Giro Stage 10 Preview

Monday, 18 May 2015

The Giro swings north with a parade up the Adriatic coastline and an inevitable bunch sprint. The finish includes two late intermediate sprints and some cobbles in the last two kilometres.

Rest day wrap: nothing notable happened. Rest days do help riders recover but a 24 hour break isn’t enough to give anyone fresh legs. It’s worth mentioning that Fabio Aru has started legal action against Greg Henderson after the New Zealander tweeted suspicion about Aru’s biopassport. If it goes to court we could see Aru’s passport data made public, his recent bout of dysentery must have sent the values haywire. Just don’t hold your breath, if it proceeds the wheels of justice in Italy turn s-l-o-w so expect the case to be settled in years.

The Route: 200km of nothing, the race runs along the coastline, a paradise of la farniente with its beaches, ice cream shops and not much else. The Giro has to tour Italy and does pass the coastal stations of Ancona, Fano, Gabbice Mare – where Alex Dowsett beat Bradley Wiggins – Rimini and Cesena, a list of Italian holiday destinations. Note the two “TV” or intermediate sprints late in the stage which will help raise the bunch from its stupor.

The Finish: the last kilometres are one long straight line into Forlì before one right-hand bend just before the 1km point and then a narrow bottleneck before a left hander. This section is paved with flagstones and then the finish is on a wider tarmacked road with a 450m long straight section. It’s all flat.

The Contenders: André Greipel is the prime pick. He is among the fastest in the bunch but in a solo contest I’m not sure he’d win regularly. Instead his Lotto-Soudal team are the difference, he is a fine sprinter but the lead out they delivered last week in Castiglione della Pescaia was so good it should be shown again and again as a case study. Instead the late crashes of Daniele Colli and Alberto Contador understandably hogged the headlines.

Moreno Hofland‘s lost his lead out man Robert Wagner but could come close, he admitted to a mistake in the last sprint and I rate his leg speed. Matteo Pelucchi has complained of fatigue, will the rest day help?

Elia Viviani could be tired too as he’s been toiling for Richie Porte at times although today is his day. He leads the points jersey competition so will he contest the two TV sprints to get more points? This will help the quest for the red jersey but could cost him the stage.

Giacomo Nizzolo was so close last year but found Nacer Bouhanni in his way each time and this year it’s not going so well. The same for Luka Mezgec, once a capable understudy of Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb but he’s only cracked the top-3 once this season and seems to be sprinting to more 4-8th places. Finally a trio of fastmen who can win on the hillier days but are sure to feature: Sacha Modolo, Michael Matthews and Movistar’s J-J Lobato.

André Greipel
Hofland, Pelucchi, Viviani
Nizzolo, Modolo, Matthews, Mezgec, Lobato

Weather: sunshine and warm temperatures of 29°C with a light tailwind to help the peloton along.

TV: the feed starts at 3.00pm CET with and the finish is forecast for 5.15pm Euro time but could be quicker if the tailwind stirs the bunch. Cyclingfans and steephill.tv both have links to legal and pirate feeds.

Christia Chiabotto

The Giro is: …sexist… but so is Italy. The idea of podium girls or “podium hosts” is debatable. But this phenomenon reaches new levels in Italy with the umbrella girls deployed to shade the leaders on the start line. It’s an import from motorcycle racing where arguably the shade matters given the rider is sporting a thick leather suit in the midday sun while sat astride a motor ticking at 250°C… although of course it doesn’t require a model in a cocktail dress and high heels; but this only shows how it’s more of a gimmick in a bike race where it serves no real use. The Giro has the daily televisual parade of models wearing the leaders’ jerseys up the finishing straight each day ahead of the race. It also has the Madrina too, or “godmother” where the job description appears to involve being female, wearing a pink dress and parading around the start village with the Trofeo Senza Fine. This year’s employee is Cristina Chiabotto, pictured, a 2004 Miss Italy who is a presenter on JTV, a TV channel dedicated to Juventus, a soccer club from Torino in Miss Chiabotto’s native Piemonte region although this time she’s not been on the race much with an early appearance and not much since. La Chiabotto’s job title in Italian is una showgirl and the closest she’s probably got to cycling before was a 2005 appearance on series two of Ballando con le stelle (“Dancing With Stars”) which featured Mario Cipollini. Odd, unusual, retro? Perhaps, probably but many sports events in Italy have their Madrina and consider the wider context where female newsreaders and television presenters in Italy wear very low cut or unbuttoned shirts, even to present highbrow discussions about immigration or parliamentary budget debates. The Giro is a reflection of Italian society rather than an outpost.

