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Giro d’Italia Rest Day Review

Primož Roglič’s quest to be known as the Giro d’Italia winner rather than an ex-ski jumper is on the right course. With a week of racing he’s seen his rivals fall away, either literally in the case of Tom Dumoulin or just down the standings.

Valerio Conti leads the race and for all his talent and the hope placed in him in recent years, he’s yet to be seen as a durable GC contender. Necessity being the mother of invention, his quest is to stay in the race lead for as long as possible and without Fernando Gaviria the remaining members of the UAE team will help him as much as possible and this will include trying to keep a lid on the race although as we saw on the stage to L’Aquila they could only manage so far by themselves.

Primož Roglič has a comfortable lead over the main GC rivals and there’s the 17km Stage 21 Verona time trial as insurance, extrapolate his performances so far and he could take more time on his rivals. Only it’s not so simple, if he’s fading in the mountains then Verona could be awkward but for now it means if a rival wants to win the Giro outright they can’t just aim to overhaul him by a handful of seconds in the mountains, they have to construct a stable lead over him. Only as we saw in the Tour de Romandie he won the summit finish stage there too, even if that’s that’s just one reference point from a stage abbreviated by bad weather. It’s his race to lose but we’ve still got two weeks left and haven’t seen a mountain stage.

Vincenzo Nibali is the closest competitor to Roglič. Before the start of the race the question for Nibali was how could he win? Now we can see the answer already as the others have already fallen away. Yes he’s lost time to Roglič too but the others are much further down, he doesn’t have to monitor them directly and can wait his time and look for any weakness from the Slovenian. Of all the riders to have in contention Nibali must be the one to worry Jumbo-Visma the most given his track record, after all he rode away with the Giro in 2016 when Steven Kruijswijk looked so stable in the maglia rosa.

Bauke Mollema is suddenly a contender and the stampede of Dutch journalists out of the Giro might see some coming back. It’s a tricky for Mollema and Trek-Segafredo. Does he hang on for a podium place and UCI points by racing conservatively or try to provoke something? Bob Jungels faces a big test in the mountains as ever but there are stages to suit him, if he could get over the Colle San Carlo with the best on Stage 14 then he could use his abilities to ride away from the pure climbers on the awkward drag up to Courmayeur for example. Bora-Hansgrohe have an interesting tandem in Davide Formolo and Rafał Majka and can aim for stage wins.

Simon Yates had a disastrous time trial to the point where you wonder if he and his entourage downloaded a copy of this year’s Vuelta route to start a new target. He was matching Nibali in the time trial yesterday until the climb in San Marino where he stalled and sections of the course where Roglič and Nibali rode in their tri-bar tuck, Yates had his arms out wide and was sometimes standing on the pedals. If it’s just one bad day then he’ll be interesting in the mountains as his trademark move is an incisive attack that can’t be brought back, if he’s to get on the podium in Verona then Mitchelton-Scott need the Yates of last year’s Giro is required. And yes he’s having to eat his words after that interview with Rouleur but nevermind, all the better he said something interesting rather than the usual stock phrases of “day by day”.

Indeed several riders are now contemplating the rest of the Giro with what a best can be called reculer pour mieux sauter, they’ve gone backwards but now have to leap forwards. For the likes of Yates, Landa, Lopez and others the Giro isn’t about pinching 15 seconds in the final kilometre of a mountain stage and collecting the meagre time bonuses, it’s about taking minutes at a time. This doesn’t mean reversing it all right away, the first mountain stages could be conservative as riders get the measure of each other. Still there are so many riders so far back that things should get lively in the mountains and Jumbo-Visma don’t look like a team capable of containing it all.

While we’re projecting to the mountain stages there are sprint stages to come on Tuesday and Wednesday, virtual rest days for part of the peloton and TV audiences alike. Pascal Ackermann looks the best and has two stage wins but it’s a close call, of the big four sprinters left in the race only Arnaud Démare looks adrift, unable to convert his regular presence near the front into a win but he sits second on the points competition and as we saw in last year’s Tour de France, didn’t get eliminated in the mountains when others did so he could collect the points jersey if his rivals falter or just bail given the lack of sprint stages.

