Giro d’Italia Stage 17 Preview

A long day across the Alps and their foothills made for the breakaway.

Stage 16 Wrap: a fast start and then a slow burning stage. Movistar played a tactical game and eventually placed three riders into the day’s big breakaway including heavy-hitters Winner Anacona and Andrey Amador and it looked like they were setting up the classic “relay” move but that came to nothing although it did burn through all of Team Sunweb’s riders. Which meant when Tom Dumoulin veered to the side of the road at the foot of the Umbrailpass and pulled down his shorts for an emergency nature break he didn’t have anyone left to help pace him. The group ahead seemed hesitant but then Ilnur Zakarin took off and the pace picked up. Dumoulin had a problem but limited his losses to 2m16s which suggests the illness is – for now – one of those things can go away as quickly as it arrives. Meanwhile Vincenzo Nibali took the stage, exploiting the descent to drop Nairo Quintana and catch lone breakaway survivor Mikel Landa and then got the better of him in the sprint, taking the better line through the final bend. Landa at least gets the mountains jersey but he’s got work ahead to keep it but it’s within his grasp now.

Dumoulin grabs the headlines but Thibaut Pinot had a stinker, he couldn’t follow when Nibali and Quintana went clear and the Frenchman fell off the provisional podium with Nibali now up to third. A bad rest day, a jours sans? Time will tell.

Dumoulin is now in a fragile position but still in the overall lead. With Quintana needing a 90-120 second buffer ahead of the Monza-Milan time time trial stage it means Quintana needs to reclaim two to three minutes and he’s running out of road. Should Quintana and company have waited? If Dumoulin had suffered some unimaginable misfortune they could consider it but electing to stop just as the decisive climb of the day begins because the race leader has stomach problems is a declaration of weakness from the maglia rosa. It’s understandable we want to see a straight race, a mano a mano contest, but during a three week race these things happen: a grand tour is as much a test of health, recovery and diet as it is fitness and pedalling. There’s simply no equitable outcome here, you feel for Dumoulin but this seems to be a recurrent problem with him at altitude. The rider himself seemed resigned to the matter and still leads the race.

The Route: 219km, a slog after yesterday’s stage. the town of Tirano will be humming to the sound of riders warming up as the stage is uphill from the start with 6.7km and they turn onto the climb to Aprica.

The stage is so long that some may not even had time to digest breakfast fully so they may taste it again on the Aprica climb, 12.3km at 6.3%, a large steady ascent and a matching descent. Then comes 20km uphill along the valley to Ponte di Legno and the start of the Passo del Tonale.

The Tonale is another steady climb, 11km at 5.7% and crosses from Lombardia into the Trentino region via a reciprocal descent down to the apple orchards and vineyards of Cles and the feedzone.

The small climb to Giovo 5.9km 6.8% but with plenty of 8% and the last categorised climb of the day. But not the last climb. They take the long dragging road up the Val di Fassa to Canazei. It’s a big main road but rises gradually, call it a whitewater road for the way the road tracks the fast flowing river up the valley. The second intermediate sprint comes after a climb from Fiemme with 3.5km at 6%, nothing severe but a launchpad or at least the possibility of a shake out.

The Finish: a flat finish in the town of Canazei. The road climbs up a drag to the 500m point and then levels out but we’re talking small gradients, it’ll be a straight sprint if a group comes in.

The Contenders: who goes in the breakaway? We could look at who went in the move yesterday and rule them out thinking they’ll be rinsed from their efforts but in the third week everyone is tired and often those able to jump in the moves on one day can repeat the next.

Giovanni Visconti could get the day off and he’s good for stages like this. Over at UAE Emirates Rui Costa has had several goes already. He’s a diesel of a rider which suits this hard course but if he comes in for a sprint from a small group he’s not an obvious pick. Team mate Valerio Conti is another one to watch.

Luis-Leon Sanchez has had several goes but his speciality is the downhill arrival into the finish line and this stage doesn’t offer that. Astana team mate Dario Cataldo could have a go too.

There are many more names but in case the peloton or a reduced form composed of the GC contenders is left then Quick Step have two choices in Bob Jungels and possibly Fernando Gaviria.

Giovanni Visconti, Dario Cataldo
L-L Sanchez, Devenyns, Mamykin, Woods, Konrad, Conti, Jungels, Rui Costa, Konrad

Weather: warm and sunny with a top temperature of 28°C in the valleys. No wind.

TV: 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.

206 thoughts on “Giro d’Italia Stage 17 Preview”

  1. Flying mostly below the radar, but chapeau to Adam Yates, the only one caught up in the stupid police bike crash at the bottom of Blockhaus (that knocked Landa out of the GC and Thomas and Kelderman out of the race) who is still in contention. Based on how he’s been climbing it’s probably fair to say he lost between 3 and 4 minutes that day, but with some steep uphill finishes to come he could still improve his position.

    • Landa was not taken out by the police bike, he was clear ahead bu managed to crash all by himself (and nearly took out Pinot too)

    • I’m expecting good things from Yates, too, but when speaking of the Blockhaus you should take into account that he lost very little time because of the fall. Maybe he was climbing slowly because of the injuries or maybe that was his or his team decision (I really don’t know): anyway, his situation was very different from, say, Thomas’.

      I take advantage of you raising this interesting point to add a couple of other 1992 names who give us hope for an entertaining future: Formolo finally performed as many of us expected, but – wow, Jungels was great, another TT-GC hope for the future, and an attacking spirit, too.

      Even if I’d say that only Jungels and Yates have actual chances of winning a GT, someday, the three of them pack class and quality.

        • As I said, I didn’t know – still, I can’t understand why didn’t he switch the bike: I guess that there should be some info about this, too, which I lack of.
          The team cars were near, at the start of the climb, when he nearly got to the bunch, he even passed several of them, and his had to be anyway between him and Thomas. And there’s no other rider that Orica’s team car had to take care of…
          If a mech makes you lose 4′, it’s something you notice.
          As a side note, it’s indeed a problem for him that the gregari who’re bound to stay with him as long as possible in the hot moments of the race have got a very different frame size. That’s an element most teams take into account, but perhaps the need to have a split team to support Ewan, too, made that more complicated to be implemented.

          • Maybe off-topic, but it seems that every time a Sky rider crashes, the bike breaks? (think Froome in the TdF last year too).
            If my bike broke like that after falls like that, I’d be very annoyed with it! Are Pinarello really that fragile??

      • As well as the broken bike, I think Yates went off too quickly in pursuit then paid the price. I remember the Velon stats showing a really high heart rate for him, and wondered how long he could sustain it.

  2. No-one is saying they had to slow down or just keep to the pace they were doing. What many are saying is that it would have been sporting if they didn’t use that opportunity to attack (or had their teams attack), having not attacked for the whole day. (Even if they’d just maintained their pace, that would have been something.)

    The idea that this was the final climb and they had to attack: did either Quintana or Nibali really look like they were going to attack near the bottom of that climb? (Or, indeed, at all – they certainly only gained time on Dumoulin because he was either off the bike or riding alone, sometimes into a headwind.)

    Does anyone honestly believe that had Dumoulin remained on his bike, either Quintana or Nibali would have attacked (or had their teams attack) when they did?
    With ~13km to go? Highly doubtful. At best, they’d have waited for the final few km, as per usual.

    Quintana had ample opportunities and the perfect situation to attack previously – his rider even came back for him, only to then be sent back up to the breakaway.

    (As for Zakarin protecting his position, did he attack at all to protect that position before Dumoulin got off his bike? Genuine question: I don’t recall him doing so, but I’m not certain.)

    Whatever one’s feelings on the rights or wrongs it’s clear that neither Quintana or Nibali had the ability today to put time into Dumoulin unless they took advantage of this situation. And if either of them do win this race because of the time gained here it will be a hollow victory.

    • Why shouldn’t they take advantage of it? If Quintana had been so stressed on the Stelvio descent he didn’t eat or put a coat on and then bonked would it have been wrong for Dumoulin to take advantage of that? Or if Nibali was so affected by the altitude he was down on power? Dumoulin ate too many gels, and appears to get a dicky tummy at altitude in general, in my opinion that makes it no different to someone bonking from having too few gels or someone like Valverde who just goes badly at high altitude.
      It’s interesting to note that none of the riders in the actual race have raced any concerns at all.

