tour of California as a melancholic Long Way Home adds the sense of misery the whole situation. Or the two-minute attack of Alberto Contador accompanied by Letra del Viento that gains pace as Contador’s domination of Armstrong becomes clearer and neater.
  2. the behind-the-scenes – it is almost unbelievable how big of an access to what we usually do not see Alex Gibney was provided with. Thanks to that, we can now see Lance Armstrong in some private moments – at home, taking anti-drugs tests; or just after a race, discussing the state of art of the completion he is taking part in – but we can also watch some other characters in their full exposure – the director of Armstrong’s team, Johan Bruyneel, swearing at Contador as he indirectly attacks teammate Armstrong.
  3. the self-critique of the narrator – Gibney explains how he, as I did, had a genuine despise for Armstrong’s approach to sports and was long convinced of his use of banned substances. But as the movie proceeds, he reckons a growing attachment to the old-pro, due to his immense charisma and dominating personality.

As I already wrote a few times before, the Armstrong story is not simply about a champion or a cheat. It is about good, evil, power, death, betrayal, and it is so fascinating that I will probably keep writing about it for quite some time.

Addendum: a charming character who appears in The Armstrong Lie is his former teammate (check out the funny picture at the beginning of this article) and current manager of the Cannondale-Garmin professional cycling team Jonathan Vaughters. The guy is one of the smartest riders around, has a witty sense of humour, and is a dandy. A few years ago he wrote a compelling article on the use of doping for The New York Times.

It really isn’t about the bike

“Wheelmen” is available as for today, October 15th. In Italian, the title is “Il Texano dagli occhi di ghiaccio”, “The cold-eyed Texan”. It is a biography of Lance Armstrong, one of those persons who deeply fascinates me. He is a contemporary mythological character, a Nietzschan hero, a living tragedy. In his story you can find everything: brashness, arrogance, dedication, death, survival, redemption, holiness, competitiveness, glory, domination, betrayal, collapse, hell again. For many, he has been the enlightening symbol of how you can transform yourself in a global sporting icon and the living image of fight against cancer. What will remain of it, at the end, is a disturbed, amoral, cynical personality who took no prisoners to protect his devastating lifestyle.

lance armstrong, wheelmen

Armstrong’s hagiographical book “It’s Not About the Bike” was written after cancer and the first victories in the Tour. This new biography is the final tragic destruction of his public image. It really isn’t about the bike. It is about life, and what happens when enigmatic genius breaks loose from the strictures of morality.

Su Froome

Un anonimo ciclista americano che mi piaceva quando ero poco più che un bambino ha vinto la Vuelta di Spagna a quasi 42 anni. Al riguardo consiglio di leggere un articolo pubblicato su La Stampa da Giorgio Viberti che traccia diverse sfumature senza la retorica – buona o cattiva – che nel passato ha danneggiato seriamente questo sport. Ma comunque. L’occasione mi perche propizia per proporre le riflessioni semi-private di un anonimo amico di Gianluca in merito a un’altra vittoria ciclista piuttosto sorprendente: quella di Chris Froome, che nel 2013 ha dominato il Tour de France dopo una velocissima ascesa nell’olimpo del ciclismo che conta.

