Luke Evans is a cycling journalist, author and former editor of Cycle Sport magazine. In his spare time, he pilots top cycling photographer Graham Watson at the races. Currently, he’s taking Graham around the Giro d’Italia.

Lido di Camaiore-Firenze 175km

A third win for Cavendish. Champion. He nearly didn’t make it though, after narrowly avoiding a crash in the first few Ks as the peloton sped up after the customary mass roadside pee stop.

Coming into a tight left-hander, the following cars stopped to let a Bbox rider dust himself off after a crash.

Seconds later Cavendish came flying into the corner at a good 30mph, but heading directly for the front wing of the stopped Rabobank car.

A bit more lean and a sliding back end just avoided a big crash. Cav stayed on board as his back wheel glanced off the front bumper with a bang.

The Manxman looked at his busted Scott and chucked it at the wall, swearing colourfully. A few seconds later he had a spare and was weaving his way back to the bunch at high speed. Class.

Ian Stannard is having a good race and the powerful ISD rider was showing us his shorts at the start. They have no seams at the bottom of the legs and look like he has taken a pair of scissors to them.

Not so, they are made that way and look great, but are made from thicker Lycra which does not help in this heat. It was 31 deg today and Ian said the team got through 80 bottles and some Cokes on a recent stage.

The ISD kit is designed by Mario Cippollini, who popped up during the stage as if on a training run and followed just behind the bunch for a few Ks. Bit of fun trying to get shots of the Il Magnifico as he said hello to a few people in the race and no doubt got some good publicity for his designer outfits.

It’s run on trad Italian lines is ISD, noted Stannard with amusement. Pasta pasta pasta, every night. No fruit and veg. Drinking water in the evening is frowned upon, it bloats you out, said Fausto Coppi, possibly.

Hard to believe but there is still a gulf in the philosophy of a team like ISD and the British Cycling set-up.

A few things you might not know about Ian Stannard: he started out in triathlon; he is half trained as a plumber; his 19 year old brother is being fast tracked as the youngest combat pilot in the RAF.

He is a tall lad like Ian and the RAF has had to strip out the cockpit of a Hawk trainer to shoehorn him in there.

The American ‘bunch runner’ who wears the antler horns and skinsuit is here and has just popped up in the press room. Today he wore a Union Jack skinsuit in tribute to the Cannonball. He has just said that Cav is the best thing to come out of Britain since the D-Type Jaguar and Bombay Gin.

Luke

PREVIOUS BLOGS FROM THE GIRO
Part four and five: Luke remembers fellow moto pilot Fabio Saccani
Part three: Luke and Graham were first on the scene when Pedro Horrillo crashed
Part two: The bike has a problem on stage six
Part one: Kicking off the 2009 Giro