Giro d’Italia Stage 11 Preview

A hilly day in the Apennines with hardly a metre of flat road but it’s not mountainous like we’ll see in the Alps. Many riders will have ticked today for the breakaway.

Stage 10 Wrap: there’s Tom Dumoulin and the rest, a result similar to last summer’s Ardèche time trial stage of the Tour de France where the Dutchman was so far ahead of everyone it almost pays to look at the stage classification without him because it looks like everyone had a bad day when compared to Dumoulin. Among those who did have a bad time were Nairo Quintana and Thibaut Pinot, the Colombian floundering in the wind and the Frenchman saying he had a jour sans after the rest day. Both lost time to Dumoulin but also their other rivals, notably Vincenzo Nibali who finished sixth on the stage. It leaves five riders in search of a podium although sixth overall Bob Jungels says he simply had a bad day to Blockhaus and can contend too and Thomas looks keen to move up too. As for Dumoulin, now being nicknamed the Tulipano Rosa or “pink tulip” by the Italian media things look promising, he’s got 2m23s on Quintana already and there’s the Monza-Milan time trial on the final day as insurance. Only the Alps are in the way and if Nairo Quintana is climbing well his team look very strong too which promises a battle.

The Route: a tappone, Italian for a big stage thanks to the saw-tooth profile and few flat roads over 161km. The start in Ponte a Ema celebrates Gino Bartali who was born there and became a symbol of Tuscan and Italian cycling and there’s now a museum dedicated to him. 15km of riding across the plains and then they hit the Consuma, 15.9km at 6.1% and the early slopes bite hardest with 6-7% for the first nine kilometres before easing for a few kilometres and then more 7% before levelling out across the top. The descent is on similar roads. They drop into Stia and climb straight out on the Passo della Calla, 16km at 5.3% but harder than the stats sound with lots of 6%.

Next is the Passo Carnaio listed as 11.4km at 4.5% but look closely at the profile it’s one of those staircase climbs with flat sections and steeper moments, even 10%. A short descent and they ride into Bagno di Romagna to cross the finish line with 47.9km to go – Pibernik alert – and head for a hilly circuit.

They climb Monte Fumaiolo, 23.1km at 3.7% but with steeper moments, especially at the top, the chance for a climb to get a gap. Then comes a descent down to the finish on a winding road through woodland with corners but few hairpins, the kind of road where a rider can quickly get out of sight.

The Finish: an almost flat finish and on a long straight road, the easiest part of the stage.

The Contenders: many riders will have picked today for the breakaway meaning there will be a fight to go clear and a lottery element, as strong as some need to be to get away some can sit out the hostilities for N minutes only to jump once and hitch themselves onto the right wagon. So picking who gets away is random, let alone who wins…

Valerio Conti is an obvious pick, keen to make amends for that crash in Peschici and if he’s from Rome he spent his U23 days in the region. A similar story for Giovanni Visconti who hails from Sicily but moved to the region to pursue is his career and he’s a stage hunter who can get the day off shepherding Nibali. Lotto-Jumbo’s Enrico Battaglin could get into a breakaway and can cope with these steadier climbs and is very fast for the final sprint. Cannondale-Drapac have had a torrid time with their tactics, can they get into the right move this time? Davide Villella and Michael Woods seem like good choices. With BMC’s overall ambitions over we’ll see what the team can do. Ben Hermans and Silvan Dillier are obvious picks for a punchy stage while Dylan Theuns can still have his day too. Watch Jan Polanc and Daniel Teklahaimanot to see if they get in the move as they’ll both be interested in the points for the mountains competition.

Is there room for GC action? There always is but if this stage is hard, the long climbs still reward being sat tight on a good wheel so any team trying to up the pace to shred the bunch risks using up their own riders first before rivals crack. The climb over Monte Fumaiolo is there to be exploited but there’s a long run to the finish afterwards, perhaps some riders contesting the lower places in the top-10 try a move but their rivals will be alert.

Valerio Conti, Giovanni Visconti
L-L Sanchez, Battaglin, J Hansen, Villella

Weather: sunshine and a top temperature of 23°C in the valleys. A light breeze from the north-east at 15km/h meaning a headwind for a lot of the stage but these roads are often sheltered by woodland.