Giulio Ciccone took the mountains jersey in the Bologna TT and has been actively harvesting points ever since, he’s a strong climber who is suited to the Alpine ascents to come but the points system this year is skewed even more to the big climbs and coming first. Assuming he’s free to go for the jersey rather than shepherd Mollema he’ll need to win atop some first category climbs and pencil in the Gavia, the Cima Coppi with its double points…

…weather permitting. It’s been a cold and damp Giro since the start, probably the wettest since 2013 and the weather forecast – sometimes a harder call in the Italian Alps than picking a race winner – looks mixed, it might be sunny but summer has yet to break out in Italy, it still feels more like early April. The consequences of this might be felt in different ways, already the cold might have taken its toll and there’s talk Miguel Angel Lopez has a chest infection; there are worries about the high mountain passes like the Gavia being closed due to snow. Ignore photos of mountain passes under snow as they can be cleared in time, the problem is if it is snowing the day and night before and the during any stages in question, then the road will be impossible for a bike race.

Primož Roglič
Vincenzo Nibali
Bauke Mollema, Simon Yates

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Anonymous Monday, 20 May 2019, 11:29 am

    I always wondered how underweight wippets could make good TT’ers??

    • ave Thursday, 23 May 2019, 1:17 pm

      Well, being small and thin helps a lot. Aero is first, isnn’t it? And weight does matter too, even on a flat course, especially if there are corners to accelerate from.
      I am quite light at 62kg and not even that strong, yet I can still beat ~70kg riders with 15%-20% more power compared to me.

  • oldDAVE Monday, 20 May 2019, 11:32 am

    Was stunned by the TT yesterday.

    Knew Roglic was on form but 3mins out of Yates, and others, even with a hill, over 17km that felt enormous.

    I was looking back to some of the Col d’Eze TT’s which a 10km only produced a 13 second different between Porte and Spilak… in 2011 a 2sec gap between Wiggins and Westra… I know there are other Mountain time trials – but the 10km 2016 Giro one only produced 23 second gap between the top two, although admittedly Uran lost 3mins that day.

    I just can’t get over the favourite losing so much to Roglic yesterday.

    • LionKing Monday, 20 May 2019, 12:25 pm

      Was he really the favourite though?
      He made a lot of noise about it pre-race….

    • CA Monday, 20 May 2019, 12:59 pm

      Yates was his own favourite. Not at all the consensus pick.

    • cthulhu Monday, 20 May 2019, 1:20 pm

      I do believe it is a typo and he meant “favouriteS”, though.

      On the other hand, Roglic has shown good performances and talent in the past and has been progressing steadily since. But how he is dominating TTs and is out climbing those mountain goats at the moment is enormous.

  • jc Monday, 20 May 2019, 12:41 pm

    If this was July and the Dave Brailsford corporation had just ridden away from the field, Christian Prudhomme and David Lappartient would be ineffectually complaining about perfidious Albion whilst the media would be preparing to proclaim (grudgingly perhaps) another Sky / Ineos triumph. However it is not and Jumbo Visma only need to look back 3 years to the snow bank on the Agnello to see how it is possible to loose from a seemingly unassailable position. Not having strong support in the mountains is not an insuperable obstacle, Tom Dumoulin showed that, but Vincenzo Nibali and his team are likely to provide more serious opposition than the ineffectual efforts from Movistar and company.

    It will be interesting to see how Bob Jungels fares, he has history in this race and it would be good to see him do well.

    As noted above it is unwise to write anybody off at this point, however none of Simon Yates, Mikel Landa or Miguel Lopez look to be in good places, Simon might want to reflect on showing a bit more maturity in his media comments and both Astana and Movistar might want to refocus their attentions.

    The white jersey competition promises to be interesting, potentially some very good riders in the mix.

    • Digahole Monday, 20 May 2019, 3:11 pm

      “Mature” people can also have personalities and senses of humor

  • Richard S Monday, 20 May 2019, 12:43 pm

    It was interesting that TT specialists such as Roglic and Campanaerts, and ‘all-rounders’ like Nibali and Mollema (possibly being a bit kind to Bauke) were able to do a TT that was basically all uphill, considerably so for the last 3rd, so much better than climbers. Obviously holding a consistent output and staying in position is vital for such an effort rather than being to accelerate up the climb. I think it sets up a very interesting last 2 weeks, last week in particular. Roglic is a good climber but you’d think he’s going to be constantly under attack from the likes of Yates, Landa and Lopez, and without a particularly strong team to contain them. Whilst the whole time Nibali will be stalking his every move, going to the front on descents to push up the pace and the stress, and well capable of doing something in the Alps himself. All with some rough weather thrown in as well. It could be a classic.

