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Giro Rest Day Review

The Giro d’Italia pauses for a day on the shores of Lake Como where on a good day you can see the snowy peaks of the Alps twice, first on the horizon and second reflected in the crystalline waters. Richard Carapaz, Vincenzo Nibali, Primoz Roglič and Mikel Landa have plenty to reflect on as they prepare for the final stages of the Giro.

A week ago Richard Carapaz was 20th overall and 3m16s down on Primož Roglič, hardly out of the picture given he’d already got a stage win but not an obvious contender for the Giro given his time losses. He’s now ahead by 47 seconds on Roglič and if we extrapolate his loss of 3 seconds per kilometre from the San Marino time trial we get a loss of 51 seconds in Verona. The point here isn’t the science, more the proximity and the uncertainty. He’ll want to take more time, his rivals will want to find ways to beat him.

As the chart shows, the momentum of the last few days with Carapaz as he’s overhauled Roglič, Nibali, Mollema and Majka. First he made a strong ascent on the slopes of Colle del Nivolet, taking 1m19s on Roglič and Nibali. This effort could have come with a price – Ilnur Zakarin won the stage and lost 7 minutes the next – only Carapaz took more time on the stage to Courmayeur, profiting from the hesitation in the chase group to take every second he could. Then in the chaos of yesterday’s stage finish on the climb to Civiglio he matched Nibali to take time on the rest.

What next for Carapaz? He seems very strong in the mountains, he’s got a punchy finish for time bonuses – remember he got the jump on Caleb Ewan in Frascati – and he’ll probably be ok in the final time trial, plus Movistar look strong enough to support him and there’s the Mikel Landa card to play as well. So far so good but we’ve yet to see him assume the burden of leading the race for days.

After the San Marino time trial Roglič had been sitting on a cushion of time only ever since it’s turned out to be an inflatable one with a leak, each day time has been hissing out. Yesterday’s stage was a farce, reportedly he couldn’t get a bike from the team car because his managers had stopped to urinate, unthinkable in the final 20km of a crucial stage on twisting roads with their cracks and potholes. Roglič grabbed team mate Antwan Tolhoek’s bike but even if the riders are the same height and use the same frame size, chances are the bike set-up is completely different with different saddle heights, forward adjustments and stem length. He coudn’t follow the moves in rhe the finale, crashed on the descent of the Civiglio and in the end lost 50 seconds to Carapaz and Nibali.

Vincenzo Nibali is keeping the home fans excited and paint sales must be up in Italy as locals rush to daub pelagic pictograms across the Alps. His duel with Roglič is partly why he’s third overall at 1m47s, he’s been marking the Slovenian, and complaining the Slovenian has been marking him, and their rivalry has let Carapaz through. Nibali had been hoping to crack Roglič and could still do, but now Carapaz sits ahead.

Among the others Bauke Mollema is riding strong but there’s a long way to go, he lost time in yesterday’s stage and it’s hard to see him turning the race upside down. Rafał Majka’s in an strong position, but awkward too, fourth overall means little room for stage wins.

Mikel Landa is having a great Giro, isn’t he? In asking the question we know he’s making up for lost time but so far hasn’t got a result. He can help Carapaz and get a stage win but is only three minutes down, he can finish on the podium too. Are Movistar more invested in Carapaz given talk Landa could be going to Bahrain-Merida? Probably.

Simon Yates and Miguel Angel Lopez aren’t out of road yet but Lopez seems to be struggling on the climbs that were supposed to suit him although he’s only seven seconds behind Pavel Sivakov for the white jersey, a reminder he’s still a work-in-progress. Yates is trying moves but he’s clawed back a few seconds when he needs minutes to get a podium finish but a stage win could be within reach as he’s still not a priority to close down. But each time this happens in the race the overall classification changes.

The GC contenders are only one part of the race. Since Thursday the stage contests have been great with breakaways making it to the end on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, a reward for attacks and risk-taking. The final few days are also the last chance for teams who’ve been discreet, the likes of CCC, Dimension Data and Israel Academy come to mind although easier said than done to win a stage, nine teams have a stage victory so far, 13 don’t.

Giulio Ciccone leads the mountains jersey and by some margin, he’s only a couple of sprints atop a pass from securing the jersey.

Arnaud Démare and Pascal Ackermann remain in the race and face a final week battle for the points jersey where the Frenchman leads by 13 points and Thursday stage offers 50 points to first place and 35 to second place, a vital stage for them although Ackermann is still sporting some big bandages, they’ve got the mountains to negotiate… plus Richard Carapaz is closing in too.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Andrew Monday, 27 May 2019, 2:12 pm

    Perhaps Roglic’s next contract should specify an empty Gatorade bottle for the team car?