Io non so che dirti, a me questo ragazzo piace. a inizio tour affermai: è il primo ciclista a cui tifo contro nella mia vita. ho cambiato idea come sempre, e pian piano ho iniziato a trovarlo simpatico. sempre disponibile con giornalisti e tifosi, costretto a rispondere ogni giorno a domande di doping quando (fino a prova contraria) ne è estraneo, dev’essere frustrante, eppure sorride sempre. a vederlo sembra incapace di essere leader di se stesso, scatta e poi si ferma, riscatta e poi si ripianta; figuratelo leader di un team, a me sembra impossibile, è telecomandato dalla radiolina, come fa a capitanare gli altri? fa tenerezza, un gigante incapace di incanalare la sua forza. e poi la sua meccanica, in bici, così inelegante e desueta, retta su equilibri invisibili a ogni comune mortale; pedala guardando cose che vede lui (sarà il suo misuratore di potenza sul manubrio?!), testa reclinata da una parte, ma questo ancora si può tollerare. sembra senza collo, con queste spalle alte, i gomiti larghi di chi porta un carrello della spesa (paragone quantomai azzeccato di cassani in diretta) e non una bici: ha le braccia lunghe – si dice di lui – e anche questa concediamogliela, altri prima di lui erano brutti da vedere. ma ciò che è incredibile è la dispersione di potenza nel gesto, le sue frullate in salita, i suoi piedi storti rispetto al pedale. ti insegnano a 10 anni che il piede dev’essere in linea col pedale, uno che pedala come lui dovrebbe perdere il 5% di potenza almeno, eppure… è un fenomeno da studiare questo ragazzo, la gente ormai scottata (e anche un po’ superficiale) lo vuole negare, e invece è da capire, cazzo. la gente legge la gazzetta, e in prima pagina il giorno in cui fermano powell e gay per doping nell’atletica si trova il titolone su froome che è andato troppo forte sul ventoux, meglio di armstrong addirittura (e a esser precisi, non è nemmeno vero perchè i tempi di scalata erano presi in punti leggermente diversi)!!! ma nessuno dice che si viene da una settimana di sola pianura, che il ventoux come dice il nome è rinomato per il vento e il giorno di froome per un giorno il vento era andato in vacanza, hanno mai provato questi giornalai a pedalare col vento? il vento esalta uno dei caratteri principali del ciclismo, ovvero l’importanza di sfruttare l’effetto scia, non solo come fattore di risparmio di fatica ma come mezzo tattico per impostare grandiose campagne d’attacco.
Il ciclismo potrebbe fare a meno degli arrivi in salita, ma non dell’azione selvaggia del vento.
io non capisco onestamente, non capisco cosa ci sia di bello e interessante in queste questioni. a me, detto onestamente, non interessano…
e quando qualcuno mi chiede “come ti poni di fronte al doping?” la mia risposta varia sempre, spesso non ho voglia di discuterne con persone a cui non interessa. ma ora come ora gli direi (senza essere capito) che io non seguo i ciclisti, ma il ciclismo, e il ciclismo trascende il risultato. Direi che il ciclismo è una guerra, e come in ogni guerra ci sono i cavalieri e gli assassini, i duelli all’alba (Boonen e Cancellara sul Muur), i tradimenti e le cospirazioni (Vinokourov che pagò Kolobnev per vincere la Liegi), le tattiche, le strategie e i sabotaggi. E le guerre fanno la storia, anche se sono brutte e sporche, e gli abbracci ipocriti tra Schleck e Contador dopo il salto di catena del lussemburghese verranno dimenticati presto, ma i ciclisti che nel primo tour prendevano il treno di nascosto sono entrati nella leggenda.

Time for books / 6

Between January and late February I have read several books of all the kinds.

The first book I read in early January was Arto Paasilinna’s The Forest of the Hanged Foxes. The main characters of the story run away from the city to live in a small cabin in the wood, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. This is a typically Christmas read, soft and a bit surreal. I loved the idea of living alone in the  intensity the landscapes of Northern Finland. It is rare to find a novel that makes you laugh and at the same time reflect about human condition. This is a really good one.

It took a while to read Heinrich Harrer’s Beyond Seven Years in Tibet: My Life Before, During, and After (in Italian: La mia sfida al destino). The book is about five-hundred pages long about Harrer’s life as a mountaineer who spent seven years in Tibet and who climbed an awful lot of peaks. Harrer died only a few years ago, when he was about to turn 100. This is a good book, perhaps a bit too long. From his autobiography, Harrer stands out as a very controversial character, definitely selfish, probably committed, surely extremely resilient. I really liked the first chapters, then it turned a bit boring and repetitive.

Sempre sull’alpinismo, ho letto anche Giorni di Ghiaccio di Marco Confortola. Ho già commentato questa lettura qui. Ho letto anche due libri di osservatori politici trentini e riferimenti di vita che ho avuto l’onore di conoscere personalmente. Ho commentato il libro di Piergiorgio Cattani su Dellai, un uomo solo al comando qui; e quello di Walter Micheli, Passioni e sentieri, qui.

In una serata oziosa, tanto per cambiare genere ho letto Ciclismo, Storie segrete, di Beppe Conti. Libretto leggero e simpatico, che si legge in circa due ore e che parla dei retroscena e dei piccoli trucchetti legati alle grandi imprese del ciclismo passato. Altra lettura molto leggera e veloce: Lorenzo Baratter, L’autonomia spiegata ai miei figli. Un compendio veloce sulle origini e le ragioni dell’autonomia trentina, in un momento in cui dobbiamo ripensarne radicalmente i contenuti che ne giustificano l’esistenza.

Finally, while travelling to Munich I read Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy. I would call this an interesting book. It was a huge success a few years ago. Alain de Botton is a very famous university professor now, one of those who can speak not only to an academic, but also to a much broader public. The book is about six philosophers whose thought could have a powerful effect on our lives. Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche are here interpreted for the light their work can shine on certain great universal problems.