    • JeroenK Monday, 20 May 2019, 1:22 pm

      You do not need a strong team if you are the strongest. No team will have any helpers left once Yates, Landa, Lopez or Nibali attack. If there is a risk, it’s being out of support after a Froom-esque suicide attack, a fall, mechanical or taking a dump in the ditch with a lot of valley road left. To a point, any favorite has that risk as no clear big, strong team has emerged in this Giro *yet*. If nothing happens to Roglic and he keeps up this form, he’s very difficult to keep from winning this Giro.
      Nibali vs. Roglic in a descent, now that could prove interesting… As far as I can see, Roglic is among the best descenders too.

    • Digahole Monday, 20 May 2019, 3:20 pm

      If Roglic does find himself isolated on mountain stages he’s going to have to let some attacks go. He’ll have to cover Nibali, but not necessarily Yates or Lopez. Regardless of the winner, it should be an entertaining final week.

    • Anonymous Monday, 20 May 2019, 5:39 pm

      “constant attacks by the likes Yates, Landa and Lopez,”

      Why you name these guy, wishful thinking?
      They are already minutes behind, neither Landa nor Lopez are the best placed in their team, that’s Amador and Carapaz or Bilbao. Even Masnada is 3 minutes ahead of your Yates.

      • Richard S Monday, 20 May 2019, 6:32 pm

        Yeah you’re absolutely right. Those 4 you named are much more famous for attacking in and winning mountain stages in Grand Tours. They’re the ones that have won a grand tour, a mountains jersey and podiumed in grand tours. Yates, Landa and Lopez are just a couple of relatively decent allrounders and a youngster on a pro Conti team who’s never done anything in a 3 week race.

        • Anonymous Monday, 20 May 2019, 7:45 pm

          Well, you obviously got stucked in your Cycling Manager paper world.

          • Richard S Monday, 20 May 2019, 7:54 pm

            Obviously

          • The Inner Ring Monday, 20 May 2019, 8:33 pm

            Easy ladies and gentlemen. It’s ok to have different views, nobody knows what will happen in the coming days and the fun will be in watching it from Friday onwards.

    • KevinR Monday, 20 May 2019, 10:47 pm

      Agree with Richard S. Nibali will probably be smiling this rest day. The good show by Roglic and the poor performance by most GC contenders really plays into his hands. Attacks will be firing off left, right and centre and if Roglic was in Team Sky, ooops Ineos, all would probably be fine. But he’s not. So he’s going to get stressed and tired and that’s when Vincenzo will pounce – he’s got the race craft and nous to maximise the pain too.

      • Lanterne_Verte Monday, 20 May 2019, 11:17 pm

        Also agree with Richard S, Jumbo Visma must minimise time losses to all of the big GC contenders, including Landa and Lopez. Losing 30 secs here and there might be ok but anymore than that is too risky, these guys have pedigree and cannot be written off and they can and will collaborate. Roglic will still have to work very hard to maintain his lead and Nibali is best placed to profit from his ordeal

  • Dave Monday, 20 May 2019, 1:14 pm

    Does it really bother some people that when asked Yates said he himself was the favourite for the race ? Give me that any day instead of the boring non-answers routinely given by most sportsmen .

    • Hafren LMP1 Monday, 20 May 2019, 1:40 pm

      He obviously felt good, was confident in his form, so why not say he’s the favourite? I don’t have a problem with this, in fact, more of this….
      Cycling and it’s followers aren’t half conservative….blimey, it’s 2019.

      • David Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 7:49 am

        If it was anything like most of his interviews, more likely his tongue was firmly in his cheek, and a lot of po-faced reporters and commenters have just taken it far too seriously.

    • jc Monday, 20 May 2019, 1:50 pm

      Its not about being “interesting” it is about showing respect for your fellow riders. I agree there is too much corporate blah speak but coming across as insulting to the rest of the competition really is not a good idea. It is likely to motivate the other riders and make yourself look silly when you dont prove to be the best rider….

      • Strictley Amateur / The GCW Monday, 20 May 2019, 2:36 pm

        Right on,
        “””Its not about being “interesting” it is about showing respect for your fellow riders.

        Yates is not a cannibal.

