Lukas Postlberger inaugurates Quest’s free-to-air highlights show
Reading this sentence back, I’m seeing the name Lukas Postlberger for about the fifth time in my life. It’s safe to say that the winner of the first stage of the Giro d’Italia was something of an outsider.
This is the first Grand Tour the 25-year-old Austrian has ever ridden. After one stage, he has a win and he’s in the lead. So far so good.
As for how he achieved this, it was kind of an accident. He moved to the front of the bunch in the closing stages, trying to set up a sprint for his team-mate, Irishman Sam Bennett. He then rode so hard that a gap opened up.
It wasn’t so much an attack as 194 rivals simultaneously tripping over their own feet. Postlberger saw the gap, recalled that trite old saying about gift horses and just sort of carried on.
Postlberger had a decent take on the old “it just hasn’t sunk in yet” line, saying: “I need some time, some weeks maybe and some glasses of wine to realise what I’ve achieved.”
An excellent approach and one that I heartily endorse.
Quest TV highlights verdict
A reminder that Giro d’Italia highlights are on Quest each night. They’re produced by Eurosport and so feature all the usual budget satellite idiosyncracies, like presenters who are at times very obviously reading the script from notepads. However, early impressions are that the programme isn’t shit.
I was expecting the standard Eurosport highlights where all they do is play the last hour of racing, but this is like an actual programme. They even did a montage at the start. Everybody loves a montage.
Jonathan Edwards is a perfectly competent presenter. He’s no Gary Imlach (who is?) but he’s professional. He doesn’t just gabble on like a frigging idiot. He tells you a few bits of important information and then passes on to someone else.
Yes, that’s right. Someone else! They actually have several people involved. Former pro Matt Stephens was doing a sort of roving reporter thing, Brian Smith was ‘The Coach’, Mat Hayman provided a rider’s view, and then there was Rob Hatch on commentary (to my mind the best Eurosport commentator) with Sean Kelly doing his standard fun-sponge thing alongside him. Marvellous.
A medium mountain stage. Already. This isn’t the Tour de France, you know.
But enough of that. Those who’ve followed the Giro d’Italia with me before will be aware that far and away my favourite thing about the race is how the organisers carefully pick out local delicacies from the regions the race passes through before treating English readers to wonderfully mediocre translations.
Stage one brought us two good early efforts: bread and cheese soup, and boiled dogfish with a fish liver sauce. Mmm. Delish.
Stage two is actually a bit of a disappointment with ‘fresh stuffed pasta’ literally the only thing mentioned.