      • +1

        Honestly I can’t see the stop being any different to bonking. It is your (and your team’s) responsibility to plan and execute feeding ‘strategy’. The whole idea of GT is to exploit your adversaries’ bodies until they fail. One will be eventually let down by legs others by head or bowels.

        Plus, almost everyone seems to assume that it was a case of force majeure (well, it was on sphincters) but what if it’s a simple feeding mistake? What if, in order to prepare for a decisive climb, TD simply overdosed on his carbs?

        And there’s a whole ‘waiting for Quintana’ affair.
        Well, just why would you? It’s a bike race not an uphill contest. If you slide out of the corner you’re a worse descender than those around you. And it’s the precise moment when those around SHOULD attack you. Because it is you who just made a mistake.

        • Small comment: as I saw it Quintana fell not because he had misjudged his speed or taken the wrong line, but because he he had to change his line mid-curve becaue the rider in front (who was one of his team mates) made an error.
          Not sure that it makes a difference in what the “unwritten rules” would call for, though – and in any case I don’t think Dumoulin was obliged to wait or that it was needed by Quintana in order not to lose time.

    • As I wrote the other day, I hoped yesterday would be a “DID” or “DIDN’T” day instead of more “woulda, coulda, shoulda” but I didn’t get my wish. I think the only clear thing here is the best man will win in the end…as that’s what the contest is set up to discover. You might brand someone’s victory as “opportunistic” but I don’t think “hollow” is a fair way to look at it unless it’s clear they somehow cheated their rivals, which is far from the case here.

      • Some great points on both sides of the debate, and I can understand each.
        The bigger picture, for me (and this includes the Police moto the other day), is the challenge that pro cycling faces to equate the traditional “omertà / suffer in silence” stance against audience expectation / opinion of a modern, highly-televised sport that, rightly or wrongly, will be judged against other sporting and cultural values.

        Live television is casting a light into some of the murkier corners of pro cycling and the sport (in my opinion, anyway) is being shown as hardly able to react.
        This is a real challenge, that will only increase as more of the sport is televised.

    • They *were* already attacking when Dumoulin stopped. At least that is how everyone saw it – and by “everyone” I mean myself and the two Swedish commentators on the Eurosport channel I was watching. It later only appeared that they attacked because they *had slowed down* first.
      They didn’t have to wait, they couldn’t wait, they shouldn’t have waited and they wouldn’t have waited in the good old days, either. Basta.
      Riders of the day (in no particular order and for a variety of reasons): Nibali, Landa, Fraile, Dumoulin, Hirt.

      PS “Racism” is perhaps an ill-fitting word, but I do believe there is *something* in it, something that explains why the perspctive is so skewed, the picture so warped and why it seems it is always so much more difficult for a rider like Quintana from a country like Colombia in a team like Movistar to win the hearts and minds of cycling journalists and fans from certain other parts of the world or, indeed, even to get any sort of equal treatment or -pardon the bad joke – fair play when there is a controversy to be found, an unequal comparison to be made or a poor reputation to be created.

      PPS Then there’s always the “I’d rather be the good-looking and the well if not muscular guy at least not thin beanpole or the little runt” angle and its possible effect on our points of view:-)

      • People are criticising Nibali just as much as Quintana. (And Zakarin.)

        This racism suggestion is nonsense and it’s not a term that should be mis-used and bandied about.

        • The “not racism” thing (in how they are viewed, seen and portrayed) applies to Nibali and Zakarin as well, I never suggested that if it would have been either instead of Quintana in the all-encompasing “Dumoulin vs.Quintana” thing, he wouldn’t have been the one to bear the brunt of the criticism.
          And I cannot see what was so difficult to understand in “ill-chosen”. That said, I do believe that Nibali or Zakarin will get to play the role of the “Great White Hope” – I hope I’m obviously merely making a flippant quip here – only when there is no-one better in the fight, The moment the “non racist” element has someone better suited to root fot, they get meted out the same treatment Quintana gets.

          • What racism thing are people referring to?!? Dumolin, Zakarin and Nibali are all of European descent, for one so it’s not possible for people to be complaining about Nibali’s attack on racist terms.

            And Quintana is, as with many other Colombian cyclists, is hugely popular in Europe, with many people supporting him because he rides for a Spanish team.

            People are only complaining about their apparent lack of sporting behaviour. At the same time, people are criticising Dumolin’s ill-timed and poorly communicated nature break.

      • About racism, I feel there’s something to it.
        The anglo media doesn’t seem to like latins (americans or italians/iberians) and certainly doesn’t like russians and the ex-soviet block countries.
        So, Anglo VS rest of the world (except Northern Europe)

        • Not sure what planet you’ve been visiting but everyone loves Estaban Chaves because he’s an exciting rider with a great personality. Even Quintana who is tediously conservative in his tactics and with no discernible personality has his fans, so your contention is without basis.

          • Very true about *Orica* ‘s Chaves, but here’s an example of whay I’m speaking of:

            “Quintana who is tediously conservative in his tactics and with no discernible personality”.

            A mix of ignoring a good deal of facts and confusing the very limited knowledge one person has with what’s generally “discernible”, speaking of “personality”, even.

            That is, not going any deeper or further than what poorly formed and nationalism-biased media feed you (note that most of the time it would be as easy as following cycling-related Twitter accounts or clicking on the right side of inrng’s page).

            That’s not outright “racism”, perhaps, but “racism” is very often an outright middle-term consequence of this attitude.

          • The day after Luka Pibernik “almost” won a stage, Quintana was seen riding by Bahrein Merida bus imitating his victory salute. He said nothing, just arms spread.

          • Esteban does have great personality and a great smile, but he’s in a anglospeaking team who does a great job marketing themselves. Quintana is a quieter type and obviously has his fans, but not because of the general cycling media, more because of his results and maybe for the “exotic” birthplace.

        • Augie March – I totally agree – this has nothing to do with racism.

          If people will notice, our esteemed Mr. Inrng is very likely an anglo member of the media who has publicly stated/written that Dumolin was in the wrong yesterday.

    • Yes, Nibali and Quintana would have attacked if Dumoulin would have been there. A lot earlier actually than they did in the end. Have you seen the other mountain stages? If they would have been successful we cannot know, but given that yesterday there were multiple mountains, previous mountain top finishes aren’t the best comparison.

      Movistar prepared an attacking finish. Yes, Quintana could have attacked during the first ascent of Stelvio, but for some reason (distance left to race?), he didn’t. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t want to go on the final climb. At the time Dumoulin stopped, Quintana had three (?) strong people left to help him. Nibali had a team mate. Dumoulin had a TenDam that was good for 500 meters of pulling… I have no doubt that Nibali and Quintana could have gained more time if they hadn’t hesitated, especially Quintana. And for the same logic, I have no doubt that Quintana could have gained time on Dumoulin if Dumoulin hadn’t stopped for a break at the foot of the climb.

      • I agree with this, Movistar was about to light up the fireworks for real, they had the first guy dropping back from the breakaway. Then they cancelled, so not to appear ungrateful after the last time Dumoulin waited for Quintana.

    • Somebody on slovenian tv forum compiled a timetable of the “incident”:

      0s – Tom goes #2
      1min 15s – Tom on a bike again
      1min 40s – Ruben Plaza (Orica-Scott) stops with the forcing of the tempo, what really happend in those 100s is not known as the tv director chose to concentrate on the break, it is very possible that Plaza was in front making tempo
      1min 45s – Pellizotti (Bahrain-Merida) goes to the front and deliberately slows the tempo
      2min 5s – Zakarin attacks
      2min 55s – Zakarin is caught, Movistar and Bahrain-Merida again deliberately slow down
      3min 15s – Quintana talks on the mike, soon after that Pellizotti talks on the mike – the main bunch is slow and spread across the road
      4min 10s – Tom gets Ten Dam to pull
      4min 20s – Pellizotti starts riding

      As I was watching, it seems that the timetable is pretty spot on, most of the bunch was waiting, except for Zakarin, perhaps he didn’t know what was happening with Domoulin, or did, but chose to go anyway.

      On a side note, it was obvious that TD had gastro problems way before the beginning of the last climb, he should just go #2 as soon as possible, I’m sure the bunch would have waited for him, also there would have been more support from his own team.

      IMHO TD is still on the way to the overall victory, but the others are smelling blood. The racing will definitely be top notch in the coming days, and probably the most exciting chrono of the last decade.