TV: they reach Bagno di Romagna at 3.55pm CET and then head out for the circuit. As usual the finish is forecast for 5.15pm CET. There’s live coverage on home broadcaster RAI in Italy and Eurosport for much of Europe and beyond. Otherwise and are the go-to sites for schedules and pirata feeds.

107 thoughts on “Giro d’Italia Stage 11 Preview”

  1. What a ride from Dumoulin. He’s proved that he’s still the best against the clock despite shedding weight for the mountains.

    I still think this is Quintana’s Giro to lose but it’s going to be closer than anyone imagined. Big worry for Dumoulin that he’s lost Kelderman but he’s climbing very well.

    No-one can write off Nibali yet.

    Honourable mention for Thomas too yesterday still potential to make the podium.

    Prediction for Milan:

    1: Quintana
    2: Dumoulin
    3: Nibali/Thomas

    • If Dumoulin loses 30 seconds to Quintana on each subsequent mountain stage (14, 16, 18, 19, 20) its about dead even going into the final stage. Therefore, to my mind, Dumoulin has to crack to lose this.

      A grand tour works very nicely with long TT stages when you don’t have someone who is both a top level climber and top level TT’r there (I’m looking at you, Froome). Hopefully the Giro maintains this format for a couple of years as its a significant point of difference from the other two GT’s.

      • Dumoulin lost 30 seconds on mountain stage with only 1 big mountain though – I expect Movistar to go full gas on one of the heavier climbing days and try to crack him before the final climb – a la Astana on the penultimate Vuelta day in 2015 where he lost 4 minutes in one stage.

        • Its a nice theory for those who have no faith that Dumoulin can finish the job but does it stack up? To ride fast enough to get Dumoulin off the wheel Movistar will have to burn off everyone else as well including their own team. Quintana will be doing 70-80kms solo breakaways? I don’t see it myself. And even if he does Dumoulin will be surrounded by riders desparate for a podium themselves whilst Quintana plows a lone furrow. I think Dumoulin needs to crack to lose this.

    • I think it’ll suit Nibali very well that the whole focus is on Dumoulin vs Movistar… he’s still in the game for sure, he knows how to last the course and win GTs…

        • RonDe, I’m so sorry to disappoint you, since I know you’re a big Nibali fan, and I also know that it’s complicated not to get confused, but it wasn’t your dear Vincenzo who won the Tour de France 2013 against young kid Quintana and “never-won-a-GT” Purito; in fact, Nibali was at the Giro besting experienced Urán and TdF-winner Evans 😉

          • Gabriele, please don’t embarrass yourself. You make great contributions. But even you know that Alberto Contador was in the 2013 Tour. A multiple Grand Tour winner even then.

          • I’m always surprised by the fact that no matter how many *explicit* irony, sarcasm or paradox linguistic / iconic markers you include in a text, some people end up struggling to get that anyway.

        • “Whaddya mean he only beats Old Guys ?” Chris Horner

          Nibbling typically wins when all the HC faves get hurt and or have a bad Tour.

          He is a survivor. That us why I never count him out of a GT.

    • I would like Thomas to podium, I really would. He deserves the success. But the problem is too many others need to fail for it to happen. Some, of course, will. But not all of them.

      Only Quintana and Dumoulin can now win this race barring accidents and incidents.

      • Thanks Davey B – good to see you out on the PR trail on this wonderful niche cycling blog.

        Think most would like to see G on the comeback trail, although, dependent on his injuries (you’ll know more than I) it might not need that many people to fail for him to make up the necessary time to the podium.

        Going on recent form you’d expect G to be climbing close to Pinot – so on Blockhaus he’d have had 15secs on Mollema and 35secs on Nibali. Obviously it’s not likely to stay consistent – (and apparently his actual Blockhaus climb may have been on Quintana’s level… I’ll let others confirm) – but now he needs to make up around 2.30 with a 30km TT at the end (he had over 1min on Nibali yesterday)…. so over the course of the mountain stages, making up 1min30 or so isn’t inconceivable.

        The biggest question for me is whether his level will last the 3 weeks…. he’s had reasons why it hasn’t in the past, but whether he can prove himself consistent in this tour is the question…

        • According to Velon, Thomas lost 2 minutes to Quintana on the Blockhaus climb itself. No doubt he’d have done better if he was part of the lead group instead of suffering from the crash, but it’s a bit of a stretch to say he was on Quintana’s level.

