Rolf Rae-Hansen

Rolf's a freelance copywriter based in Edinburgh


giro d’italia

£0.00004 Per Metre

Me on the Stelvio’s ‘easy’ side.

For me, stage 16 is where this year’s Giro properly begins (assuming the weather holds), and where many of the competitors will be sorely wishing it properly ended: the mountains — the really, really big mountains. Continue reading “£0.00004 Per Metre”

It’s a Stelvio No-Go

Stage 19 of the 2013 Giro d’Italia is scheduled to tackle The Stelvio but it appears that Madre Natura has other plans. With the pass blocked by snow, and more forecast to fall, (at the time of writing this blog) race organisers look set to remove the climb from the day’s route. You can check out the current summit conditions for yourself by viewing the Stelvio webcam here. Continue reading “It’s a Stelvio No-Go”

The Giro d’Francia?


On Sunday 19th of May, stage 15 of the 2013 Giro d’Italia will make a foray into the French Alps. The race was scheduled to tackle two climbs up which I soared (or was it suffered?) as part of my adventures in The Breakaway: Mont Cenis and the Col du Galibier. However, as of Saturday the 18th it appeared that heavy summit-snow and a risk of avalanches had resulted in both these climbs being withdrawn from the day’s itinerary.
Had these climbs still been included then hopefully none of the riders in the Giro would have been as confused as I was by Cenis, nor as challenged by the Galibier.

Continue reading “The Giro d’Francia?”

The Breakaway … and the Giro d’Italia too.

… and the Giro too

Okay, okay, so the title says it’s all about the mountains of the Tour de France. Well, truth is, the travels (and travails) of The Breakaway actually kicked off in Italy.

Our first five days took in the Dolomites and Italian Alps, climbs that were breathtaking to look at and ride, passes infused by decades’ of myth and tifosi passion. My first experience of riding in Italy was unforgettable, but so tough that it nearly ended out trip before it had properly begun.

Lake Garda Goonie

We were turned to Goonies by the darkness of Lake Garda’s unlit tunnels, almost eaten alive by Dolomiti billy goats, truly humbled by the Stelvio, its innumerable switchbacks and silver-haired Shaolin monks.

Stelvio Switchbacks

The Tour is indisputably the biggest race but the Giro d’Italia is every bit as inspiring. Could it be the fans’ passion, the Italian flair for style and drama, the azure seas and skies? It’s all that and a whole load of truly immense mountains that make the Giro what it is. Unmissable.

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