      • TenDam or Dumoulin explained that Dumoulin felt the urge on top of Stelvio #1. If he would have stopped there, I’m sure others would have taken it easy on the descent. He could even have talked to his competitors and explain the situation. Waiting for the foot of the final climb on what could be the biggest stage seemed very strange.

      • The timetable is pretty much accurate, perhaps a matter of some seconds less or some seconds more here and there, but definitely corresponding to what I got, too.

        I’d add that the Pellizotti raising pace move happened 1.5 km into the climb, while Dumoulin stopped 150 m before the climb started, right under the roadsign showing the road junction they had to take.
        Waiting for 1.5 km on a 13 km climb is quite much, I’d say, even more so because waiting isn’t at all a no-effect move in cycling.

        I’d also add that Dumoulin hadn’t gained any time on the group despite their slowing down. What could they expect? Even in most club rides (not all of them) if you slow down for some 5′ and somebody doesn’t really come any closer it’s “ok, everybody on his own”.

        I don’t know if he was still feeling ill or whatever, but you’re allowed to think that he’ll need a lot of more space and time to come in (adieu race) *or* that he’s taking his time to come back the way he finds more fit – and that’s abusing of the others’ kindness.

        • (This is VERY ANGRY)

          I was very angry with this yesterday.

          I think I’ve caved though and accepted it’s difficult to imagine a different outcome.

          You can imagine a Cancellara type figure in a similar position maybe have stood up, but he would (as C did when Schlecks fell a few years back) have got as much criticism as praise. Impossible scenario. Would have been nice to see Quintana try, even just for the cameras, to ease the mounting talk of him being okay to gain from others misfortune – but each event is so nuanced maybe even that is unfair. Not everyone knows when the moment to push the fair play button is… and they probably shouldn’t be criticised for that unless they’re a PR manager.

          Even then, Harry Redknapp was angry with Paolo for catching the ball vs Everton, so you can’t win.

          I have suspicions on Quintana but am happy fall on my sword and go with INRNG and Dumoulin that it wasn’t the moment to cry injustice as I did yesterday.

          • Well, we’ve read a lot of Orica bashing, haven’t we?
            And they were probably in charge of 100 of those 260 seconds, with the only rider we actually see pulling – besides Zakarin’s frustration move – within the first 1.5 km of the climb.
            While Movistar and Bahrein were actually seen on video calling for a slow down.
            And, all the same…

            What about citing the false story about the 2014 Stelvio? And comparing Sunday’s accident with yesterday’s?

            And I’ve seen more than enough of that on this pages along several years. You might call it a different word, perhaps it would be more precise from a sociological POV, but I think that whoever had the experience to live in different countries *smells* what I’m talking about if I use a stronger term.

            Even before anything of this happened, there was an interesting debate here on inrng about the way Quintana is represented, and thus perceived, in non-Spanish-speaking media.

          • ‘whoever had the experience to live in different countries’ – You’ve no idea where people have or have not lived. This is just yet another sweeping statement.

            I’ve long noticed an anglo dislike of Nibali – way over the top compared with what he’s done. Seems to stem from him riding for Astana, but who knows.

            Not so with Quintana – never seen anything.

            People are just as angry with Nibali as Quintana.

            I think what Quintana did on the Stelvio was fine, but I don’t accuse the people who disagree with me of racism, xenophobia or anything else.

            If you want to look at bias based on nationality, or whatever it is, you should take a good look at your own comments where you make accusations at others.

            I won’t be discussing this further – it’s beneath me, to be frank.

          • Sorry – I was actually agreeing with Gabriele to an extent here – well more agreeing with INRNG actually – am I missing something with the Orica bashing in the below?

          • Just want to emphasise I’m not writing the ‘if someone disagrees with you it’s racism’ comments as the Anon and closeness of the comments may have confused this.

          • @VERY ANGRY
            It was ironic. Orica being a “nice” team is allowed a different treatment. After all, one might question them setting a tempo (and, looking at the stopwatch, not the easiest one) for one minute and a half after Dumoulin stopped. I don’t mean to do that, obviously. But nobody ever mentioned the only team who had indeed a rider working on the front with the leader out. Again, no problem with that for me, maybe they weren’t even aware (even 1’40” is enough time), but everybody focussed on Movistar and Bahrein. I even read people saying that Movistar ‘attacked’ while they were clearly asking the others to slow.

            What I call ‘racism’, forcing words, surely, is that gestalt which makes people perceiving things in a slightly *different* way.
            And the examples about, say, Orica are a lot (I team which I love because of Chaves, Yates, Ewan… and because the backstage pass videos should be an example for every other team).

            Like, people saying that Armstrong was a “gentleman rival” because he waited for Ullrich in *one* meaningless occasion, while he was making his team pull against the like of Zülle or Mayo when they were on the ground ans so.

            Froome bullying Aru is a lack of sportmanship way clearer than what I’ve seen at this Giro, and it can have an effect on the race, too (especially on the behaviour other rivals), but it didn’t deserve as much mayhem – note that I consider that sort of mind games totally legit, just not that much classy when a multiple winner plays that on a newbie at his first Tour, but what I’m interested in is the public’s reaction.

        • You pick up on something I was yelling at the TV screen during this – a rant “Geez, we wait all through the Mortirolo and Stelvio only for the final climb to be neutered because Dumoulin needs to go #2?” while shaking my fist at the sky ala Abe Simpson. But one way or another they decided the race must go on, especially with a guy who wore pink a few days last year escaping up the road. I hope something more interesting happens soon so these folks can unclench and let their chamois return to it’s natural position.

    • Would quintana have won his first giro without ignoring the red flags on the descent of the stelvio? Time gained on the mullet was the winning margin

  3. Do you mean by this – ‘this seems to be a recurrent problem with him at altitude’ – that Dumoulin has previously had an irresistable urge to defecate (wasn’t sure how to word that without it sounding sarcastic) when riding at altitude?

  4. Well-judged wrap Mr Inrng. Dumoulin looked strong during the chase so will hopefully have no further ill effects that get him out of the saddle.

  5. They should have waited. The race wasn’t quite on. But then I’m a gentleman who prefers to win, er, clean! As a spectator the lack of gentlemanly conduct ruined the stage.

    On the plus side, Dumoulin looked strong so will hopefully be competitive over the remaining mountains. He’ll certainly have a few more cheering him up now.

    • I’m with you on this. If Dumoulin is otherwise well and loses this giro by less than a minute to Quintana or Nibali then will they will win it because of the speed with which Dumoulin defacates.
      I doubt that anyone thinks this is a good outcome for the sport or the Giro. Apparently Quintana and Nibali are wiling to proudly count this as a win. I would not.

      • While I guess that Tom would have been happy to win, in case of a reduced difference, because the rest took pity of him, his feeding mistakes, his physical limits and his understandable desire not to go viral in a Lemond-like situation.

  6. What I do not understand is if it is ‘win at all costs’ then why didn’t Dumoulin just do the business on the go in his shorts – a la Paula Radcliffe. Would love to have seen the main contenders sit on Tom’s wheel then.

    If it was urgent and gel-infused it would have been liquid-based anyway!

  7. The debate over the great ‘unwritten rules’ of cycling goes on and will range on forever.

    Did the guys need to slow down? Should they have waited? Did they in fact slowdown and wait (although clearly not for long enough for the BigD to actually catch up)?

    It’s very difficult, deeply polarising and depends on many factors: sportsmanship, winning the right way, the wish to see a fair fight, a triumph on the road and not gaining time from simple misfortune. Did they perhaps think TDs predicament was self inflicted or timed in some way to his advantage (when you gotta go you gotta go but too much carb can wreak havoc on anyone’s guts)?

    IZ was the first to pick up the pace and VCs team appears to have followed suite both of those will have to take the flack in the press and from the roadside no doubt but I have to ask one question of NQs tactics.

    Did Movistar not make use of Amador and the other riders up the road because of NQs weakness and inability to go up the road or perhaps because NQ did not want to be seen to be overtly attacking and taking advantage (even though he seemed content to follow when other riders pulled, Movistar did keep the pace up at times too, and to follow when NQ launched his attack)?

    BigTom himself has said in so much as he is more pissed off at his own physical frailties than the behaviour of the other riders. He is of course still in Pink and a closer race is perhaps more of a spectacle, but let’s just hope that his heroic efforts after this badly timed ballast dump don’t kill his legs too much for these next few key stages.