  2. Hard to watch Tejay van Garderen especially since this will likely be his last chance at a grand tour at least with a support of a major team.

  3. I was probably giving Quintana too much credit for his time trialling ability: even Adam Yates who isn’t noted for his prowess against the clock cut his deficit to the former pink jersey by 14 seconds, and looking back on the similar rolling 41km TT in 2014, Quintana lost a similar amount of time to Uran. That being said however, there is still plenty of climbing to go so the it’s still anyone’s Giro (well not anyone’s, but you know). Hopefully Pinot having lost his TT legs can still be up there in the mountains and that Thomas recovers over the next few stages.

    • Yates rested a bit (at least, relatively so, compared to Thomas for instance!) on the Blockhaus.
      However, he’s younger than Quintana and I’d expect him to have margins for getting a little better in ITTs year after year, until he approaches his limits: and, well, in last Tour’s ITT he already did slightly better than Quintana (7″ better).
      Quintana was probably in worse physical conditions last year during the Tour, but he isn’t in top form now, either – and yesterday’s ITT was hugely more unfavourable to Quintana (flatter, windier).
      Yates 2016, after all, made a TdF ITT top 20 and lost seconds to, say, Valverde. He lost about one minute to Thomas and Mollema (and I. Izagirre, and T. Martin), yesterday he lost 1’50” to Thomas and 22″ to Mollema.

      My take is that this – albeit not flat – was a fine specialist ITT, as we don’t see very often anymore in GTs, made even more extreme by the strong winds. Heavy men’s performances were highlighted and more or less light “climbers” were pushed back together.

      The Barolo ITT wasn’t similar at all. Just look at the difference in average speed 0__0
      And yesterday had steady 30km/h winds! Have also a look at the kind of riders who performed well back then (and their weight if you want figures). Not comparable, not even by far.
      Taking those obvious factors into account, Quintana clearly fared *way* better than in 2014, he’s in better shape and became a better TTer, too.

      As inrng wrote above, have a look at the classification without super Dumoulin, who’s in manifest top shape and produced an “overperfomance”: the POV suddenly changes.

      • Your insights into Quintana’s form are remarkable. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to when he was at his physical peak? Was it in his 2013, 2015 or 2016 losses to Froome in the Tour de France?

        In any race you’re going to be judged against the winner. Otherwise you end up in a world of dead ends trying to prove things with statistics or historical anecdotes like the Cyclingnews forum trolls whinging about how Fabian Cancellara was somehow “stronger” than Simon Gerrans in the 2012 MSR and that this actually means something. Or as Dara Ó Briain joked “We were ahead one nil for 89 minutes before conceding two late goals that were insignificant when you look at the match as a whole….”

        • Well, Augie, if you can’t see that Quintana was *not* on peak form in the 2016 Tour, no insight I can provide will ever help you to, frankly.
          Besides, there are enough declarations from him and the team, which I estimate as “quite sincere”, because they didn’t come up with any given excuse but spoke of not knowing what was going on, perhaps some undefined allergy, or whatever else physiological woe. If you invent something, well, you normally invent… *something*!
          2013 is about a neopro, who might or might not have been in his “under-23-guy top form” (I think he got there), but it’s hard to consider that as the upper limit of a cyclist’s capability – as he showed later.
          In the last week of 2015 he was on great form, for example.
          And if you want a more recent example, I think that the 2016 Vuelta might be fine.
          During the 2014 Giro he clearly rode into form, not hard to see. Just check figures.
          That’s not a hard concept to understand – well, truth is that it has been the way people used to win GTs before “sport science” factored in.

          • For someone who is negative about “sport science” you must admit you do use an awful lot of numbers and statistics to make your arguments. Of course athletes vary like all people day to day, and month to month, but I think you lost your point somewhere along the way. Are we only allowed to judge performances in a race if the rider’s condition aligns with their lab-tested upper baseline? This seems like a lot of hair splitting to prove what exactly? All I said that Quintana isn’t great at time trialling but that he is a great climber so this Giro should be a good contest. Is this controversial somehow or are you just looking to pick fights?