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Tomski May 19, 2015 at 12:07 am

Thanks again inring! My money’s on Viviani today.

Hopefully the finish straight spectators will back off.

Rusty chain May 19, 2015 at 12:46 am

Question: Does Henderson have a basis for his tweets? I don’t find Italians sexist (at least not in the American meaning). I think they appreciate beauty. Perfect complement to this beautiful race. Grega Bole for podium tomorrow.

GB May 19, 2015 at 1:44 am

The jersey catwalk just makes me snort. I do find Rai’s tendency to randomly cut to close-ups of pretty women in the crowd at the finish line vaguely creepy….

Frankly though, as obstinately a female, the main issue in cycling re: women is that women’s races and participants are paid jack-all, treated poorly, and patronised by pros and fans alike when the issue of fairer prize money and gaining more coverage is brought up.

Stuff like the Giro’s jersey catwalk is arguably an issue, but at the same time a ginormous red herring, because the only sexism-related conversations that get any traction only ever seen to be about things like what women are wearing (which takes on an obnoxious policing tone, that “flesh-coloured” Colombian team kit garbage was a prime example) and often ends in a non-answer like ‘it’s just how the country is and they don’t mind wearing it so whatever’, instead of issues actively impeding women when they try to get famous in the sport for reasons besides ‘looks good holding an umbrella’. Not sledging inrng in particular for what he wrote–it’s a widespread issue.

gabriele May 19, 2015 at 11:45 am

+ 1 GB

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 11:56 am

I was just having a conversation about feminism with my significant (and she is) other yesterday. On the politically correct surface, everything you say is completely legit. But, humans are mammals with two complimentary sexes. Each sex is attracted to the other, which helps with procreation and makes life a lot more interesting.

While there is much to say about resenting men generally for actions of individuals, I have two thoughts to your comment specifically: Professional cycling is an entertainment business, women’s cycling will never be equal until it draws equal attention. If you really want women, and yourself, to be just like men in the world (as if we don’t have enough already) read a biography of Coco Channel as a cautionary tale..

GB May 19, 2015 at 12:19 pm

I’d respond to your comment but besides not wanting to drive totally off-topic, your comment makes so many assumptions (not all people experience sexual attraction [to opposite gender or otherwise] or find it so interesting, I never said I wanted women to be just like men, being frustrated with the tenor of particular internet conversations doesn’t mean I resent men I mean what??) that it kinda reads like you just copy and paste a variant of this comment to anyone talking about feminist stuff, so have a photo of a kitten http://www.emergencykitten.com Good day to you

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Thank you, for your response…

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 3:49 am

“I wasn’t checking her out, I was just admiring her beauty”

GeorgeY May 19, 2015 at 8:57 am

I am sorry guys/girls but I think I am in love with the girl on the right:

http://bit.ly/1AhQlKq

P.S. Seriously, you can admire a beautiful man/woman without being a sexist because sex has nothing to do with the appreciation of beauty.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 11:08 am

She’s well creepy.

GTGTGT May 19, 2015 at 11:53 am

Well, let’s just say she fits better into the dress she’s wearing now rather than the one on the first road stage… She was kind of falling out of it….

Tobi May 19, 2015 at 11:55 am

If you think “sexist” only is a sexual thing I think you should read up a bit before commenting on the topic. That goes for Rusty Chain as well.

Sexist is more about gender and prejudice against persons based on their gender. Would it seem equally natural to you if men put on display in the same way in women’s races?

Propts for inrng for addressing the topic.