  8. It looked like Movistar had a plan yesterday for the big relay for Quintana but for some reason either him or the DS called it off. We give Movistar all this grief for being conservative, but maybe it’s Quintana? Looking at how he climbed on his own, and how quickly he came down, it’s hard to see that either Quintana or Nibali would have taken major/any time out of Dumoulin. I still think he’ll win as long as his team doctor has been to the chemist for some Imodium. I also think if anyone will beat him it’ll be Nibali.

  9. “There’s simply no equitable outcome here, you feel for Dumoulin but this seems to be a recurrent problem with him at altitude. The rider himself seemed resigned to the matter and still leads the race.”
    Thanks for writing that- perhaps now those with their “chamois-all-in-a-bunch” can relax and enjoy the rest of the Giro?

    • Yeah, I agree with inrng’s analysis there as well. Managing your diet and staying healthy is part of a GT. As it happens I don’t even think Dumoulin needed to stop the peloton the other day when Quintana misjudged a corner and fell off. That’s racing. But it was in Dumoulin’s interest to slow the pace, enhance his reputation as the patron and maybe bank a few favours. Despite all of that there’s no doubt in my mind I want to see Dumoulin win now.

    • Just some thoughts:

      –gives new meaning to Larry T’s favorite expression, “chamois sniffers;”

      –perhaps it was good that Dumoulin finished alone solo-like, as no one wanted him in he pace line because anyone drafting off of him would have gotten more than than he bargained for;

      –not everyone stops to answer the call of nature–Lemond used to let it go in his shorts, apparently; and

      –poor, poor podium girls, . . . they get paid like shit, and have to smell it too!

  10. Moving on from the millions of pixels used up in pointless debate…..

    For me the issue of the day was that NQ didnt quite spark. His team were involved in all sorts of manoeuvres, up and down the mountains but NQ, for whatever reason did not use them. In the end they would have been better off if they had simply ridden with him, he would have more team mates around him at the critical point. Even when it was mano a mano with Vincenzo Nibali he could not drop him. Indeed Bob Jungels, who by his own admission, is not currently a top climber was hardly left in the distance (his was one of the better rides of the day, a second white jersey seems likely), a bit behind yes but not in a way that might have been thought likely.

    A thought did occur that just maybe NQ felt guilty about the events on the road to Bergamo and then at the bottom of the climb and that made him a bit reluctant to really “go for it”, interesting but we shall never know. Of course it is more likely that he was on an off day (by his standards), his legs are not quite there, he is worrying about the TdF or whatever.

    Today seems an odd stage. Surely it would have been better as a sprint stage to give the sprinters a reason to hang on? One of last weeks flat stages could have been a lumpy one instead?

    As to who will win, it is really is in the lap of the Gods, cant see the GC teams chasing, no sprinters, so likely to be a big fight to get in the breakaway. Maybe a big group which then splits?

  11. 3rd day you’ve written that Pinot has had a jour sans. When does it become a fact that o his day he can follow the best in the mountains and on TTs but he is too inconsistent to actually be the best overall ?

    • Sometimes he can have a bad reaction after a rest day but reading this morning’s L’Equipe and their almost daily interview with him it sounds like he’s admitting the game is up, that he’s losing his form and his concentration too. Hopes for a steadier stage today and then for his luck to change.

      • About rest days…
        Michael Rasmussen (Yellow Jersey TDF, Rabobank pulled him out of the race guy) said in hes book, that the riders who doesn’t benefit from a rest day, is the once who doesn’t have any blood bags stored in the fridge..
        He experienced it himself in TDF 2 years before he wear the yellow jersey. He was riding the first part of the race on the same level as the others. After the rest day he could not keep up anymore and he later found out, it was all about the blood bags. Next year he took one blood bag on the rest day and he keept up and won the mountain jersey. The year after that he took two blood bags and he was in the yellow jersey and was about to win TDF, just before he was taken out of the race by Rabobank because of hes whereabouts case..

        I was just to a event where he was talking about hes book and he said, that nothing have changed since he left the cycling. People are still doing everything they can to compete at the highest level, which include doping.
        People are still mad at him, because hes one of the few to dare to speak hes mouth but in my mind we should be glad that some one dares too.

        Maybe the riders should go though a needle mark inspection before the race starts.. 200 nude riders.. What a show… BAD IDEA!!

      • Pinot came in the race with huge form, it’s quite normal for most rider who choose to do so to lose some physical and psychological drive in the third week. In that sense, Dumoulin is supposedly at risk, too, but being in the jersey powers up body and mind…

    • more tour sans than jour sans, i fear.

      I think Laurens ten Dam made a good point, which is that if a rider stops for a piss then they don’t wait for him. it was unfortunate for Dumoulin but perhaps he could have stopped a little earlier and not right at the foot of the day’s crucial climb. he was also equanimical about the other riders’ decision not to wait so i think he will recover well. the stage to ortisei appears to be the best chance for quintana and nibali to isolate him – after that the terrain does not significantly favour anyone – if dumoulin is still in good shape he may even take a few seconds on piancavallo.

  12. If Quintana or Nibali go on to win this tour then we will no doubt look forward to INRNG’s the moment the race was won… … when my competitor stopped to take a dump. Not exactly edifying is it?

    • That would make for a more interesting and memorable Giro than it has been until now. Hence, I hope that we’ll get something more interesting from a technical POV in days to come, otherwise that “moment” will be perfect to portrait this mediocre Giro. It would add to the legend of cycling instead of being lose in a fog of dull races.

      (Yesterday finale was good, but not enough for such a stage, even less so for a whole Giro)

  13. After a fantastic controversial stage i have been really looking forward to the wrap up and comments on here, you did not disappoint!

    Personally i think it would have of been nice for them to wait for the Maglia however i dont think they were obliged to as stated before a GT is as much about health and well being as going fast.

    They will of course be thinking that any victory as a result will be hollow.

    Great to see Nibali back to his finest and provide an Italian win whilst putting himself back in to contention for the overall.

    Quintana does not look as good as he could almost like he is using the Giro as training for the TDF

  14. Headline on BBC Sport today : “Tom Dumoulin’s lead cut after toilet stop on stage 16”.

    If the movers and shakers of pro cycling are ok with PR like this, that’s fine.
    If not, what to do…?

    • You can’t ask people in a race to ease up on the final climb of a mountain stage for the sake of PR and tomorrow’s headlines 😉 . Dumoulin’s lead has been cut but he’s still in charge and must be looking forward to the Monza-Milan time trial.

      • What I was getting at above, this challenge of values that television highlights, is how some sports are forced to adapt their rules / culture to portray a fairer, more skilful and edifying picture (great point by RRR above). Even rugby, that most macho and violent of sports, has done so.
        Television changes sports, for good or ill.

        Would it have killed the race if, for instance, the officials retrospectively gave the moto crash victims the lost time back?
        Or, if the peloton had waited for its leader, to award them the 2″ back?

        On reflection, by the way, readers could seek out an old Peter Sellers film called “I’m Alright Jack” about trade union / management / public values. Funny, probably accurate and rather tragic all at the same time.

        • @Ecky
          Cycling has been being televised for more than half a century now. Whole stages, I mean, not just clips. It’s the effect of a new, minority, ignorant (etymological sense) public, whose mentality is mainly forged by football, which doesn’t understand a different sport and the problems it entails (cycling works like that *because of reasons*)… that kind of public is fostered by their political relevance within the sport, which is really way superior to their economic relevance, let alone their technical relevance.

          • +1 Exactly right. I hate to see cycling f__ed up in a short-sighted attempt to interest social-media generation with attention spans measured in seconds! They’ll be off to the newest-latest thing anyway, so why bother?

          • Just highlighting the above Larry T in reference to my comment below.

            Larry – what’s up with hating on kids and assuming they all have short attention spans? Let them be, social media isn’t all bad, isn’t this forum one aspect of it? Every young generation (and I assume yours) has been done down by snowflake-esq claims for the last fifty years – they aren’t useless and you aren’t better because you read real physical books.

            Just calm down and learn to love a little.

  15. They *were* attacking?! Well that’s ok if that was attacks big Tom should be fine over the next few days because my son attacks his vegetables harder lol. They were mincing about looking at each other wondering where he was and whether they could hit it. Then as predicted the drugs cheat Zakarin didn’t even need to think that’s how his brain works: no respect. Quintana is a weak individual and clearly one who just goes along. Nibali is a big enough character he could have said no we must wait. Either way they both knew! And they certainly did by the time Movistar dumped a man on Doumelin’s front wheel to slow him, remember that! That’s not confusion that’s actively taking the opportunity to take advantage of a non sporting incident, fact.