          • No intention to pick up a fight. My mistake for trying to correct a couple of moot points in the first place (“similar 2014 ITT”, the comparision with Yates), then I just answered to direct questions. If those were meant to go away from any main point, it doesn’t depend on me.
            I’d say that Quintana had an average ITT, even fine if you take into account his build and the conditoins, not at all a bad one, from a technical POV; it’s Dumoulin who was head and shoulder over the rest.
            A 56-57 kg rider physically can’t have a say against over-65-kg riders on a not-technical, flattish, windy ITT , not matter how deep he works on the discipline – which is why flat, not-technical ITTs are fine but shouldn’t be abused in GT routes; whereas you can work on power to weight ratio (climbs), on the contrary your total weight will always limit your top power, however hard you work on it.

          • Well you must admit that grand tour designers can’t design stages around potential wind, so while as you say a windy TT will affect the little guys more, at the end of the day that’s no different to a rainy day where some riders handle wet conditions better than others or even a crosswind stage. My personal view is that a well balanced grand tour should have a mixture of stages including more technical time trials with hills and longer flatter ones that are a more pure test of power and aerodynamics.

          • The wind thing was just in order to properly assess the value of Quintana’s performance. The Giro course remains balanced, albeit slightly tilted against stamina/pure climbers.

            I love the current GC situation, actually.

            And, since I’m here… re: sport science, it’s precisely because I’m aware of something about the sport and something about science, that I won’t buy any “sport science” they’re throwing me to defend whatever curious evolution or performance.

            If you don’t mind, I’ll close this thread (or posting tennis match) here. Feel free to reply, obviously enough, and I’ll read – but I won’t answer any further.

        • Augie, you’re missing the point again.
          You’re disagreeing with gabriele. Therefore, by rule, you are wrong, not a “true cycling fan” and only worthy of the most pathetic condescension.
          Frankly, no insight he can provide will ever help you.

  4. The “Pink Tulip” looks strong for this Giro, . . . only if you had a stronger climbing team to support him for the upcoming mountain stages I’d bet it all on pink. Quintana and his Movistar Team will surely put on maximum pressure on the inclines, so it’s difficult to call it for now. Another exciting Giro this year!

  5. Will Nibali try something on the descent? He needs to be bold to find places to make up time. Sounds like the descent won’t be technical enough though.

    • It’s up to the riders as ever but the descent isn’t too wild, a lone rider can get into a good tuck and try to profit from the sweeping corners but these roads aren’t normally a test of skill and nerve… although the potholes and cracks have their say.

  6. I dont think Nairo Quintana did that badly it was more that Tom Dumoulin rode a superb time trial. Not sure anyone, Froome, Martin or whoever, would have come close. What I did think was interesting was the post race statements, TD clearly confident looking forward to the rest of the race, NQ seemingly surprised that he had lost so much time, talking about new strategies. So much sport at the highest level is about psychology an area I am not sure Movistar are that good at.

    G seems to have a shout of top 5 maybe even podium, which given the disaster the other day, would be some achievement.

    Today seems to be a perfect route for some sort of ambush or whatever but not sure any of the GC teams will think it a good idea. Possibly Sky but I suspect they might want a quiet life for a couple of days. Maybe Lotto Jumbo for Kruijswijk but not sure he is that sort of rider. Orica Scott might try something for Adam Yates. More likely the breakaway, it would be good to have one of the wild card teams win.

    • I was thinking along the same lines, maybe Sky would do a reverse of the vuelta stage last year when Contador and Quintana dropped Froome. Would be great to see someone go for it

  7. It is conceivable that Quintana puts 2:30 into dumoulin on one stage alone at some point in the third week, rather than rely on 30secs here and there. But he will indeed need to come up with Contadorian strategy.

    • Its possible… because in a bike race you should expect the unexpected. But “the unexpected” in this situation is that Dumoulin stays rock solid. I see many commentators waiting for the imagined loss of 2, 3 or even 4 minutes in one go. I understand that Dumoulin has to prove the doubters wrong. But I also think this is the strongest Tom D we have yet seen in a grand tour. I doubt Quintana will beat him without multiple days where he takes significant time by which I mean +1 minute. Certainly the 24 seconds he had over him on Blockhaus now seems to be on the light side. A Tom Dumoulin who needs 90-100 seconds to win in Milan will unleash hell.