The Inner Ring May 19, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Nobody is going to change anyone’s minds over this subject today, if you like/loathe it you’ll probably continue to do so. But I merely wanted to observe it and make the point that it’s not peculiar to the Giro, live in Italy and this happens all the time.

GeorgeY May 19, 2015 at 12:37 pm

I am not prejudiced against women, in fact I owe (at least) half of my life to a woman, my mother. As for women races I would have no problem whatsoever if a handsome guy kissed Marianne Vos on the cheek (in fact I would love to do it myself if I was younger and better looking) who is my favorite female pro cyclist.

Tobi May 19, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Indeed it’s a slow process achieving gender equality. You called it for what it is and brought up the subject, and as awareness is the first step towards change contributing to that is always positive.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Next thing, Tobi, you’ll be complaining about the difference between apples and oranges.

sam May 19, 2015 at 1:44 pm

+1

sam May 19, 2015 at 1:46 pm

^that was meant to be props for Tobi 🙂

Tobi May 19, 2015 at 1:50 pm

If having a mother proves that someone isn’t sexist the problem would not exist – or maybe that’s the point you are trying to make?

And as inrng pointed out it goes far beyond the act of a cheek kiss on the podium, it’s about reducing a gender to their appearance. And looking back on the male role in creating gender inequality, it’s not a lot to ask for men to be able to abstain these kind of historical remains in order to create a more equal and inviting culture around cycling and other man dominated domains. I’m sure you can find plenty of ways to look at beautiful women either way.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 3:44 pm

@ Tobi Let’s agree to disagree. I am not saying our world is not sexist (sadly it is and to a large degree), I am only claiming that I am not sexist, and because you don’t know me IRL (in real life) there is no point in arguing.

P.S. Sorry Mr Ring, point made now back to what we all love: cycling.

GeorgeY May 19, 2015 at 3:46 pm

@ Tobi & all
That was me, I didn’t mean to post as anonymous.

J Evans May 19, 2015 at 11:30 am

This whole nonsense just reaffirms the stereotype of women only having one purpose: to be gawped at. This tendency leads to them being judged purely on physical appearance.
All of this helps continue society’s wider sexism.
As for cycling, the UCI should put a stop to it.
And we’ve seen how it is then a small step to the hideously sexist posters of E3.
And it is this general attitude that leads the likes of Sagan to believe that his (albeit minor) sexual assault is just a bit of fun.
If Sagan had done that in a normal workplace, he’d be fired. That he was unpunished just compounds the problem.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Sagan grabbed the butt of a woman being paid to show off her nice butt… Who is the biggest offender?

Tobi May 19, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Sad how it makes perfect sense in your world that the blame for men’s sexist behavior is on the women, any other types of offenses where you put the blame on the victim? Any chance they all involve men offending women in one way or another?

No behavior from that woman short of asking Sagan to grab her butt excuses his action.

J Evans May 19, 2015 at 12:18 pm

+1.
And isn’t it odd how some choose to remain ‘anonymous’.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Both your comment regarding your assumptions and insinuations as well as the anonymous comment of J Evans illustrates the ridiculousness of political correctness and internet comment sections.

There is a Long chain of “offenders” in this little chapter of pro cycling and the objectification of women. Pro cycling is a circus, entertainment and marketing tool. Nothing more.

Tobi May 19, 2015 at 1:34 pm

It’s clear that you ran out of arguments when the retort is that our arguments proves our standpoint ridiculous, without specifying why.

And I was not aware that the entertainment industry gets a free pass on any kind of offense, do tell me more about what else we should brush off as long as it is done to entertain.