    • There’s a good timeline above to make ideas clearer. Both Bahrein and Movistar riders took the responsibility to slow the pace down.

      • That time line doesn’t take into consideration the speed they were travelling.

        Can’t be bothered getting into an argument where I’ll be drowned out but fwiw, when Doom stopped to when we got gap information again was approximately 5 minutes and in that time the peloton of faves lost 5 seconds to the leading break. Let me repeat that. 5 seconds to a break that didn’t do anything other than keep a steady pace maintaining its lead over the chase. And before you try it on, for the 5 minutes before Doom stopped the GC group had only pulled back 2 seconds on the break. So if you want to extrapolate that out and be kind to the peloton, they maybe cost themselves 7 seconds over 5 minutes ‘waiting’ for Doom.

        No one waited, no one even slowed other than to look at each other when Plaza pulled off and when Zak came back. And when Pellizotti took it up as the riders were spread across the road they gained time on the break. Just a second but that’s not slowing is it?

        The ‘timeline’ you quote makes assumptions on the pictures. Use the actual data and it tells a different story. Just not one people want to believe.

        • Bingo.
          But prepare to be told that you’re not one of the people who actually knows about cycling. Over to the usual suspects.

        • Craig M, please bear in mind that the time gaps shown are notoriously often in error and fluctuate so wildly they cannot always be relied upon – and sometimes they cannot be relied on at all. The old fashioned and labourous method of sitting with a stopwatch, paper and pen at hand is still the best there is.
          (This applies, of course, also when one tries to show how the GC group slowed down and certainly didn’t immencially commence to attack – but I believe the time table given here was the produced by the classic, usually quite accurate method.)

          • Same anonymous.

            Which I did Eskerrik. The gaps were correct. Actually the gaps have been consistently correct throughout the Giro. Somewhat surprisingly. There’s really on be a few times they’ve been wrong and that’s for two different reasons. Either the moto has stopped or sped off up the road and at that point they’ve been taking it down or it’s quickly fluctuated by 20-30 seconds. This is because the moto has gone from the back of the pack to the front or vice versa. In this case the groups were so small it would only make a few seconds difference. There’s a thought. Maybe that 5 seconds was partially made up from the moto moving from the front to the back of the peloton!

      • Come on then Gabriele – you love data and facts. Go through that data.

        Or do you just ignore things that don’t adhere to your dogma?

  16. I hate to see Tom loose so much time like that but I don’t hold it against anyone that they pushed on. Especially with GC contenders further up the road, even if they were top5 rather than maglia rosa contenders.
    I really don’t understand why Tom didn’t stop earlier or even stopped at all. So what if it stinks?

    • As I mentioned earlier, I am sure it is the gels. If you have ever had to go through a colonoscopy you would know that you prepare in advance by drinking lots of water with a gelling agent dissolved in it. Nothing happens for a few hours and then suddenly, without any warning, the flood gates open (and it is a flood!). I have been caught out a few times! If he had been consuming gels steadily through the ride and reached the threshold point he wouldn’t have had any choice.

  17. I think Dumoulin showed real guts (sorry!) yesterday to pull himself up and limit his losses. He has shown that he does have the qualities in this Giro to win a grand tour after the hype last year (admittedly one suited to his strengths).

    Was also impressed by how little time Quintana lost on the descent after being dropped by Nibali. Left on his own to pursue 2 decent descenders who were flying!

  18. Looks like the perfect stage for Contador and Valverde, going together with Quintana and two-three teammates, on the first two climbs to first isolate and then take minutes out of Dumoulin. Too bad they aren’t there and nothing will happen in terms of GC.

    • Agree with you that it is a perfect ambush stage for a GC contender with a weak team such as Tom Dumoulin. But disagree on nothing happening – I think it will be GC carnage. Let’s wait and see.

    • looks like a nice gentle scenic ride through the Italian alps is on the agenda, I doubt anyone will put much effort into pulling back the breakaway. Maybe Canondale & Pierre Roland gets a stage win?

        • Then you would have lost far more on other bets than you would have won on this one.

          But you can sit back and enjoy some well-earned armchair pundit joy (and maybe remind your friends/partner on a weekly basis for the rest of the year – you have documentary evidence on this site ;o)

          • To be fair one of the other preview sites had tipped Pierre Roland and that was before he went in the morning breakaway. A number of Inrng’s picks were also in the mix, there is a lot of luck in picking the right one on a day like today.

  19. Nobody mentioned a strange dynamic on the last few kms. Landa pulling Nibali to the line – it seemed to me like they struck a deal for the stage win.

    • I wondered about it but Landa needed to help on the descent to keep Quintana away too and the sprint between them looked like it was contested, the speed they went around the final corner. In a sprint you’d always Nibali, especially with the final corner like that, no?

      • I meant if it wasn’t a made deal, I would expect Landa to be behind Nibali for at least the last km, as Nibali would have to pull to gain as much time as possible. Quintana does not seem like a big threat in a sprint, so keeping him at a distance would not be a major concern?

        • “Quintana does not seem like a big threat in a sprint, so keeping him at a distance would not be a major concern?”

          His sprint the other day was surpringly handy!

          • I think Jungles secured Quintana’s second place there. He was so powerful, winning by a few lengths, and Quintana benefited hugely from his slipstream. That isn’t a criticism of Quintana, it’s praising his tactical awareness. I don’t think Quintana could have achieved that result if he was in the wind on a sprint.

      • Deals for stage wins with bonus seconds for the overall in the balance? I don’t think so.
        Almost any GT contender except Nibali would not have had the skills to exploit the gap Landa offered at the exit of the last turn.

        • But then why was Landa leading? That what is basically intriguing me? Did he think that a finish is so technical that it pays to be in front? DS orders? Did he made any comments about it afterwards?

          • Yes, it paid to be in front. In fact so much that it paid to the pay the price of leading in order to be in the front when it counted.
            Nibali already had the stage lost was what I thought and what “my” commentators agreed upon when it happened. (They had also said earlier that the rider in front at point X is the one who’ll win the sprint.)

    • I wrote a couple of lines on that yesterday (and was duly accused to be putting on a “cover story”, ah ah ah ah).

      I had the further chance to read a full interview on AS. Landa says that he screwed it [sorry] on the last corner; as Nibali had confirmed before, the last km included a series of tight corners (the Garibaldi was also warning about that) which implied that the fist riders entering the last hundreds of metres should have won. Landa finally raised the pace to keep Nibali behind, and he succeeded; Nibali thought there was nothing to do until he saw that little door opening inside the last corner. OTOH, Landa says that he himself decided to give some serious pulls during the last 3 kms in order to set the conditions for an *implicit* deal. He commented that he now believes he was too generous. He insists that he indeed expected that Nibali might leave him the stage but there was no hint in that sense from Nibali. The only message which came from the Sicilian was the shout “MIKEL” during a shift.
      Landa says that he’s disappointed but not as much for yesterday’s stage as for the Blockhaus accident. He says that he’s got no motivation for the race in general and doesn’t know what he’s doing around (hope Sky isn’t reading that); the journo asks him about the mountain jerseys or stage wins and he says that he just doesn’t care, only GC motivated him (well, the guy looks to perform hugely better for something he isn’t motivated by!). He considered yesterday as a good ride, he was on the limit on the last climb but he thoroughly enjoyed it for the landscape and the fun of riding his bike.
      It’s not precisely a winning attitude, but somehow I love it…

      • And that’s why I love riders like that, Gab. Flawed in so many ways, but bloody good at what they do. Mikel’s bike positioning, was telegraphing to Vincenzo, that he was he wasn’t really up for the final sprint to the line. There was no way he was going to win that contest, 2 up going to the line, whatever anyone says, your gonna try your hardest to win. Mikel not one to worry about if his bosses listening. I’d be confident there are better options out there for a racer like him. I still think Nibbles Giro victory in that bastard cold edition(2012/13, 4get which year now,gonna say Year b4 TdFr win) one of the best I’ve seen. Aupa! 🤘🍀

      • Neat little case study of dealmaking. As usual, there *was* no deal, but look at all the moving parts. Seems that Landa did not want to sit in Nibali’s wheel and then try to jump him, so he paid forward by working. Landa tried to win (I think?), yet might still look for a favor in return. (For leaving the inside line open if nothing else.)