  8. On Sunweb, we’re not giving them enough credit. Yes they lost Kelderman, but a trio of Geschke, Preidler and Ten Dam should be decent enough in the higher mountains, and with some young powerhouses on the flats (plus Stamsnijder) I think they’re not as bad. Plus, you can always transcend yourself in pink.

    • All very good picks too, I probably should have included Rui Costa above but he seems a bit off the pace, but maybe he’s just waiting for the right moment? It’s a lottery day to see who goes in the breakaway, I’d pick them too but didn’t want to include too many names. Maybe Mohoric, Martinelli, Woods, Rosskopf, Montaguti… and more. Perhaps the first Italian stage win?

      • After some thoughts I play a little around this scenario: A Sky win today..
        The stage almost starts with a climb and the first flat 15 km can be controlled, where they can launch Landa or Diego Rosa on the first mountain? Does this seems possible or will they still backup Geraint or go for stage wins?

  9. Fantastic performance from Dumoulin, especially considering the change of focus in his training to improve his climbing ability. Certainly shakes things up with the time gap he gain and I’d say he has to crack in same way he did in the Vuelta. So Quintanna will really need to lay the hammer down especially with the time trial at the end.

    Interesting seeing an interview with Thomas before the time trial as indicated they would reassess plan due to the crash and due to time he’d lost he may be allowed to get away and get some stage wins to win his elusive grand tour stage.

    I wonder if his time trial performance surpassed all expectations as I am sure he would have started feeling the effects of the crash but either way I think it makes sense for him to continue to ride as if he is still gunning for the GC because this will serve as a good gauge whether he can compete over three weeks without the added pressure of providing a result. If he managed to get on the podium, that would be a massive achievement.

    In contrast TJVG is obviously done as a grand tour rider after two very disappointing stages following a number of disappointing performances at previous grand tours, I believe his contract is up this year? Where does he go from here? It’s very likely he has to accept a substantial paycut but does he just have to accept what his capabilities are and potentially become a super domestique?

    • My take on it is that Thomas has got into grand tours a bit late, so each one counts now. There are 2 unknowns with him, can he last 3 weeks every day, and can he live with the best on the climbs. He largely answered the second one in the tour 2 years ago but then had his bad day and arguably was only a domestique so maybe wasn’t put under pressure by other riders as froome was.

      Therefore he needs to answer both questions in this GT, and then he can push for possibly joint leadership in the vuelta (froome isn’t always at his best there), and sole leadership of the giro next year.

    • United Health Care ?

      I doubt he is offered a WT contract unless he is willing to take a pay cut and become a domestique. Pro-conti seems the only option for him if he wants to be a leader.

      • What is it which might “go around”? Movistar rarely allied with other teams (besides helping Sky at the TdF, I mean).
        However, alliances are the salt of cycling, a bit of logic should be preserved, but I wouldn’t be too worried about the sportsmanship.
        And Sky might help Dumoulin even if this should reduce their options for a better GC because it doesn’t matter that much anymore to them, now, and they could further wear out Quintana for the Tour. That would be something which as some sporting sense.
        Obviously, something more glorious than that would be a better reward for Thomas’ efforts, but…

        • …then Movistar might look for a future opportunity to make Thomas/Sky whole, illustrating the “pay forward” aspect of a natural alliance. It could even happen in the midst of a Froome-Quintana battle in July, if Thomas could win a stage at the pleasure of Movistar, say.

      • unsportsmanlike?? that’s exactly what the sport is about isn’t it?… making alliances, returning favours, getting the bunch to work for you etc etc… it’s all part of the skill of a GT rider, Contador is an expert…

        • Some people need to realise, pretty quick, that in Pro cycling there are unwritten rules and what goes around comes around, sometimes. If unfairness has seen to be done, then at some point the “favour” will be returned. It can happen at team and also rider level. Some folks must live in a bubble honestly, when did you last think the world of business was fair?

  10. Listen to Thomas and brailsford after the blockhaus stage – neither had an issue with Movistar as the race was on.

    Matt White on the other hand was very bitter, however I would imagine they’ll focus on developing Yates rather than gamesmanship.