J Evans May 19, 2015 at 1:57 pm

There is never an argument to back up bigotry – because it is caused by one’s own flawed psychology. Hence, they always resort to the claim of ‘political correctness’ in a futile attempt to ridicule the views of others who do not adhere to their unthinking beliefs.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 3:00 am

Aru’s defammation case does more damage to his “reputation and honour” than Henderson’s tweets did. And he sure does seem to be performming pretty well for someone who just lost, what was it, 5 kilos from dysentery?

gabriele May 19, 2015 at 11:43 am

Hummm… All clear… Before, people were saying “sure he wouldn’t dare to really file a case” implying it was because he was a doper, now the fact of having indeed filed the case “damages his reputation and honor”. That’s what you’d call some sort of double bind. No wonder cyclists end up getting psychological troubles.
And, yeah, he got dysentery one month ago (some three weeks before the Giro started o__O), I’ll *file* this in the same folder with “Contador’s subluxation (or whatever) isn’t really hindering him”, whereas, obviously enough, a bowel infection one month ago sure should have sunk Aru. Who, as I observed elsewhere, suffered from the same problem *during* the 2013 Giro and could go on racing, albeit dragged along by the gruppetto, eventually getting a good fifth place in the Tre Cime di Lavaredo stage, on the penultimate day of racing, which was considered at the time a promising clue about his stamina, recovery and third-week attitude (and, no, I don’t think you take the risk to dope a neopro to have him getting a 40th place in GC, nor to “help” Nibali in the last stage of a Giro he’s already won, nor whatever Henderson may imagine for those circumstances).
It’s not like Astana isn’t worth to have an eye kept on them (we should assume they’ve got UCI’s and ISSUL’s, I don’t think inrng’s commenters’ scrutiny will make a huge difference), but this sort of remarks is just ridiculous and does no good to antidoping fight or whatever, more or less like Henderson’s tinkovitis attacks.

GTGTGT May 19, 2015 at 12:03 pm

And Gabriele takes the prize (again) for best commenter…

Love your commentary Gabriele… Always on topic, reasoned & intelligent..

Not the only one here, but consistently quality….

PH May 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Definitely. I visit the site most days and I always enjoy reading Gabriele’s posts.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Henderson publicly accused Aru of breaking the rules. Without proof, this is libel.

Nick May 20, 2015 at 11:08 am

Agreed. But as Henderson almost immediately apologised and deleted the tweet, what remaining damage is Aru suing over?

The Inner Ring May 20, 2015 at 11:16 am

The law probably doesn’t account for this. Shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre and then saying “sorry, only joking” 20 seconds later won’t correct it.

Nick May 20, 2015 at 12:21 pm

That’s a very different situation, though, where a general misstatement of immediate danger encourages immediate action, thereby causing actual danger to the public at large. Here, there’s a misstatement about a specific individual causing them loss or damage to their reputation, not putting them or the general public in danger. It’s more like saying “that theatre is a fire-trap, never go there”, then apologising and retracting the statement shortly after.

For that reason, defamation law in different countries usually does account for later retractions and apologies – generally when considering what the seriousness of the damage was. Dunno what the law actually is in Italy, but it would be surprising if Aru was able to get much more from Henderson than he’s already got, given the speed of the retraction and apology, especially given the situation with Aru’s team’s licence at the time.

GB May 19, 2015 at 3:24 am

Also, look, no, I just can’t feel (very) sorry for Henderson (though having to think about legal cases would be no fun). He said he tweeted that because he heard ‘stories’. Okay, so if the stories he heard were that damning, why didn’t he tell the people who told him said stories to cut out the high school nonsense and take their testimonials to someone who could do something about it? Like, oh, the UCI when they were trying to get Astana’s license revoked???

I’m so over pros and ex-pros and indicted dopers only giving any info (or even worse, just vague hints about how you’d ‘be surprised’ who’s doping and the infallible nature of pro cycling/human nature) long after the horse has not only bolted from the stable but died of old age somewhere in the wilderness. It doesn’t make them deep or cool or badass or redeemed, it makes them look like cowards for not doing anything useful at all to improve the situation when they could have done.

Larry T. May 19, 2015 at 7:36 am

+1

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Your last paragraph is refering to Cookson, No?

Si May 19, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Another +1 for GB

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 6:47 am

Does anyone think that the motor homes might be also part of sky’s marketing. All their sponsors – Jag, Pinarello and Rapha, are prestige brands that need to be viewed and associated with such concepts for ppl the pay the extra price they require. They’re not selling floor boards or shampoo, so for them, it’s beneficial if they are associated with a team that is viewed as a bit elitist.