  20. According to Eurosport UK, Sean Yates said on Twitter it was a no brainer and everyone should’ve pulled over and waited.
    You would’ve also thought that Dumoulin could have had a chat with Nibbles and Quintana, told them what he had to do and put the onus completely on them to decide whether they wanted to look like they were taking advantage of the situation.
    And, let’s face facts, if Quintana wins this one and won the 2014 Giro after attacking during the neutralised section, he’s going to get himself a bit of a reputation.
    I personally think they should’ve soft pedalled and let Dumoulin back in but that’s the problem with unwritten rules.

    • Yeah, the only tiny detail is that he didn’t attack during any neutralised section in 2014. But, come on, people have been writing about yesterday that the group attacked or that they didn’t even slow down, so I guess that every sort of lie can stick.

      • It wasn’t an attack as such but the gap was made under a very poorly neutralised section.

        I agree it was as much the commissaries as Quintana.

        And I agree yesterday was very nuanced and either side has decent arguments with the ‘keep riding’ having the slightly stronger angle.

        And I agree the Kelderman crash was also difficult to judge. As was the bloody Ventoux crash.

        You can definitely make Quintana a victim of circumstance for each and that probably completely fair. But it’s also true that whatever the exact truth of each they’re starting to reflect badly on him and a good press officer in his ear would do well for his image to get him taking some easy fair play goals – as yesterday maybe had the chance of being.

        We don’t watch for cyclists to be thinking about image and PR of course, but without a little careful management when there’s a split decision and you have a little history you leave yourself pretty open. I don’t know whether Dumoulin is a nice guy, but he’s done a great job of convincing me he is, and I’d likely give him the benefit of the doubt on most issues right now.

        • “…the gap was made under a very poorly neutralised section”.

          Very little gap was made in those first 3-4 kms. As I recently saw thanks to a interview to Gorka Izagirre, he was 20″ back on the Stelvio top and could make it to Quintana’s group after the snowy section, when he insisted that they should take advantage of the long descent ahead.
          The rest of the selected group, ot the top dogs, could have done the same as Gorka, but they decided otherwise. The gap was created because the front guys rode the *normal* descent (at least 2o out of 25 kms), while behind the team cars were thinking they’d stop them through political pressure, no need to chase.

          “Lack of sportmanship” is to take advantage of a confused situation to manipulate the managing of the race, that is, in that situation it was Lefèvere moving in an ethical gray zone, not Quintana.
          Also note that nobody ever named Hesjedal (or Rolland), whose wheels Quintana was just following – just a couple of seasons before the former was winning the Giro while the French was toptenning at the Tour.

          It’s absurd that he’s been criticised or cast any shadow upon for being a proper cyclist.

          • Agree with much of what you’re saying, but I don’t think it’s unusual that attention is focused on the guy who finished 1st overall, rather than the ones who came 4th and 10th.

          • @Nick
            Before the Giro ended, polemics spread out mainly about *Quintana*, and Hesjedal, the worst placed of them, albeit low in the top ten, was less than a minute away from the podium.
            The three were very relevant GC contenders, even if Quintana deserved more of limelight for both winning the stage and dressing pink.

            Yet, my point really is that anyone could see that Quintana, as a GC contender, *had* to follow them, once they moved (exactly what the rest should have done, given that the race was *not* neutralised), while those who took the decision to go straight were that couple of guys.

          • Blimey – you are literally in love with Quintana – if he ever gets done for doping I hope you’re summoned as a character witness.

          • @DUNCAN
            I’m pretty much in love with “facts” (a proxy for a long epistemological definition), and when I’m wrong about that I tend to admit it (a very recent example in my “cover story” from yesterday). Which means that, yes, I’d probably be a good witness, but I’m not sure if that would be good for Quintana. It’d depend on what I knew. Which is always better than lots of people who’ve been commenting here irrespective of what they really knew.

            PS Obviously, my opinion on most cyclists doesn’t depend much on the fact that they’re caught being doped or whatever.

        • Most people are racists irrespective of them agreeing with me or not. A lot of them around, and inrng’s comment section is no exception. I don’t know if you’re the same Anon as above (some of you even agree with me), but I’ll cut this.
          Denial obviously doesn’t help with what is a rising problem in “our” culture, but sadly denial is reinforced by showing the problem itself, which leaves me with little option…

          • Can I just re-emphasise – Very Angry is not Anonymous. I disagree with Gabriele sometimes but agree others and have come around to his view to an extent on this. But although I had to post under Anon above I have written if it’s me at the start and am not posting under Anonymous.

        • I don’t always agree with gabriele but I have to side with him that racism is a factor and all those who call foul on him bringing it up just have poor memories.

          Remember Branislau Samoilau being fined for racist comments at the 2015 Tour of Austria aimed at Berhane ? The same rider who finished todays stage 1 place behind Teklehaimanot? I doubt that fine suddenly made the racism disappear. Or Moscon to Reza at this year’s Tour of Lombardie ? Or Albisini to Reza at the 2014 TdF? Or Pantano’s bars yanked out at the 2010 Tour de l’Avenir (which led to Quintana riding a French rider off the road)? Etc, ad nauseaum. It doesn’t take much to see the racism aimed at such riders as Herrada (by, amongst others, Fingnon) is still part of the greater psyche.

          To somehow believe that this racism is either solely the attitude of riders or not reinforced consciously and sub-consciously by commentators, journalists and support staff is a staggering suspension of disbelief. One can only hope that it is merely lack of information and education as that kind of self-denial can only be described as bigotry.

          • Racism (or nationalism, regionalism, etc.) may well be – in fact, probably is – a factor in some people’s attitudes towards certain riders. Where people are taking issue with Gabriele is that he brandishes it as an accusation against anyone who dares to voice a negative opinion of his favoured riders.

            This supposed ‘racism’ appears to be more than anything an inverted projection of his own ‘pro-latin’ bias, allied to an attempt to shut down the arguments of those he disagrees with by impugning their character.

            Gabriele regularly uses this trick – at best those who disagree are stupid, ignorant, or not ‘true cycling fans’ (whatever that means). This is no different in character; only in impact.

      • I’m trying to figure out what I call the “Tale of Two Races” because although the video images are exactly the same, it’s clear to me there are two races being watched. One has English commentators while the other has Italian, Spanish, etc. My theory is those outraged at the (sneaky, lazy, ruthless, insert your favorite pejorative here) ITALIAN police moto causing the unfortunate English-speakers to crash or outraged at the Italians, Colombians, Spaniards “attacking” English-speaking Dumoulin while he deals with intestinal issues are generally watching the former while the others are watching coverage with comments from those speaking one of those other languages.
        I’ll stand by ready to take the s__t for this theory, but I’ll throw out one example to back up my idea. Years ago, my wife (fluent in Italian) had a terrible time trying to explain that the Italian racer known as “El Diablo” was not named CLODeeo CHEE-a-poochie but CLOUD-e-oh KEY-a-poochie. She was “corrected” in her pronunciation over and over by so-called experts. She finally got fed up and demanded to know what authority they were citing in this (awful) mis-pronunciation of the man’s name. Their source? Their authority? Their expert? None other than Phil Liggett who also spoke of the Passo Pordwah and MAG-lee-a Rohsa.
        My theory is English-language commentators are coloring events in a very different way from their colleagues who speak other languages.
        Is this true? Does it matter? I’m still trying to work it all out, but comments here (and elsewhere) about this Giro (and last year as well) make me believe there really are two different races going on at the same time.

        • Yet, Larry, I must admit that a highlight clip I watched on Eurosport in English (dunno if it was UK or what, I don’t even know if it’s the same worldwide) was really exciting, creating emotion out of a stage which wasn’t compelling as one could hope.

          • Does this mean you also watched a similar clip with comments in another language that was not as exciting?
            Another example of my theory – Beppe Conti was on RAI today showing examples of how the Giro had been won/lost in the past via “fair play” issues where someone attacked when someone had a flat, etc. Nobody on this broadcast seemed outraged about what happened – in fact Silvio Martinello thought the other “bigs” were too easy on Dumoulin! But of course he too is one of those….well…..Italians.
            I think in general English-speakers seem to demand “fairness” and want authorities to intervene via instant replay, safety car, etc. in an effort to insure what they see as “fairness” while non-English speakers tend to see sport much as life – fate often intervenes for reasons not always considered fair. I find this very interesting as their approach to business is rather the opposite – fairness is for suckers when it comes to making $$$, as the current leader of the US exemplifies.

