pretty in pink
giro d'italia wrap-up and reflections
Have to be honest, it all feels a bit flatter than it did last week.
As we’ve stumbled through the haze of derailleur’s first collective post-Grand Tour hangover, Kate and I have talked at length about bittersweet mingling of relief that the Giro is over, astonishment that we somehow pulled this thing off, and a bit of sadness and a little longing to live it all again.
Thank god the Tour’s in less than a month (oh god, the Tour’s in less than a month).
In celebration of the end of the Giro, we’ve unlocked several of our favorite pieces of previously sub-only content we’ve produced over the last few weeks, and made them available to everyone. We hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we did creating them!
Why are we doing this? If you’re interested in that, as well as some other general reflections on derailleur’s first Giro together, keep reading down below. Otherwise, check out some newly available goodies, including:
Stage three: the runaway - Kate’s graphic novella documenting Taco van der Hoorn’s audacious escape, one of the most heartwarming moments of the season so far.
Stage six: the ballad of gino mäder- An anthology of vignettes (mostly Jackson’s, but with a hilarious interlude from Kate about Giulio Ciccone torpedoing a move) and some typically great Kate illos from an unexpectedly great first-week mountain stage.
Stage ten: y’all must’ve forgot - In which Sagan is back, baby.
Stage eleven: the lost boy - A close reading of Remco Evenepoel’s disaster, and other happenings from the much-hyped Strade stage.
Stage sixteen: egan and charly - Since nobody really saw what happened this day, you get Jackson’s emotional ramblings about Egan Bernal having the spirit of a true champion, the importance of honoring the jersey, and the beauty of cycling’s history.
Stage seventeen: rupture - A retelling of a truly great GC day in the mountains, and an in-depth exploration at the first glimpse of vulnerability from an otherwise imperious Egan Bernal. Additionally, this is one of a few stages to feature illustrations from the absurdly talented Brian Campbell. (You can find Brian’s Substack about illustration and vegan cooking at: fourthings.substack.com)
Stage twenty: no refuge, only glory - A sprawling story about the horrors and wonders of the final day in the mountains and Damiano Caruso’s late-career bid for glory.
Stage: twenty-one: the final day - Another captivating graphic novella from Kate commemorating the Giro coming to a close with the final time trial into the heart of Milan.
So, in reflecting on the lessons we’ve learned from covering this Giro, we’ve tried to boil things down to a few key ideas that will inform decisions about how we do this stuff going forward (which, believe me, is no small feat for two people as generally scatterbrained as we are). In that process, one thing we’ve thought and talked a lot about is the push-and-pull of paywalled content.
On the one hand, we need to continually grow and maintain a healthy subscriber base in order to make this publication a financially viable project in the long run, which means that we need to have at least some gated content to incentivize and reward subscribers. Doing that with our daily Giro content did succeed in growing our base some which was very exciting, except...
On the other hand, it can be frustrating to know that some work we’re really proud of covering races that are very close to our hearts is stuck behind a paywall, and a lot of you can’t see it. We still haven’t totally figured out what how we’re gonna handle that reality in the future, but we promise we’re thinking hard about it.
With that little bit of inside baseball out of the way, we just want to take a moment and acknowledge anyone and everyone who has supported and helped us make derailleur’s first grand tour happen. We’re extremely grateful to all of you, from other collaborators like the aforementioned Brian Campbell and our dear friend Fewfiet, whose flyover videos helped bring color and depth to our route preview and portrayal of the stages, to the subscribers, and finally, to the friends, family and spouses who have encouraged (and frankly, tolerated) us as we’ve poured our hearts into this project.
You may have already seen some of this covered in a series of Very Emotional Tweets from Jackson, but if not, please know that we love and appreciate you all.
Anyway, soon enough, we’ll be onto the Tour de France, which you can expect a real announcement about in the near future. But in the meantime we’ll be enjoying a quasi-break, which really just means continuing to tend to our other professional responsibilities, offering up a little bit of coverage of the Dauphine and Tour de Suisse and other races where warranted, and riding our bikes more than we’ve gotten to in a while. On that note, I (Jax) owe the turbo trainer an hour or so of zone two work at the moment, so we’ll end it here for now.
Keep an eye on your inbox in case we get an exciting race in the coming days, and otherwise…we’ll see you soon.