Visiting American cycling fans Tony Marzavas and Mark Horton were recently frustrated as they tried to think of something clever to write on the Giro d'Italia course.
The two pondered what to write in the road on the ascent of Croce d’Aune during the Giro’s fourth stage on Wednesday from Padova to San Martino di Costrazza.
Horton explains that after traveling all the way from Columbus, Ohio “we were pretty flustered when we couldn’t think of anything clever.
“We staked out the perfect spot—right near the King of the Mountains sprint at the summit. But by the time we got situated, we both just kinda looked at each other. We totally blanked.”
Their momentary lapse in concentration made them uneasy.
“We tried not to panic. After leaving our families and spending thousands to get here, this was our chance to get a nanosecond of television coverage and cement our legacy. If we wrote something poignant, the riders would notice it and fondly recall later, ‘Remember when we were climbing Sestrière and someone had written Go Levi! in the road? That was nice.’”
Once their creative juices started flowing however, the pair was dismayed to realize that many of their favored options were already taken.
“We’re here to support Astana, but by the time we found a good spot, somebody had already written Levi! Levi! Levi! nearby. A little bit further up, someone had written Go Lance! in giant letters. Right below it, there was a big Chris Horner. I mean, who’s left? Popovych? Brajkovic?!? Are you kidding me? There’s no way in hell I’m going to try to spell either of them and risk a typo that might be seen by millions of viewers. Plus, I’m pretty sure they’re not American anyway.
“Of course, someone had already drawn a giant penis. Damn.”
Undeterred, the duo dug deep to think of something that would stand out. “We finally ended up writing Vive le Giro. We got a few funny looks from some Italians—or maybe they were French. But I think they were just jealous that they didn’t think of it first.
“After some initial panic about our options, we were satisfied. It’s not in direct support of Astana per sé, but reflects our passion for the Tour. I mean Giro. I can’t wait to check the DVR when we get back to see our work immortalized.
“I wonder if the news will be waiting for us at the airport when we return.”