          • The Swedish commentators I referred to in an earlier post made an express point of saying that you do not wait in this situation, it was a complete non-question for them whether the GC group should perhaps wait or not – and when Quintana and Nibali had visibly and obviously slowed down the group, they were quick to point out that not only was it not called for but that the group simply couldn’t keep doing it for much longer but the race had to go on.
            They were full of admiration for the way Dumoulin rode the reset of the stage and managed to limit his losses.
            PS Where was the camper van this time? If only Warren Barguil had been in the race, we could have seen a reunion of Dumoulin and the family from Bretagne!

          • The entirely unwarranted superiority that some feel on here has reached staggering proportions.
            ‘Everything I think is a fact, everything you think is rubbish.’
            Some of you often have a go at cyclingnews – I think you may have now surpassed it.

        • Hey Larry –

          I have a feeling you may be behind the curve on this – I watch cycling any which way I can, regularly in Dutch although I cannot speak Dutch – I also watch on my phone, often with no commentary – even worse I sometimes watch with cricket commentary in the background…

          I’m definitely not alone here and for the youngers on the forum the idea of image and sound is starting to diverge… cycling pictures but playing a comp game etc at the same time. I saw yesterday with Italian commentary, I cannot speak Italian, and I was pretty angry with what I saw at the time – I like Dumoulin a lot and was able to have an opinion (not saying it was right) without the aid of commentary.

          You may be right, but it also sounds a tiny bit patronising what you’re saying – plus a little presumptuous of how those below 30 experience media nowerdays.


        • Every time I read one of your posts Larry they always seem to be laced with – ‘this is what I think and it supports my belief that I am better than you all’ – obviously commentators have an influence, no prizes for that, but why is the subtext: ‘Their expert? None other than Phil Liggett’ ie these idiots who do not have the brainpower (which clearly I do) to question their commentator.

          Do you honestly believe those watching Phil Liggett take every word he spoke as sacrosanct? Can’t you give the pretty knowledgable readers of this blog more credit? We’re not all dummies just for disagreeing with you. I muted Liggett after it became obviously someone so close to cycling could not be will-fully ignorant of the likelihood of Armstrong’s doping as long as Liggett seemed to be.

          Thank God it’s seems to be curtain for Kirby also, worst commentator going.

        • Right, that’s what I observe too. I watch the stages live on Eurosport Germany with Migels and Jean-Claude Leclercq, who commentate the race unagitated and professionally qualified.
          Then I rewatch the same stage on Eurosport Brit with Kirby and the guy is upset about totally minor things, Kelly most times doesn’t chime in. With Kirby every third class finish sprint turns into overexaggerated shouting as if was the golden goal in the 91th minute of a Worldcup final.
          Then I read comments here or on CN and find the same nonsense this ill-informed Kirby guy told his audience as string of arguments and a complete other story of a race is told.

          • Thanks Vitus. That’s been my general experience too. Just heard from a friend in the USA asking about Dumoulin’s “food poisoning”….have no idea where he got that but I’m trying to find out.

          • British Eurosport is using Rob Hatch, not Carlton Kirby. Kirby does provide English language commentary – presumably in other countries: I don’t know where and I don’t know why.

            And this post is yet another telling people that they don’t know ‘the real facts’.

        • There are many more than two – there are as many races going on as there are people watching / taking part. Of course, as TV viewers, our experience will be framed to some extent by what we get to see (one channel cuts to a break and misses some small detail while another doesn’t; one shows slow-mo replays of a certain event) and by the content and tone of what’s said. But it would be wrong to assume that therefore those in one country all have the same view of the race (we’re not all hard wired into Rob Hatch’s brain after all), or that we’re not capable of interpreting what we’re seeing for ourselves and disagreeing with the commentator’s interpretation of events.

          And it cuts both ways – ‘Anglo’, or ‘northern European’, or whatever the chosen grouping, media certainly doesn’t have a monopoly on bias and stupid.

    • In the racism discussion why are people above referring to Tom Dumoulin as an English-speaker? He’s Dutch… just as Valverde is Spanish, Nibali is Italian, Zakarin is Russian, etc.

      I’m so confused by this discussion it doesn’t make any sense. Why are anglo’s being blamed for favouring Dumolin over Nibali, Zakarin, etc.

      This is just nonsense and I’m a goof for reading these comments and then further stirring the pot. I can’t believe we got to this after the pink jersey took a crap in a ditch…

      • Because it’s ‘say anything that you think backs up your point and claim it as an absolute fact’ regardless of how ridiculous it is.

      • No, they are not. And the point is that he doesn’t have to be. It suffices that he isn’t the monolingual Spanish-speaking little peasant runt from one of those South American countries not riding for a team many people are familiar with, no matter whether they are huge fans or not.
        You know, it doesn’t always have to be *too complicated* or *too simplistic*.

  21. To add a point that I don’t think has been made – Dumoulin has stated that he chose to stop at the foot of the climb PRECISELY because he didn’t expect the others to wait (which had nothing to do with sportsmanship – as already mentioned he is not blaming others). Imagine being isolated in the valley, in the wind – at least the climb made it possible to limit the damages. And it seems to have worked out – apparently he still had the 5th time up the Umbrail.
    I’d love to see a repeat-day after #2-result for him, but I’m just hoping he limits his losses until sunday.

    • Where did you find the timings that said he was 5th? I’ve been wondering – I had a suspicion based on watching the gaps clock in the highlights on Eurosport in the UK that he was fast up the climb and lost the majority of the time he did having that “dump” (the words he used to Eurosport, if the Guardian’s agency report is to be believed haha)

  22. Didn’t Greg LeMond just shove a cap down the back of his shorts and go in that? Paul Kimmage wrote that he saw him afterwards being paced back into the bunch with it rolling down his legs

    • Delgado was talking about that yesterday, too. Very funny, not for Greg I guess, but Perico’s naif humour casts a lighter shade on everything.

    • He did. It’s detailed in the first chapter of Richard Moore’s ‘Slaying The Badger’ about the LeMond/Hinault rivalry. The flourish on the story is that LeMond ends the stage still needing to go to the bathroom, finds the team caravan and opens the toilet door only to discover that the toilet has been removed and that it’s being used as a storage space for boxes of Hinault fan-cards. You can make a guess on what happens next.

  23. Thanks for your post Sig. Inrng (anche per tutti!) – I was looking forward to your take today.
    Rather than focus on what the other GCers did or didn’t do, I’d like to say I found Tom D’s ride heroic yesterday. I truly can’t imagine having to pull over and strip off knowing my rivals were flying up the hill together. Nor can I imagine riding up, over and down that mountain by myself, that hard, afraid to take on any fluid, and all with the kind of energy sapping ailment we have all felt at one time or another. I haven’t seen him criticise anyone after although he was clearly angry and disappointed (mostly at himself I think).
    He has gone up in my estimation and a classy pink jersey.

    On another topic Sig. Inrng – do you have any idea when Prendas will have more supporters jerseys? I’d like to get one.

    Cheers, M

    • Not a great deal of bullying, but when Aru made his team pull to raise the pace on the G. Colombière, Sky first made up a little barrage show when Rosa started to work, then things looked just ok with Astana doing its hard work until, some times later, on the Lacets if I’m not wrong, Froome went to speak with Aru telling him he’d better spare his teammates because he wouldn’t be doing anything anyway, so if Astana stopped pulling it’d be a good idea. Which could be considered just a *forecast*, when you consider how Aru’s Tour ended, yet when the maillot jaune goes and offers a TdF newbie such an advice I tend to think about an old 99 posse song: “nuie ca nun facimmo minacce / nuie ca ad divinammo profezie”.

      • I’m not a big defender of Froome, but when one athlete tells another athlete to cool it in whatever colourful language he/she uses… it’s not really bullying. These are grown men in a competitive atmosphere. I very much doubt the language they use is always roses and butterflies. This same thing goes for the women’s races.

        If that is considered bullying, and is punishable, then I wonder what we’d classify the dozens and hundreds of other comments that don’t make it to the TV footage.

        Aru was perfectly permitted to tell Froome to stuff it right back and could have said something not nice about him… there are dozens of different things he could have said.