      • Larry T Monday, 20 May 2019, 5:21 pm

        +1 and +1 for Andrew’s comment below!

      • Anonymous Wednesday, 22 May 2019, 12:19 am

        Without getting into whether or not it’s an advisable thing to say, even if it’s true – because giving unnecessary motivation to your rivals may not be wise – why is it an insult to them? An insult? Seriously?

    • Sergio Monday, 20 May 2019, 2:43 pm

      By all means, be interesting, but in a respectful manner. And back it up. Otherwise, they’ll become those famous last words… (and in Yates’ case, a lot sooner than anyone expected).

      Still a lot to come, though he’ll need a miracle in the mountains, especially with the closing time trial.

      Let’s hope Nibali is able to keep this race interesting.

  • AndyW Monday, 20 May 2019, 1:46 pm

    Surprised you’ve put Mollema ahead of Lopez and Landa. Last year turned into Yates vs the two strongest TTers (one with a team that eventually became strong in the third week). Now that Dumoulin has left, the dynamic feels different – it will be interesting to see how Roglic/Jumbo-Visma can respond to four climbers with genuine GC hopes who are happy to attack from distance (Nibali, Yates, Lopez, Landa).

    I’ve been very impressed with Nibali – yesterday must rank as one his finest TTs, right?

    • gabriele Monday, 20 May 2019, 10:01 pm

      “yesterday must rank as one his finest TTs, right?”

      Uhmmm… no. I mean, in a sense “yeah”, that is, it’s surely in the best quartile of his tens and tens of ITTs throughout his career, but it’s not among his top-5 ITTs and probably not in the top-10, either.
      And I guess you’re speaking of flattish or rolling ITTs, not uphill ones.

      Without going much back in time, in 2017 Nibali made the podium in a 40-km-long, 50-km/h-averaging ITT in the Vuelta, beating pure specialists like Ludvigsson or Kamna, or Jungels by some 45″.
      In 2014, at the TdF, he was 4th in a flattish (48 km/h) long ITT, a handful of seconds behind Dumoulin (then a youngster) but well ahead of specialists like Pate, Bodnar, Tuft, Durbridge… and obviously better than all his GC rivals.
      The Saltara ITT at the 2013 Giro was also impressive, but the final 2010 one was even better, beating Porte or Wiggins as well as Konovalovas, a handful of seconds shy of Vinokourov or Evans.
      While in 2013 he was also impressive at La Vuelta.
      And so on.

      He’s been good at it since his junior years, and out of some total 90 ITTs he raced, he got a top-5 25 times (28%), and he made the top-10 39 times (43%). OTOH, he pretty much never won anything serious and rarely podiumed, if you exclude uphill ones.

      It’s pretty much a case of a solid top-end performer, hugely consistent through time, with no sudden peaks or drops in the specialty.
      For some reasons, people struggle with this concept. They tend to fall in love with the sudden and hardly explicable ITT improvements of this or that guy who “started to work seriously in the wind tunnel”, “raced more miles on his ITT bike” and so on— right when I start to be cynical and raise an eyebrow, especially when that same guy happens to lose his now-supposedly-acquired skills in some different occasions.

      • AndyW Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 2:00 am

        Impressive recall (or ability with ProCyclingStats ;-)). The Vuelta 2017 one came to mind but I’d forgotten a lot of the others. I agree that I probably undervalue his TT skills (I guess it’s not the “defining” feature of his GC riding when compared to someone like Dumoulin).

        In terms of comparisons with others, there do seem to be surprisingly large fluctuations in TT performance from a lot of riders, with a few exceptions who are/were incredibly consistent performers (Dumoulin, Froome, Cancellera) – for example, Jungels seems to underperform frequently (given his talent), whereas INRNG didn’t give Campenaerts much of a chance at all. I therefore don’t see the point in casting subtle aspersions on Yates (I assume?) – he performed well on Day 1 and has had some solid TT rides over the past few years (like last year’s Giro) – looks like he just had a bad day yesterday compared to expectations.

        • motormouth Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 3:22 pm

          some specialists are on double duty — they are the pace setters and move killers for their gc or sprint captains in a lot of cases, so depending on how the race has gone they could be gassed.

          with campanaerts, he claims he is off form because of the hour record training.

          Nibali is generally a strong TTer – Gab did an excellent job there – and part of that is down to his consistent ability to recover over grand tours (which is why he is (and others are) a great GC champion, more than his outright dominance of a specific domain).