    • The Inner Ring Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:36 pm

      Time will tell but this stop could be more expensive than Dumoulin’s break at the foot of the Umbrailpass.

      • Luis Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:43 pm

        Nibali and Quintana waited several km after Tom Dumo had his toilet-break, before pushing hard again, in 2017. Movistar (as reported by SIvakov) changed completely its pace when Rogla had its mechanics. This is racing, the Movistar team did the right thing pushing hard, and today Carapaz has secured a better position than earlier against Roglic.

        • Ecky Thump Monday, 27 May 2019, 4:19 pm

          Jumbo Visma and Roglic are coming in for a lot of criticism but what of Nibali?
          It was a legitimate tactic that Roglic marked him, his lead allowed him that, and the onus was on Nibali to do something about this.
          Other than a mechanical-induced error (rather like Dumoulin’s stomach issues) he has not been strong enough so far.
          I say so far, because Nibali has opted to play the long game but, in doing so, has allowed Carapaz to steal his thunder.
          This Giro is on a knife edge now, Roglic can just about re-take the lost time to Carapaz in the final TT.
          It’s Nibali who needs to make things happen now although I suspect he’ll let Movistar do his dirty work and then see what happens.

        • John L Monday, 27 May 2019, 5:37 pm

          Also, Roglic is not the pink jersey so any unwritten rule wouldn’t apply. Interesting to see Movistar racing aggressively after several GTs of not.

          • Paul Monday, 27 May 2019, 10:48 pm

            They seem a much better team without the influence of Valverde and the chain of Quintana

  • oldDAVE Monday, 27 May 2019, 2:31 pm

    Utterly stunned by the team car stopping in last 20km… I cannot remember a bigger mistake by a team midrace?

    It’s very close to unforgivable

    • The Inner Ring Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:37 pm

      We don’t get to see / hear what happens in the convoy, sometimes cars can even crash out of the convoy with accidents etc, but for this to happen just as Roglič has a problem will be awkward for the team.

      • Cinjet Monday, 27 May 2019, 6:09 pm

        I heard or read somewhere they had just given some food/bottles and then judged it would be the best moment to stop the team car. Still not smart but how long does a nature break take? Yes they’d be all the way in the back but it’s also a lot of bad luck to have this happen.

        • UHJ Monday, 27 May 2019, 6:24 pm

          Well, after 200 kms, a break will take some time, let me assure you 😉
          They should have used a bottle.

      • ghita Monday, 27 May 2019, 7:16 pm
        • Ablindeye Monday, 27 May 2019, 7:52 pm

          Could…not…make..it…up – thanks for the link 🙂

        • Allegedly Anthony Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 9:42 am

          Is “pedal, pedal, pedal” the most obvious piece of advice ever given by a DS?

        • The Wee Hon Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 10:15 am

          Great view of the sticky bottle as well.

  • Andrew Monday, 27 May 2019, 2:42 pm

    Interesting article on CN about Carapaz’s female coach. Good for him! Can’t be the easiest thing in the world to do on a Spanish male cycling team.

    • Sergio Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:32 pm

      Could you elaborate? I’m missing the point of the Spanish part. I’d say all teams are overwhelmingly male and can’t see why Movistar would be a worse environment for a woman.

      • Esteban Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:43 pm

        +++1 Sergio. It appears that only anglosaxon people can work que collaborate situ women

        • Esteban Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:44 pm

          It should be: “work and collaborate with women”

        • Morten Reippuert Monday, 27 May 2019, 6:17 pm

          yes, its its nok like a white male anglosaxon minority is presently attacking womens rights in NA.

      • Andrew Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:43 pm

        Perhaps you’re right. I guess I’d be less surprised if it was a Scandinavian team, for example.

        • Sergio Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:56 pm

          According to the El País article, in fact, Carapaz is the only WT rider with a female coach. He also chose to live in Pamplona to be closer to her and they’ve been working together for years. Very nice piece, thanks, Inrng.

        • Davesta Monday, 27 May 2019, 6:39 pm

          Worth noting that Movistar are one of the few World Tour teams to operate a women’s team concurrently and share resources

    • The Inner Ring Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:33 pm

      Spanish-readers can see the original story here https://elpais.com/deportes/2019/05/26/actualidad/1558894358_576636.html

    • gabriele Monday, 27 May 2019, 5:07 pm

      It’s a true shame that people aren’t aware that Spain has currently what’s probably the most solid and popular feminist movement all over the world. Just a quick look to the last couple of March 8 marches should be enough, as a proxy. Or didn’t that make the news on your local media?