    • Well, what they say, and how they feel underneath, are not necessarily the same thing.

      But I saw nothing in their reaction that wouldn’t suggest they thought – “well, now we know where the lines are drawn”

    • I was more surprised that the officials did not step in, rather than Movistar calling it off themselves.
      The views of others on here (and the international perspective is especially welcome) went some way to explaining the mindset, though I still find it a bit disturbing tbh.
      Maybe a topic for another day.
      But the race goes on, and it’s turned into a cracker.

      • it’s tough to kill the pace of ~150 or so riders cranking away at warp 9–remember it’s not just Movistar that must slow but the entire group must agree … simultaneously, at full gas approaching the base of a major climb.

        then there’s the issue of “who is a GC contender”? Yates has not proven that, Thomas sort of has, and Landa mostly has done so.

        lots of variables moving at high speed.

      • The way I saw it was that the race was on. Everyone was going full gas to the foot of the Blockhaus, then there is no waiting anymore, just like you don’t wait when someone get a mechanical in a echelon stage.
        This wouldn’t have happened to team Sky in the TDF. In that race they would make sure to ride in front with the full train, but here they lack the strength so where to far back to stay out of the danger zone.

        And I don’t see why race officials would step in, never happened so why should they do it now, because it happens to Sky?

    • There is an element to being a “grown up” here.

      However stupid the incident was it was clearly just one of those things, a random event which happen all the time in bike racing. The only sensible way forward is to dust yourself down, get back on the bike (assuming it is safe to do so) and keep going. Whinging afterwards really doesnt help and probably damages your own cause. To suggest Movistar should have slowed down does not stack up, crashes happen and sometimes it works to your advantage. It was not Movistar’s fault, the race was on and unless the commisaires take the decision to stop the race (eg at the TdF a couple of years back) you keep going.

      Perhaps Sky’s response shows why they have been successful and Orica’s shows why they are not quite there yet?

      • I think we have to agree to differ. Movistar are, or course, not forced to slow up. But they were not chasing anybody. For the many many years I have followed pro cycling there have been situations where the race was far more ‘on’ that it was on Blockhaus and favourites have waited for rivals who have crashed, punctured, etc. On many occasions we’re talking a small group of 3-4 riders – not a whole peloton still in the race. Hell, for all their clear failings, even Armstrong and Ullrich waited for each other!

        • consider that in many of those cases one of two factors were present: small groups (easy to communicate) or farther from the finish (time to react).

          this instance had neither.

    • Matt White was emotional, but his GC hopeful had been dealt a big blow, so he was letting off some steam. One of the reasons White is respected as a DS is his passionate defence of his riders. It’s not as if developing riders and “gamesmanship” are mutually exclusive, note for example that both Yates brothers received other offers but chose to stay with Orica, the team environment was probably a big reason why.

      There are other ways to go about things, like in the 2012 Tour de France after tacks were thrown on the course Wiggins and team Sky slowed the peloton so some of his rivals, like Evans who had punctured could catch back on. Wiggins recognised that this was not a normal racing incident and everyone appreciated his good sportsmanship. It wouldn’t have killed Quintana’s chances in the Giro for Movistar to sit up for a few ks, if anything he would have had even fresher legs to attack the climb.

      • Sorry Augie, this might look as if it was personal, but I swear it isn’t. I’m taking advantage of something you say just because many people are writing that sort of things, and it’s understandable, watching the race live doesn’t make it easy to be aware of where exactly the riders are and so.

        “It wouldn’t have killed Quintana’s chances in the Giro for Movistar to sit up for a few ks, if anything he would have had even fresher legs to attack the climb.”

        The accident happened exactly 1.7 kms before the start of the climb. Sitting up for “a few kms” would have meant, dunno, how many is “a few”? 4? 5? Well, Going well into the climb. And we should all know how important it is to wear our rivals before you attack, even more so in a monoclimb stage. This whole “Movistar might have wait thing” is pure BS.

        And, I’m quoting another commenter (hope he or she didn’t get this wrong), White didn’t worry much about Kruijswijk having fell down when he ordered Plaza to pull the front group full speed. And it’s just one example, I’ve got a couple more about Orica and his DS (the kind of guy whose past Cyclingnews never recalls us, unlike what they do with Vinokourov or Valverde or many others – not that White ever showed he was very repentant, either). I’m now exaggerating, but White speaking of ethics is like when they had Manolo Saiz writing down UCI’s “ethical code”.