        • gabriele Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 10:25 pm

          I wasn’t thinking Simon Yates, more the likes of past performances from Urán or Pozzovivo (and there are factors involved, for good or ill, depending on changing their teams and so).
          I wasn’t thinking about S. Yates essentially because I considered that the sample we’ve got is too little given that he’s still decently young.

          Now that you say it, anyway, I gave a look and, in fact, Simon Yates never was a solid ITT performer until the last 12 months (at the end of the day, he’s got 30 ITTs, not just a couple of ’em, and got a top-5 only in 7% (4) of the whole sample, while the top-10 are 13% (2) of the total – all of his fine results belonging to the last year, since May 4 2018).
          He was more of a top-20, top-30 man… And during this last year, the series wasn’t much consistent, either, like 7-20-30-13-8-1-2-31.

          All in all, nothing too absurd, albeit highly uneven. “Solid” isn’t the adjective I’d use for him, for sure.

          By the way, “subtle aspersions” isn’t what I’d be aiming, anyway, given that I’m pretty much convinced (as a personal opinion) both that some practices are more or less endemic in pro sport and that they don’t *usually* make a serious difference in a whole career (stress on usually… and the exceptions depend more on the context than on the individual). Before thinking about doping, a surprising performance, for good or ill, can be explained by lots of factors. And generalised notable performances by the members of a team are more telling than a single-athlete highlight.

          • AndyW Wednesday, 22 May 2019, 12:58 am

            Sorry for misintepreting your comments – that all makes a lot of sense. For a small climber, I’d say Yates is “solid” – interestingly, in ITT head-to-heads with Nibali, Yates is winning 4-3, but that might reflect Nibali taking it easy in some races, as well as the usual caveats about illness and form (for example, two of those wins were in the 2018 Vuelta).

    • Velovibes Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 1:40 am

      Mollema is clearly in great shape, better than he has been in a long time in the first week of a Grand Tour. In fact, I can’t recall him being this strong since he was fighting for the TdF podium in 2013. Interestingly, he said after the TT that he is not 100% comfortable on his TT bike and that he therefore switched to his road bike at the start of the climb. I expect him to be one of the best climbers the coming week .

      • AndyW Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 2:07 am

        Maybe, but he’s 32 and never had a podium in a Grand Tour – seems to fade or at least have a bad day or two in GCs. Would be happy to see him improve on that though!

      • motormouth Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 3:26 pm

        IIRC, isn’t Mollema’s one of those riders who tends to lose time in the first half and then have to make it up, less than him fading?

        • AndyW Wednesday, 22 May 2019, 12:46 am

          Not sure about that (some Wikipedia assistance here – I mainly remember the 2013 and 2014 Tours) – 2011 Vuelta he dropped to 4th from 3rd late in the race, 2013 Tour he dropped to 6th from 2nd, 2014 Tour he dropped to 10th from 7th, 2016 Tour he dropped to 11th from 2nd, 2017 Giro he dropped to 7th from 3rd, 2018 Tour he couldn’t compete for the GC. Lots of injuries, crashes, illness etc, but there’s a pattern… clearly has the potential but no podiums.

  • tedba Monday, 20 May 2019, 1:54 pm

    I think the main danger for Nibali (and the prospect of a race for the rest of us) is that the rest of the peleton starts racing for the podium or loses significant time to hunt for stages, rather than the pink jersey.

    Roglic doesn’t seem to have a hugely strong team and only needs to have one bad day… if he’s having to cover attacks from half a dozen rivals then it will be more likely he falls – where as if he only needs to cover Nibali then it’s easier to moderate his losses and make it back on the ITT

    • Bilmo Monday, 20 May 2019, 9:57 pm

      I’m hoping that for Yates, Lopez, Landa and Carapaz they realise a podium or top 10 doesn’t add anything new to their palmares. They’ve all had one before so should just through caution to the wind.

      • Chris_SK Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 12:46 am

        It may suit Landa, Yates, Lopez.. that there are folks like Carapaz, Bilbao riding GC for their team too, so any long range attack puts pressure on Roglic, but probably benefits to those closer to him in the GC (in short term). In short – they have nothing to lose now.