I just get the feeling that the more people have a whine about Sky doing things like a using a RV, the more they’re helping sky and its sponsors build the image their after. Ie ya’ll being trolled.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 6:48 am

Sorry, put this in the wrong thread :/

Tovarishch May 19, 2015 at 7:03 am

Well I’d agree except there’s not a sponsors sticker anywhere on it!

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/racing/giro-ditalia/inside-richie-portes-giro-ditalia-motorhome-172385

Gazelle CM May 19, 2015 at 7:32 am

Well the interior doesn’t reflect anything cutting edge and high end. No Italian designer at work here 😉 . Just middle class British 80s chique.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 12:08 pm

That’s an understatement.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 12:11 pm

It’s also part of the psychological game, just like the helicopter transfer.

ronytominger May 19, 2015 at 12:40 pm

very funny this motorhome-episode and the reactions to it. the first (clicheed) pictures that come to my mind when i hear motorhome is pensioner-suburbians driving around europe from camping ground to camping ground and sitting there in plastic chairs in front of their vehicles. maybe not the right material for elitist marketing.

Tovarishch May 19, 2015 at 12:51 pm

I really wanted it to look like this.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnmightycat/7409481584/

sam May 19, 2015 at 1:43 pm

🙂

gabriele May 19, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Not even Larry would have protested in that case 😉
And rightly so!

Joe K. May 19, 2015 at 8:05 am

I like the podium girls, and I hope they don’t take them away anytime soon. When they give the double cheek kiss to the winner, it brightens up the moment, and brings a smile to my face. I don’t think that is sexist. Long live cycling! Long live the podium girls!

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 8:44 am

Well said Joe K I share your sentiments too. Glad to see the PC Brigade hasn’t managed to spread their vile over everything in Italy.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 10:32 am

So it clearly doesn’t offend you two but what sort of message does it send to young women who may be interested in the sport. That your place is as a bit of window dressing? What exactly is their purpose other than to be objectified by fans and viewers?

J Evans May 19, 2015 at 11:54 am

Ah, the standard refrain that equality is just ‘political correctness’.

Perhaps you’d enjoy the Giro having something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89RwsGe-fSw

Tobi May 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm

It’s of course up to a man to decide what’s sexist and what women should be offended by, thanks for making the final call Joe – now we can all sleep better =)

(yes, I tried sarcasm on the internet)

sam May 19, 2015 at 10:36 am

Thanks as usual, INRNG

Just noticed under the Viviani pick: ‘This could them in the quest for the red jersey but cost him the stage’. Maybe missing the word ‘help’?

JB May 19, 2015 at 10:53 am

I like the podium girls of the Giro too but I would like to see podium boys for women’s races and I’m not talking about Bernard Hinault. That could catch the attention of the general public to promote women’s cycling.
It would be no fun if one day the lawsuit filed by Aru vs Henderson backfires in the face of the Italian, like Armstrong vs Landis, Andreu…. But he made the 1st week of the Giro very interesting for the fans and unless proven guilty he is clean.

Scott May 19, 2015 at 2:15 pm

The Ladies Tour of Norway has podium boys. This is a pic from last year – http://www.wielerrevue.nl/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Anna-van-der-Breggen.jpg

J Evans May 19, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Brailsford: “Maybe the future of this sport is that you don’t use hotels”.
Yes, I can’t see any problem with having 200 motorhomes knocking about the place.
Both sides of this are ludicrous.

gabriele May 19, 2015 at 12:45 pm

“Based on the media coverage, Richie Porte’s RV seems to be of more interest to people than anything Richie Porte has to say about his Giro”.