        • Do remind me of this moral high ground about doping next time you’re rhapsodising over a Valverde win. If you bothered to read my comment I wasn’t saying White isn’t guilty of tactical gamesmanship, you’re the one pretending there is some great hypocrisy I’m not mentioning. I just said he was standing up for his riders, and if there’s to be a go slow or whatever that should come from the riders not the DS.

          • White (didn’t like him as rider, DS or doper) can defend his riders all he wants, but whining about racing when his boy’s on the floor is pure hypocrisy!
            I really hate to type this but SKY’s response to the unfortunate situation was much better. Sadly, Thomas’ injuries seemed to hit him hard today – my hatred of SKY was starting to be tempered a bit with their underdog status vs the usual hegemony and hubris from Murdoch’s squad.

  11. Does anyone know where times for the blockhaus ascent may be available? Apparently Thomas was quicker up it than Quintana. I find that hard to believe as Thomas was 2 minutes behind when he got on his bike and lost 5 minutes at the end….but would be interested to know definitively.

    • I have read from different sources that Thomas lost 2 minutes to Quintana but that he was flying up the climb before cracking right at the end and losing most of the time there. Based on that and his TT, he would definitely have been in contention without the crash.

          • I don’t know where the Thomas things comes from, but it doesn’t look right, at first sight.
            Are they supposing he lost some more two minutes once on his bike but before the climb started?
            The accident happened 1.7 km before the start of the climb (something which the “wait, wait, it’s a fair play thing” didn’t stress very much), can you really lose 2′ in 1.7 km flattish kms even if you’re sore and the race pace was furious?

            Quintana’s time was 39’56”.
            I’ll look if I can get something about Thomas, but I suspect that only Sky’s got it (TV didn’t show enough of him, obviously).

          • First partial update: Thomas made the climb *taking away the first km* in 39’47”. This might have produced the mistake.
            The first km averages 7.3%, which means that, IMHO, a lower limit for Thomas’ time is 39’47” + 2’11” (assuming that Thomas and his helper could climb that km at an obviously excessive VAM of 2000 m/h, that is 27.4 km/h) = 41’58” as the lower possible time for Thomas.

          • Update: last 300 m of the first km of the climb for Thomas = 53″.
            20.4 km/h, VAM 1590. Which obviously raises Thomas’ lower possible time estimation.

          • Last update: Thomas made the first km of the climb + 100 m before the official start in 2’50”. Upper limit for Thomas’ total time on the climb: 42’37” minus 13″/18″.

            Finally, I’d say that 42’21” +/- 3″ is reasonable, that is, 2’25” slower than Quintana. Which is impressive.

            You owe me one, guys 😉

      • Normally he’s got them fine, but this time it’s ammattipyoraily has the right one (I checked it on video, Quintana can be seen both on the official start of the climb and on the final line).

        • Thanks Gabriele. Those timings make sense to me given (I think) time checks showed Thomas 2:30 behind the lead group when he was climbing, and he finished 5:07 behind. Also impressive that you found the “time less first km”, which probably gave rise to the initial error!


          The reason I was interested is the talk about Thomas going top 10 /top 5 / podium. I think if he can produce again in the final time trial that gives him a minute over the current top 10 (give or take), which would take him to 8 / 9. So the question for me is how close can he get in the mountains / is his form there so he could actually take time out of a Mollema / Jungels / Zakarin? The suggestion given what you have found is that he’ll lose some time to Quintana and probably Pinot and Nibali, but maybe could cling on to the rest. (I know there are other variances such as him climbing Blockhaus with only 1 team mate as opposed to being in the lead group, but that would be a smaller advantage uphill than on the flat as we know)

          Thanks again

  12. I guess the question is: how much time can TD take in the final timetrail? He will have a lot more miles in the legs by then and we don’t yet really know how he will perform over 3 weeks.

    Can he/will he be capable of such a dominant performance over a shorter distance?