      Of course, that also depends on the need to struggle against a still strong Franchist heritage, but the cultural change has been impressive. Laws (and results) against gender violence, for example, are notable. Way better than what you can see in “Scandinavian countries”.

      The question is (obviosuly enough) really complex and would require to be tackled in a different context. Suffice to say that the above smells a lot of *racist* (to call it someway) stereotypes, something we’re seeing more and more often now that the Giro has achieved a greater level of international attention. How poor.

      • HodH Monday, 27 May 2019, 7:27 pm

        Let’s hope that the Spanish feminist movement keeps making gains in their struggle for equality. As with feminist groups in every country however, they still have a lot of work to do.

        The latest available data (2015) from the European Institute Gender Equality Index shows that in terms of work equality Spain lies 12th out of the 28 EU countries, so better than the Euro average, but not by much. I don’t highlight this to condone national stereotypes but to bring data to the discussion.

        Our host country, Italy is last on this list however. But maybe things are even changing here, I haven’t yet noticed the usual daily parade of young women in tight cycling jerseys walking down the finishing straight.


        • gabriele Monday, 27 May 2019, 8:02 pm

          Of course, that’s (a part of) what I was hinting at when I wrote that it’s a hugely complex subject.
          I’m short on time, hence I just googled something fast (which is old data, too), but…


          Work equality calls for an intersectional approach, to say the least.
          Much depends on the country’s labour market, and, on top of that, change take place in longer time, hence you should check those stats again, dunno, 1975, and have look at how each country has progressed since then, if you want to have an idea about mentality and cultural shift.
          Anyway, let me add that I’m aware that also gender violence stats are partially biased by some counter-effect, that is, where gender violence is institutionally accepted, women won’t report or report less.
          And, nowadays, Spanish courts still produce spine-chilling verdicts on cases which imply gender issues from time to time.
          A powerful and public collective movement were the subject claiming with its own voice is the social group in question is a key-factor to understand mentality and cultural issues. Otherwise, you might “just” have top-down policies which will end up changing attitudes in the middle to long term, but really don’t tell you much about actual social reality (I’m not saying this is the case of the above cited countries, of course, nor am I underestimating the economic factor – just adding a facet to the matter).

          No doubt whatsoever that Italy’s situation is simply tragic when gender equality is concerned.
          A paradox about Italy is that until relativey recent years ginocides – which aren’t much affected by voluntary reporting – were very few in Italy when compared to most other EU countries. Then they’ve gone rampant in the last decade or so.

          However, although Germany is worse placed than Spain in the same work equality stat, I don’t really imagine a commenter writing here: “wow, a woman trainer in a German team, that must be hard, I’d be less surprised if it was a Spanish team” (perhaps, just perhaps, a German reader, who may know first-hand his or her local situation).
          That’s how stereotypes and implicit racism work.

          • HodH Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 8:39 pm

            Thoughtful response gabriele, you’re right it’s a complicated topic and I’m far from being knowledgeable enough on it to discuss much more.

            I do totally agree that we need to stop using the lazy national stereotypes that many of us throw into everyday speech (and comments). It’s not as easy as just deciding not to though, I need to remind myself of this quite often.

        • Anonymous Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 1:00 am

          Don’t bring in data when gabriele is on one of his ‘racist’ rants. Everybody knows that anglosaxons are racists because they are not true cycling fans. Calling one set of people ‘racist’ is not in itself racist, of course. Our gabriele a racist himself? No, of course not. He’s just a true cycling fan.

          • Anonymous Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 2:00 am

            Thank god there is always a handy anon snowflake to attack gabriele and Larry when we need it the least

          • gabriele Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 1:24 pm

            Go on imagining things, your life might look richer.

      • David Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 7:55 am

        The question is indeed complex, and deserves a nuanced discussion. Throwing around the word ‘racist’ is hardly that nuanced discussion.

        • gabriele Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 1:23 pm

          The gender question is complex, but what was stated above was very simple, and simply racist (obviously in a broad sense, that is, not assuming the existence of different races but working as such – just as orientalism and the likes).

          • David Wednesday, 29 May 2019, 10:03 am

            How on earth do you arrive at that conclusion? All the original commenter said was that they thought it would be more difficult on a male Spanish team. They didn’t say anything about why they thought that, so there’s no basis there to assume it’s based in some belief about the nature of Spanish people.

            Being ill-informed and out of date is not the same as being racist, and jumping straight to throwing the word around is not helpful to a sensible discussion that might correct some of those misapprehensions.