Well, I read his interview and he apparently said that *the* moment he particularly appreciated in this first part of the Giro was “when I got on the helicopter, looked down and saw all the buses loading up. That was probably the best moment this week.”
I like flying, too, but I also like cycling, didn’t he really like best anything more bike related than this? ^___^
Hence, he talks about the helicopter, people talk about the RV.
Jokes apart, I think it’s kind of the typical Giro/RAI small talk, “Il Processo alla Tappa” promotes this kind of attitude. In most Italian cycling forums, people aren’t talking much about the RV, to say the truth (most are bickering about Aru).
I’ve always found that Richie Porte looked like (TV/interviews impression) a nice, warm person, and I’m a bit sorry for the narrative both Sky and RAI are building about him, sort of a “iceman” thing. Maybe because last year he confessed his excessive love for ice creams? 🙂

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Imagine waiting around after getting ready to board the bus for a 5 hour trip to your next hotel when all you want to do is get your legs up and rest and then seeing your competition take off in a helicopter like a rock star, realizing that they just gained 4 hours of recovery.

At the top of the heap of any sports competition, psychology is the major factor in winning.

sam May 19, 2015 at 1:42 pm

And who doesn’t love gelato? Or chocolate, another of his weaknesses?

Yeah, I quite like him.

gabriele May 19, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Oh, no! Some moderation right now when I was about to ask Anonymous above, the one speaking of oranges and apples I mean, if he – or she 😛 – is especially inclined to interspecific love (I read some time ago a fascinating story about a man and a dolphin) or if the fact is that he tends to treat differently male apples and female apples… I’m imagining the libidinous look reserved to the apple of the *appropriate* ^__^ gender!

[disclaimer: yes, I know that gender is not about love, and yes I know that the fruit is not an individual representant of the species as such, and yes it’s a painstakingly slow process and rather complex, too, props to whoever fights on… can’t avoid thinking about the Brecht quoted in “Sueño con serpientes” – only it’s a pity it says Menschen/hombres]

gabriele May 19, 2015 at 2:31 pm

PS Intended to be a reply to someone in the discussion about gender above, sorry.

Steppings May 19, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Good day for Bardiani.

PH May 19, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Agreed.

Always nice to see the breakaway get the win, even better when the victory goes to a rider without (m)any wins.

On the whole though not a good stage for the GC race. With Porte losing so much time and Contador a far better TT rider than Aru the race for 1st is probably over. I always favored Contador overall but I thought Porte had a chance for victory, but only if he had some sort of advantage post-ITT.

The GCW May 19, 2015 at 5:49 pm

What was the specific mechanical Porte experienced?

PH May 19, 2015 at 6:04 pm

I have no idea. The commentators didn’t catch it live on Eurosport. After whatever happened the TV pictures showed Nieve (at the rear of the peloton) looking back concerned at Eisel who was going back to the team car. Then it was mentioned it was a Porte mechanical and that was that.

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm

I think he dropped his keys to the RV.

The Inner Ring May 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm

A puncture.

PH May 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm

“Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm

“I think he dropped his keys to the RV””

Nope, his butler keeps hold of them when he’s out racing.

BC May 19, 2015 at 8:04 pm

I have just heard the news concerning Porte. The rule book adherents will no doubt be pleased that the rules have been applied by the men in suits.

Common sense appears to have no place in bike racing – nothing much has changed there. If it were my team, I would take my riders, and the RV and tell them what to do with their rules. Sportsmanship – Hahahahah.

J Evans May 19, 2015 at 8:07 pm

I can see both sides: you can’t have collusion between teams, but at the same time this wasn’t really that.
It does severely detract from the Giro, though – with Porte now 3 minutes behind.
It would be good if they could find a way not to do this.
At the same time, shouldn’t the teams and the riders know not to do this sort of thing?

J Evans May 19, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Also, it would be sporting if Clarke’s reason to do it was to help a main contender. However, if it’s because Porte was of the same nationality then it’s not sportsmanship it’s nationalism/patriotism (whichever you choose to call it).
Teams have to remain separate and nationality shouldn’t come into it. However, throughout cycling history neither of those two things have been the case. I can’t see much difference between this and Tiralongo helping Contador in the 2012 Vuelta.
Who makes the decision: the Giro or the UCI? I assume it’s the Giro? If so, how many thousands of people are going to ask the question ‘Would they have done this to Aru?’