    I would expect Quintana to claw back most of if not all of his deficit and will, in my opinion, almost certainly will reach the last stage in Pink. How much of a buffer does he need? 1min+?

    Whilst TD is in Pink I am not sure he can rely on support from other teams in chasing down Movistar attacks. We have seen this in previous GTs and the rest will now be battling for podium places and will let TD grind himself down before attacking.

    • It will certainly be interesting to see how Movistar play it. The way that the Blockhuas stage played out would suit TD on the upcoming mountain stages. A really hard tempo from the base of the climbs to rip the group apart means that TD can focus on basically riding a TT up the climb. If every mountain stage is a 1 on 1 uphill TT, then TD can limit his losses. Movistar need to mix it up and make it chaotic. They need TD repeatedly into the red before NQ launches.

  13. Not saying there is a grudge (Thomas said Movistar did nothing wrong by continuing to drive on the front as they had already done for the last 50K) but entirely consistent with the history of cycling and part of the intrigue that gives it so much depth.

  14. I don’t think Quintana did have a bad day: entirely consistent with his time trials in grand tours.
    He is weak on the flat – whether in TTs or in normal racing. That’s no surprise considering his build.
    As I said the other day, he’s going to have to be more adventurous and attack from longer distances. He has the ability to do this and a stronger team, so it should be interesting.

  15. Landa attacking with Amador and Visconti, among others. Pink Jesey with 1 or 2 team mates. Race exploded…. Watch out today

    PS Obviously, TJ Van Garderen already dropped by the bunch

    • Oh no…. poor TVG…. this isn’t really fair for anyone to experience – I hope he grabs a stage later or something, clearly something is wrong but from recent history it’s hard no to feel some of it may be mental – GT’s are well and truly over for him, but fingers crossed it’s not a (lesser) Schleck moment of a body giving in too early.

  16. “the Dutchman was so far ahead of everyone it almost pays to look at the stage classification without him because it looks like everyone had a bad day when compared to Dumoulin”

    here is the GC after stage 10 without TD, with time gaps back from NQ:

    2 Nairo Quintana 00:00:00
    3 Bauke Mollema 00:00:15
    4 Thibaut Pinot 00:00:17
    5 Vincenzo Nibali 00:00:24
    6 Bob Jungels 00:01:33
    7 Domenico Pozzovivo 00:01:42
    8 Ilnur Zakarin 00:01:54
    9 Andrey Amador 00:02:16
    10 Steven Kruijswijk 00:02:56
    11 Geraint Thomas 00:03:10

  17. With a comparatively weak team, Sunweb would be well advised to let Amador take the pink jersey, by just a small margin, if they can. They all ready look on the rack a bit.

    • In theory yes, but the tricky bit is doing that without giving time to Quintana or others in the GC.

      We’ve seen this before – some GC contender team trims the break’s gap for tactical purposes. It’s pretty clever. If Quintana goes Dumoulin has to follow. If Movistar takes time off the Maglia Rosa – great! If not, you forced them to keep with the jersey’s responsibilities.

      Of course this also works in reverse – Sunweb can say “I don’t care if Pinot takes the jersey, I can take 2 minutes out of him in the final TT – that’s your spot on the podium mate” and force others to chase. So it becomes a good chess match. The only issue here is that nowhere Sunweb is on par with Movistar, so their options might be limited.

  18. We’ve had an uneventful Etna, a couple of contenders taken out by a motorbike, big time losses for Kruijswijk, Quintana taking the race by the scruff, Dumoulin doing likewise…personally i’m steering clear of GC predictions at this stage!

  19. Every time they tell us a bit of data – heart rate, speed, power – they tell us how meaningless it is and how you can’t compare the two riders on different parts of the road.
    We know, so why are you showing them to us?

  20. Tom Dumoulin owns this Giro. There is not enough steep Mtn. climbing finishes for Quintana to be effective… As long as Tom doesn’t get any bad luck,,,

    • I disagree. On a stage with mulitple climbs and with a stronger team, Quintana could put a lot of time into Dumoulin.
      I say ‘could’ – a lot has been said about Dumoulin’s new-found climbing abilities (with some hyperbolists even going so far as to call him the ‘new Indurain’), but these are, as yet, unproven. Going well up one climb in the first week does not mean you can go well up multiple climbs in the third week.

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