  • DJW Monday, 20 May 2019, 2:28 pm

    For the first time in over twelve months Chavez has appeared comfortable and consistent. If this is the case, he would be up there with the best natural climbers in the race. After Yates’ losses, he might have considerable freedom in MTS too, or, at least, be part of a two-pronged mountain fork. Chavez has also a point to prove over the Yates brothers who have taken his dominant place in recent tours.

    • Anonymous Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 12:46 am

      That’s what was said at this time last year after his stagewin. Then he went backwards.

  • escarabajo Monday, 20 May 2019, 2:31 pm

    Thanks for the round up.

    Sprinters: it was soooo harsh on Viviani to dock that extra 50 points. Sure he loses the stage points for an irregular sprint, but the extra 50? Suggests he was purposefully malicious. Which he wasn’t.

    It’s put a real dampener on the cyclamen jersey competition. As Italian champion he probably would have stayed the course to Verona, but doesn’t really have an incentive now 🙁

    • Andrew Monday, 20 May 2019, 4:08 pm

      I really want Viviani to take the cyclamen jersey. So he can take off that abomination he is wearing now.

    • Anonymous Wednesday, 22 May 2019, 12:24 am

      That was by rule. It makes no comment at all on whether or not he was malicious, purposefully or otherwise.

  • John Irvine Monday, 20 May 2019, 5:31 pm

    Ciccone chasing points definitely enlivened some stages for me. Actually, there are a lot of promising Italian riders showing themselves this year. It’s been fun to watch.

  • Ecky Thump Monday, 20 May 2019, 7:48 pm

    Talking of extrapolations, can we compare Roglic’s performance to date as his ‘break-out’ year as a TT’er turned serious GC’er to that of Tom Dumoulin’s in 2016/7?
    I’d argue that there’s a crude comparison to be made there.
    And looking at Dumoulin’s 2017 Giro triumph, he had more and flatter TT kms in which to build up a buffer. In fact on the longer, flatter TT Dumoulin was taking 3”/km out of Nibali rather than the 2” which Roglic has been able to gain.
    And, even then, things got dicey for the Dutchman in the mountains and he lost the GC lead by some margin.

    Which may go to show that this race is not over by a long chalk. The circumstances may not be the same but I do feel that the comparison between Roglic and Dumoulin’s respective GC development may be made. Roglic will lose time in the mountains I’m sure of that.
    It’s just whether that buffer is large enough, and on that I am most definitely not sure.

  • Watts Monday, 20 May 2019, 8:21 pm

    I suspect that this TT tells us a lot about the strength of the riders going forward. If you can go fast up the hill in the 2nd part after being at threshold for 20mins first, it says a lot about your level as a contender.

    • Paul Wednesday, 22 May 2019, 9:43 am

      Indeed – you have it right there plus Lady Luck of course

  • plurien Monday, 20 May 2019, 11:52 pm

    Any team principal looking at Roglic and his team is going to be thinking they can’t beat him on the climbs and they can’t ride away from him on the descents (that TdF win off the Aubisque…) so maybe they might try something in the next couple of days just to see what they get. Far easier to make alliances, especially if there are echelons and dirty weather.
    And isn’t Majka being a bit overlooked by everyone?

  • Anonymous Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 1:00 am

    “If you can’t ride two horses you shouldn’t be in the Circus!” I don’t know who coined it but I thought I’d throw it in for good measure.

  • Strictly Amateur / The GCW Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 5:23 am

    EF’s been quiet, happy to see 2 in TT top 10. Carthy and Kangert. No illusion they will win but could either finish in top 10?

    Tension, bar fights, chain gangs, dumpy furniture, bad hair days, controversy, flingin’ sweat, slobber & snot. We’re in for good entertainment.

    Nibali is in a familiar place. I think He’s going to entertain Us the most.

  • Anonymous Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 7:47 am

    3 week tour, 1 week worth watching. I know you need the 2 preceding weeks by my God the stages have been dull to watch.

    • gabriele Tuesday, 21 May 2019, 10:33 pm

      More as in 1,5 week + 1,5 week (half empty/ half full glass).
      Since Thursday included it *should* be good.
      Anyway, I’d also blame team attitude. Last Saturday, besides several other stages before it, granted more than one option for aggressive racing… prudence prevailed. Whatever.
      Finally, Vegni got what he wanted: a pack of strong climbers well back on GC forced to attack with a lot of terrain to try. Will that premise lead to the expected spectacle? I’m not that sure, but that was the organisers’ bet, feel assured.

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