The Inner Ring May 19, 2015 at 8:29 pm

It’s the jury of UCI commissaires who decide, they follow the race each day and hand out fines, penalties etc.

J Evans May 19, 2015 at 9:48 pm

Is this decision at their discretion or is it a hard and fast rule?

The Inner Ring May 19, 2015 at 9:50 pm

It’s a rule:
https://twitter.com/inrng/status/600744612156841986

J Evans May 19, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Thanks.
Would be nice to think that that would be that…
The one thing Sky have been lacking more than anything for a while now: cycling knowledge.

hoh May 19, 2015 at 10:44 pm

Well, to be fair, no one would probably know the rule which was set down God knows when. A UCI rule audition is long over due. They should scrap the odd/irrelevant rules and have a media champion to make sure everybody knows/understands the rest.

J Evans May 19, 2015 at 10:59 pm

As unfortunate as this is for this race, I think it’s important that teams don’t help each other in this way – didn’t like seeing Matthews helping Sky either – teams have to remain separate for the integrity of the race. (And I think it’s good to keep nationalism out of these things – that’s why Clarke helped, not sportsmanship.)
As I said elsewhere, though, this has not been universally applied in the past.
Team Sky should know that taking wheels and/or assistance from other teams is against the rules.

Anonymous May 20, 2015 at 12:34 am

Wondering when that particular rule was written though, especially regarding the 2 mins bit?

If it was written in the 60s where Tom Simpson was still alive & 8~10 mins gap was considered quite bridgeable then there clearly should be an update as to how much time penalty to give. 2 mins back than would be more like 20 secs in the modern peloton.

J Evans May 19, 2015 at 9:14 pm

It’s a damn shame and very bad for the race.
It amazes me that the riders (not to mention the team) could not know those rules – clearly, Porte didn’t or his online thanks to Clarke would go down as the second most stupid Antipodean tweet of the year.

hoh May 19, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Which one is the most stupid one?

Foley May 19, 2015 at 10:47 pm

What a perfect little story– love everything about it, including the ruthless crackdown on Aussie mateship. Can’t have that! Brailsford can debate whether the rules should be enforced in this case, but we know Mr Ring will not be swayed. It’s a good/necessary rule and WT riders should be aware of it. Some of the 2 minutes would have been lost anyway waiting for a legit wheel…

Mike May 20, 2015 at 12:33 am

Or the fact they’re just mates, is it ok if they’re friends as long as they were born in a different country?

BC May 19, 2015 at 8:29 pm

J Evans. UCI rule book I am afraid- very clear, which many on here want following to the letter. There is a saying that ‘rules are for the guidance of the wise and the following of fools’. It is a sentiment with which I agree.

I don’t have a case to make for Porte. Are there some longer term team movements between the two involved, rather than the old nationalist argument ? Who knows, and it’s not relevant to the current situation. The rigid application of said rule removes at one fell sweep Porte’s chance of being competitive.

Never was I so glad not to be following this Giro.

Rusty chain May 19, 2015 at 9:11 pm

At first I was impressed since Clarke is not a contender at his willingness to help Porte but the rules are clear and Porte should have known better. And why isn’t Portes Sky team mate taking off his wheel – picture shows a Sky guy looking on. Lots of Giro left and mishaps could happen to Alberto and Aru but this is a major setback for Porte.

PH May 19, 2015 at 10:16 pm

Major setback? More like a knockout blow for both Porte and more importantly the race as a contest. I was really looking forward to seeing what Porte could do in the ITT and perhaps taking an advantage into the mountains. Now it seems post-ITT Contador will go into the final week with perhaps two minutes on his serious rivals. Game over.

BC May 19, 2015 at 9:24 pm

It is certainly a personal setback for both Clarke and Porte. It is also a setback for the UCIs antiquated rule book, the commissaries charged with its interpretation, for sporting fairness, decency, ethics, the reputation of the Giro and saddest of all for a sport struggling to overcome its extremely poor reputation. New sponsors anyone !

Every time the sport is presented with an opportunity to show it’s true and unique sporting nature, as exemplified by Clarke’s action, some fool steps in to ensure that such thoughts are quickly eliminated. It would be impossible to dream up such idiotic actions.