        • That would be true if the peloton wasn’t the kind of hierarchical society it is. And the fact that others might be doing it doesn’t make it any better for me.
          Obviously enough, it’s not *at all* about irregular behaviour, it’s “only” lack of sportmanship. And, as far as I’m concerned, well worse than what we’ve been speaking about these days.
          Using your status to discourage race strategies you don’t like instead of just playing the game. Then, people ask themselves why nobody moves away from the procession the Tour has become, despite a lowly pace by Sky on climb after climb…
          The maillot jaune, with the strongest team in the race, telling you that you aren’t going to do anything anyway – is – menacing, believe me, especially since the 2000s (even if it’s not exclusive of these years,; but Indurain wasn’t like that, for example, nor many others).

          • I think that the “to intimidate weaker people” from Collins might apply, with the very appropriate added note “esp to make him do something”.
            Or “using one’s strength to bother (smaller people)”, according to the American English Dictionary by Random House.

            I guess that Bassons didn’t have to listen, either.

          • If every athlete who speaks as you’re describing is kicked out of sport there’d be no races/games/etc. to watch or discuss on Mr Inrng’s forum.

            BTW – Mr. Inrng, this must be a record, you have nearly 400 responses from yesterday and today, mostly stemming from Dumolin’s bathroom break. Good stuff.

          • 0__O
            What the…?!
            I never asked people to be kicked out of the sport for a mere “lack of sportmanship”!!!

            Just as I feel that nobody – however “VERY ANGRY” may he or she have been 😉 – was *ever* asking the front group to be kicked out of the sport for not waiting for Dumoulin, not even in the hottest moment of yesterday’s debate.
            That level of hyperbolic internet mob is yet to be reached, luckily enough.

            I thought that writing explicitly that Froome’s wasn’t *at all* “irregular behaviour” was pretty much clear.

            I don’t even think that the way worst behaviour which Lance had with some deserved him to be kicked out of the sport! (Other things of him did, indeed).

            I also wrote “not a great deal of bullying”, because, for example, it didn’t imply physical menace, which bullying can include.

            What I meant is that, speaking of “sportmanship”, *that* was worse than the Blockhaus or the Stelvio, for a long series of reasons (which I won’t detail, just to avoid further OTs).
            It wasn’t horrible, just very unpleasant, and even so I consider that the facts which sprang the fair play debate during this Giro were even less significant, in terms of “sportmanship”.

            Of course, stopping and waiting might (not totally sure about that, a lot of unintended consequences), let’s say just *might* have been an example of *great sportmanship*, but not doing that is just *neutral*, not any symptom of “lack of sportmanship” (while Froome’s behaviour was a step beneath “neutral”, a slight “lack of sportmanship”, like what we’ve seen from Cancellara et al. great riders; some people could even *like* that and I wouldn’t be scandalised, although I’d disagre).

  24. Gabriele, with the racism stuff you have officially lost it. And 20 comments or more? Every day? I have had enough of you, Larry and some others telling your opinions as facts and you shout down people you disagree with as wrong. And in a nasty way. You know about cycling – does not mean everybody else doesn’t know anything.

    • ISG- if you don’t want opinions from others (that don’t match up with yours I’d guess?) why do you bother reading them? Simply scroll past anything with my name on it and I’ll do the same and we’ll both be happy, OK?

      • Ah Larry ‘+1 Gabriele’ T.

        I believe that psychologists would look at your response to anothers feelings and shout ‘narcissist’. Not Donald Trump style narcissism but elements of the condition certainly.

        Let’s try again. The point made above was about the shouting down of people that have another view. Imagine if you knew that every time you disagreed with what someone said you knew that if you opened your mouth, you’d find yourself having to defend your opinion. You’d either be left to respond each time or ignore it and assumed to not be able to back up your arguments.

        It’s tiresome Larry, tiresome.

        • I thought the point – if not the sole, then at least one of the foremost – of making a comment is to express one’s opinion, back it with facts and evidence and to be prepared to defend it if or when it is challenged with facts and evidence equally well or better presented!
          And certainly not to feel that you get “shouted down” when someone doesn’t agree or maybe even shows that you are mistaken, you have drawn wrong conclusions, you have made false comparisons or that your facts are plain wrong.
          You are not supposed to be patted down on your shoulder just for having an opinion…

          • I got my idioms mixed. What I meant was you are not supposed to be “given a pat on your back”!

            PS I myself try to leave this episode of verbal diarrhoea behind and to concentrate on the stages that are left. May the best man be dressed in pink in Milan! And may we poor spectators be allowed to view some exciting racing before someone presses the button on the confetti machine!

          • Eskerrik,

            Not everything is ‘factual’. Actually lots of things aren’t. If someone has an opinion such as bullying above there are often facts that suit both arguments. One persons teasing is another persons bullying if you like. If somebody writes a tweet size post with an opinion and the response is 500 words of opinion, I dare say some might not feel like replying back. Similarly if the respondent won’t drop it and allow another opinion or always needs to have the last word. As is the case with CA above. At the moment that is… (play dramatic music…)

          • Those calling anyone who criticises Quintana and/or Nibali racists are unable to pat themselves on the back due to the chip on their shoulder getting in the way.

      • Same Anonymous

        And can I add Larry that the narcissist comment was not aimed at you in particular. Most of us suffer forms of it. It’s probably why I’ve decided to post anonymously. It means I don’t feel the need to reply to protect a ‘reputation’.

        No offence meant.

        • I’m a little sad to read the comments section becoming personal. And reluctant to contribute to the divisiveness, but…
          Reading this excellent blog over the last two years I have enjoyed Gabrielle’s remarkably forensic analysis and Larry T’s decades long historical understanding of the present racing (the phrase “Heinie’s Folly” springs to mind).
          I’m happy to concede they know more than me and I’m really glad they are passionate enough about the sport, and brave enough in their self belief, to share their opinions. While I see them disagreeing over other people’s opinions, I don’t see them shutting down debate. I would argue they are actually very hungry for it, but find it hard to meet their match in knowledge and ability to make the argument.
          Anyway. Keep it up you two. You two have contributed loads here and I appreciate it.

    • kudos to inrng on this as well:

      Dave May 12, 2017 at 10:54 am
      Today is two years to the day since Cannondale’s last WT win (Davide Formolo at the Giro) according to more knowledgeable commentators than me (The Cycling Podcast).

      The Inner Ring May 12, 2017 at 11:01 am
      This should end soon. They’ve got a strong team in the Giro with candidates for a stage win who are already far down on GC and also because California has been promoted to the World Tour they’ve got increased chances there too.

  25. Unfortunately, there is a different kind of diarrhea going on here: diarrhea of the pen.

    Unfortunate in that this is one of the best cycling blogs around; we are blessed by that. Lately, it seems like a lot of blowing wind in the comments section.

  26. I don’t take offense with anything but nasty name-calling and even that is someone’s opinion which I think is the purpose of the comments section. I state my opinion and try to explain the reasons for it in a conversation with the (mostly) knowledgeable pro cycling fans here. I put my REAL NAME on every one so anyone who thinks what I write is tiresome can easily and quickly scroll past it. I’m sorry that anyone thinks they’re being “shouted down” here, I’ll try to limit the exclamation marks in the future.
    I’ll finish with thoughts on my “Tale of Two Races” theory. Some of you have said you share this idea, especially after comparing coverage of the same stage in this Giro on various formats. My explanation for the two rather widely divided camps is that English-language commentary seems to lack what I describe as a “cranky ex-pro” sitting next to the main broadcasting guy. While nobody is going to argue with Sean Kelly or Brian Smith’s knowledge and ability to read a race, unlike Silvio Martinello on RAI or Riccardo Magrini on Eurosport, they’re just not cranky enough to dispute what the main guy (Carlton Kirby or whoever it is) is saying. Martinello doesn’t have to do this too often but he’s not afraid to contradict what Francesco Pancani says while Magrini often corrects Salvo Aiello when he fails to see what is going on or gets it wrong.
    I understand for those who speak or understand only English it’s a “don’t know what you don’t know” kind of thing but I think now and then you long for Smith, Kelly or whatever ex-pro they have to speak up. It’s tough for them – I can still remember when Steven Roche was doing this with David Duffield on British Eurosport TV. We ran into Roche one day at LeTour and asked why he didn’t talk more. He replied that he tried, being told to pinch ol’ Duffers on the wrist when he wanted to interrupt…he said, “I pinch and I pinch, but Duffers will just not shut up!”

  27. Enough of Stage 17 and the comments relating to it and readers having a pop at each other when you’d probably, hopefully, all sit down for a coffee or beer together. Comments will close on here in a moment.

Comments are closed.