  • Richard S Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:01 pm

    Mikel Landa either really needs to improve his first week game or join a team that guarantees 7 duds as team mates. I don’t think I’ve ever watched him in a Grand Tour when he hasn’t been strong if not the strongest in the mountains but minutes down to one of his own team mates and having to play second fiddle. First Aru, then to a lesser degree Thomas, then Froome and now Carapaz.
    Carapaz is definitely favourite for me now. The question of whether he can win comes down to how well he handles the pressure. Jumbo-Visma have handled it terribly and fumbled away Roglic’s advantage. I think Nibali will try hard to unseat him but come up a little short. Should be entertaining to watch.

    • hoh Monday, 27 May 2019, 9:02 pm

      The odd thing about Landa is that he wouldn’t be strong unless he’s minutes down or somehow relieved of his GC duty.

      Some sport phycology to help him release his inner Landa without having to loss time first is what he needs.

  • jc Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:16 pm

    Jumbo Visma are a bit of a puzzle, they are a very experienced team, though perhaps not at leading Grand Tours, yet they have not looked comfortable for a few days. In interviews the DS seem rather nervy not quite at home. The team has been notable by its absence. I realise they lost the two main mountain domestiques but the other riders have been able to keep up at the front in previous races why not here? Given that yesterday’s stage was pretty much a “classic” race which should be JV’s strength, it was very odd that Primoz Roglic found himself almost on his own at the vital moment.

    Not sure how Vincenzo Nibali wins from here. It is going to be difficult to ride away from Movistar on a mountain stage, maybe if Richard Carapaz has an issue of some sort he can take advantage but he has to keep an eye out behind for Mikel Landa. I guess he will have a slight advantage in the final TT over RC maybe if he can pick up a minute or so he could hope to gain enough time. This also assumes that Primoz Roglic looses more time, not sure how likely that is though he does not look like the confident rider full of self belief who rode into San Marino.

    I think it will be one of the Movistar riders, and I have a suspicion that Mikel Landa will go long on one of the mountain days. Whether he can (or will be allowed to) take enough time to get to the top step in Verona is perhaps unlikely but we did see an even more unlikely ending last year.

    Pavel Sivakov is riding a great race interesting to see if he can keep it up to the end. If Egan Bernal had been here it would have been a frighteningly good team given how inexperienced they are.

    • JeroenK Monday, 27 May 2019, 8:56 pm

      Jumbo Visma enabled Roglic to win the last 3 1-week races he entered. They are usually a really solid team, but the cards don’t fall right for them right now and on top of that Murphy is watching. Maybe it’s the language barrier, but their DS Addy Engels strikes me as just calm and collected. Very calm considering the nature break mishap… How would you confront a bunch of journalists after that? 😀 He did a much better job than the UAE DS who just walked away when asked about the irregular lab results in his team. My guess is the JV team car urine still was a lot more transparent than that.

      Keep in mind Roglic in potential race winning position keeps us hyper-focused on how that team is doing. He still did a good job staying up there while others fell away.

  • Augie March Monday, 27 May 2019, 3:51 pm

    Roglic was “lucky” in a way that he seemed to crash into that barrier mostly with his chest and face, so hopefully the legs are ok and this very tasty GC battle can continue. Very unprofessional work from the Jumbo team car if that nature break comment is true. Better a team car that needs some cleaning than losing time to Nibali one would think.

    Also, minor complaint but on Eurosport Carlton Kirby doesn’t seem to have ever seen Bauke Mollema ride before as he keeps commenting on how the Trek rider always looks terrible. In fact he’s one of those cyclists like Ryder Hesjedal who have that hunch-backed rocking and rolling style all the time, whether he’s leading the GC group or falling out the back of it.

    • jc Monday, 27 May 2019, 4:20 pm

      Not sure what is happening with the Eurosport commentary. UK Eurosport has Rob Hatch and Sean Kelly plus various “experts” chuntering on in the studio. Carlton Kirby is doing English commentary but (I guess) for the “international” broadcast only. Not sure what difference it all makes but I guess there is some “rights” issue.

      In the past you could choose which country version you watched (or you set your vpn to the country you wanted to watch from) but now it is linked to where you pay your subscription from ie from UK bank account = UK service, German bank account = German service.

      • Paul Monday, 27 May 2019, 5:21 pm

        Not sure about that — I have a US bank account, but watch UK ES via VPN.

        • John L Monday, 27 May 2019, 5:40 pm


        • jc Monday, 27 May 2019, 6:59 pm

          I used to pay from my German account and found I was unable to access English commentary anymore. On contacting Eurosport I was told that they have changed the system so that you now only receive the country service matching the bank account, as I also have a UK bank account that was easy to do.