Foley May 19, 2015 at 11:58 pm

Clarke showed what he showed, and it was worth the 2 minutes for him to do that. Sky fans and others who don’t like the rules/decision should at least admit that ignoring the rules has caused a lot of trouble in the sport, so upholding very clear (and necessary) ones should not be considered “foolish.” The rule in question is non-trivial and would be hard to re-write in a way that would allow for Clarke’s and Porte’s actions while protecting the integrity/transparency of the competition as it is intended to do. Porte is a bit worse-off because of the penalty, but really his problem is that he punctured at a critically bad moment and was unable to avoid losing time. That’s bike racing.

Larry T. May 19, 2015 at 10:04 pm

A day in which “marginal gains” turned into marginal brains. A lot of questions should be asked at the SKY dinner table tonight. MegaOLEVomaniac would try to dock everyone’s paycheck if it was his team!!!!

Anonymous May 19, 2015 at 10:11 pm

Would Clarke have done the same for Aru? I doubt it, so there goes the fair play argument.

paddydunne May 19, 2015 at 10:59 pm

The way i see it being Aussie goes way beyond any notion of nationalism. You help your mates. Why would Simon Clarke help Aru? If he’s just another rider on another team , fair play don’t come into it. Like i’m gonna stop for you, but one of club mates or ride buddies well thats a different matter, we go way back. Even though i know the ruling, in a race situation i’d still take the wheel, wos the worse that can happen i lose time, and be penalised. Could be a lot worse. $h!t happens. I’d like to see OGE and Sky shred the race tomorrow and let their riders surf o f of each others lead out train. The press release talks about maintaining the credibility of the race. Bravo

PH May 19, 2015 at 11:18 pm

“The press release talks about maintaining the credibility of the race.”

Well that’s kind of funny when you consider the current top 5 on GC ….. and the 7th and 8th spots for that matter.

hoh May 19, 2015 at 11:07 pm

Porte can still get on the podium if he is indeed on his 2013 flying form, hasn’t been affected physiologically by the docking even if Sky kept on with their original tactics.

The golden question probably is: would Sky go all out crazy instead?

BC May 19, 2015 at 11:24 pm

If the riders want to make a point about out dated rules, overzealous officials and an inefficient UCI, then they all, with the exception of Clarke and Porte, just stop and change wheels, thus taking a two minute penalty. It won’t happen, but it would allow everybody to see the sport still has some credibility and holds to acceptable standards, in addition to gaining some excellent and much needed good PR.

Dave C May 19, 2015 at 11:50 pm

While it’s a shame for the race, I do think that this is a worthwhile rule and one that should be enforced – it’s just unfortunate that the riders appeared to be unaware of it in this instance.

STS May 20, 2015 at 1:25 am

+1.
This rule makes sense to prevent the formation of coalitions inbetween teams because of the same nationality, money, friendship between team managers or whatever else.

And please have a look at INRNG’s Twitter post above. It’s the same rule that also forbids that one rider pushes another one. That rule is widely known I suppose, so it’s only just to ask why Richie did not know the rest of that very rule.

BC May 20, 2015 at 8:43 am

Lots of comments about teams collaborating with one another in these posts, and how it shouldn’t be allowed. Collaboration between teams (and individuals) has been part and parcel of the sport in both monetary and sporting terms since the year dot. Simplest example is a break collaborating, Leaders waiting for a competitor in trouble etc. etc.- other numerous instances can be a little more subtle and may even require examination of bank transfers ! Lets not start another moral crusade when the sport is in such dire straights over other unresolved problems. Most well balanced people would regard the penalty handed down yesterday by the commissaries as harsh. It’s in the rules, but almost everybody associated with the event appears to feel the same.

The Inner Ring May 20, 2015 at 9:03 am

As you say all sorts of collaboration is allowed and some aren’t but they’re hard to detect. Here the rules are clear: no wheels or bikes from another team and if you’re caught on camera it’s a two minute hit. Harsh but nobody can do otherwise.

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