          This is from the FAQ section of the Eurosport site

          “Commentary is available in the language of the country, in which you have subscribed to the Eurosport Player.

          If you wish to edit the language of the website/app, please read here.

          Note, this will not change the language of the commentary.”

          • ronytominger Monday, 27 May 2019, 11:29 pm

            i usually can chose between two files in two different languages (when watching on demand) but sometimes its also first language and the other mute. in any case its never written or hinted which file is which…but by now im used to it.

      • Tovarishch Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 7:48 am

        Thanks for that. I stopped subscribing because the Russian commentary was terrible and I could get the English one through other sources. I’ll try through my UK bank account.

  • Ecky Thump Monday, 27 May 2019, 4:03 pm

    On the rest day, a time of contemplative reflection and to gather thoughts. Today’s Italo House number –

  • ronytominger Monday, 27 May 2019, 4:15 pm

    Kudos to Ackermann and Demare, for honouring the ciclamino jersey and hauling it over the alps. it seems this year it will really be won by the best sprinter

    • Richard S Monday, 27 May 2019, 4:32 pm

      That’s a bit unfair, I’d still give Demare a decent chance…. (joke)

  • DJS Monday, 27 May 2019, 6:49 pm

    Roglic’ mechanical had to do with his shifter not working I read. One wonders whether this was because he’s not shifting mechanical but electrical? Di2 might make sense for us weekend warriors, but if you have someone checking and tuning your bike every day…I understand that this is the place to showcase your stuff, but too often Di2 seems to come at a cost of a racing result.

  • Michael B Monday, 27 May 2019, 6:49 pm

    Yesterday was also notable for Roglic taking the most obvious sticky bottle in history. He had two bottles in his cages which he’d only grabbed a few minutes before, but they passed him a third to help pace him back. He looked sheepish. It wasn’t an especially long pull but so blatant I thought he might get a time penalty.

    • Noel Monday, 27 May 2019, 7:11 pm

      +1… it was a whopper

      • The GCW / Strictly Amateur Monday, 27 May 2019, 11:18 pm

        Didn’t see that. But that’s good, sticky while having 2 in the cage…

        -but, “the most obvious sticky bottle in history?” Don’t know who wins that & like Nibs but remember His winner a year or 2 ago? Saw that one and it was a doozey. Who needs an illegal hidden motor when You can accelerate like that. -He was kicked out though wasn’t He?

        So, there’d be 2 competitions of the most obvious sticky bottle in history.
        1, while not getting disqualified.
        2, while getting disqualified.

        What rest days are for.

        • Michael B Monday, 27 May 2019, 11:42 pm

          Haha. Yeah, I remember Nibali’s but there was some subterfuge there as he thought he was off camera and only got caught out by the helicopter. Roglic was about five metres in front of the TV bike!

          • cp Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 12:17 am

            Watch the video from the Jumbo Visma care inrng posted below in the tweet–that is a one sticky bottle. The driver strains to pull Roglic forward. But does it really matter? How much does a sticky bottle really help in the end?

          • Michael B Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 10:04 am

            I don’t think anyone’s really outraged, it was more comedic than anything, especially since he was in the wrong gear and spun out anyway so wasted some of the advantage.

  • Watts Monday, 27 May 2019, 7:35 pm

    Next logical move will be sending Landa up the road, perhaps some 4-10 placed GC guys will try to “sneak” away. Can’t wait to see what happens then! I hate that description, “sneak” away. There is no sneaking, only suffering in a bike race.
    I am loving this Giro. Even though it was a bit boring in the beginning, it all adds to the tension and the prestige of the race. It’s kind of like a monument race in the way that you need the first half just to get the K’s in the legs before a grand and thick of action-second half.
    This will always be my favourite GT.

  • Pax Monday, 27 May 2019, 8:27 pm

    I don’t think it was a sporting move to attack Roglic when he had a mechanical- shame on Movistar.

    • gabriele Monday, 27 May 2019, 9:30 pm

      No, it was just cycling. A sport of ruthless cheaters since its very beginning. You’d rather assume it!

    • PaulG Monday, 27 May 2019, 11:11 pm

      He was wearing Team Jersey…Not Pink…So the unwritten rule doesn’t apply…..!!!!

      • RQS Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 7:57 pm

        Yes, a lot of commenters have made this error. Perhaps it’s the yellow JV jersey, or the fact that Roglic has carefully ceded the jersey, but was leader in all but name that has people thinking like that.
        Nibali has played a crafty one on Roglic. Applying both physical and mental pressure to him. Roglic has eventually cracked.
        I wouldn’t be surprised if Nabali now turned around and made a deal with Roglic to unseat Carapaz.

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