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2013 Giro d'Italia

Discussion in 'Cycling' started by Ash, May 8, 2013.

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  1. sammy3191 Bob McCowan (2)

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    Been an interesting first week of the Giro. If Wiggins looses more time I'd be surprised if he actually finishes the Tour, he'll pull out an continue his preparation for Le Tour.

    Great to see Cadel riding so well given his "poor form" in the months leading up to May.
  2. Oz-pat Banned

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    Cadel's sudden new found 'form' should not really be that surpising to Aussies considering the cloud of drug taking/cheating that hangs over so many of their current sports
  3. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    What a complete load of crap.
  4. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Actually, Evans started in not too bad form in 2013 at the Tour of Oman, where he came third over all behind Froome and Contador, and was comfortably in front of Nibali who came much lower in the top ten. Not too bad, and surprising considering how much Evans struggled last year with a virus and how little Evans had ridden in the last 10 months due to that virus. In the mountains in Oman Evans wasn't too far off Froome and Contador, even outsprinting and gapping Contador in one stage.

    Strade Bianchi Evans went OK as a helper for Greg Van Avermaet.

    In Tirreno Addriatico Evans was poor early, and went into training mode (according to Evans) and came well down on the MTF there. He worked hard for Hushovd on one stage though and still looked fine.

    Both Evans and TJVG rode the Criterium International. Evans put in a very average TT performanec, and got smoked by team mate TJVG, so TJVG was made leader and Evans worked for TJVG as a domestique in the mountain the next day. I wouldn't be surprised if this was when BMC and Evans agreed to ride the Giro, because Evans changed his schedule from hilly classics + Romandie to Giro Del Trentino.

    In Giro del Trentino supposedly Evans rode it in training mode and didn't bother to follow the other GC contenders (Wiggins, Nibali, Santambrogio). Rather, he just rode at a steady pace once he was happy with his efforts, and still comfortably managed a top 10 position, not helped by BMC's poor TTT. Evans also let Santaromita go in the breakaway on a lumpy day (which Santaromita won).

    So, yeah, Evans' form wasn't good, but neither was it at all terrible.

    I suspect that the Giro was raised as a possibility for Evans long ago due to the limited amount of riding Evans did last year, so it was always a possibility.

    Regarding doping, you'd be naive if you didn't suspect Evans. He was briefly on doping power houses Team Telekom, although he rarely got big rides there despite showing his ability there, and he has had some brief contact with infamous doping doctor Ferrari. But I wouldn't say that Evans is cleaner or dirtier than most others in the peloton. Evans is one of the naturally most talented riders going around in the peloton, he has a huge VO2 max

    If you're looking at suspicious form, I would politely suggest that you consider a certain Briton who magically turned into a GC winner late in his career. This Briton maintained his peak for over 6 months in 2012, dominating race after race. This was something physioloically unheard of in the cycling world - Evans, and in particular Contador, were known as cyclists who mainained high peaks for most of the year, but even when they won or went well away from their peaks it was clear they weren't at their best. The Briton credited this feat to his "swimming coach". How a swimming coach created world beating cycling training programs in his first year? No idea.
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  5. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Sky played some clever tactics, Uran going and not marked as Nibbles and the other favourites looked to Wiggins. Uran built up a nice lead, up to just under 60 seconds at one stage, and took the stage by 20 seconds over Betancur, who also later attack from the favourites group.

    Turns out Wiggins didn't have it. Nibbles and Evans looked strong, with Nibbles timing a strong finishing ride nicely to take out the sprint for third 31 seconds behind Uran. Evans drifted back just into fifth on the same time, but Nibbles get the precious (for now) 8 bonus seconds.

    Wiggins was another 37 seconds back. Question now is, who will be the Sky leader?

    Standings:
    Nibali
    Evans at 41 seconds (thanks to Nibbles picking up 12 bonus seconds on the stage)
    Uran at 2:04
    Wiggins at 2:05

    Looks like a show down between Nibali and Evans now, but anything can happen in the crazy Giro.

    The worrying thing for Evans is the weakness of his team - Evans was isolated on the penultimate climb when Sky put the hammer down and wasted precious energy fending for himself before Santaromita eventually chased back on. BMC may regret not sending Matthias Frank.

    The interesting thing will be who will Sky let be the leader? Uran or Wiggins? Sky, an English team have put everything into their English riders. Wiggins has been claiming that his numbers are the best ever and he's in the form of his life. Clearly he is struggling on the road. I think it'd be hard if Sky don't at least make both protected riders until one clear leader emerges.

    I am not sure that Uran will get the same latitude in later stages, though.
  6. Gibbo Ron Walden (29)

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    Uran will end up riding for Wiggins. He has to you would think.

    I do wonder if the split of BMC and SKY for Giro and ToC is really a clever cards close to chest tactic for both teams. They don't want to give too much away for the TdF and also want to make sure that their number 1 rider (Evans in Giro and Froome in ToC) is in for and can handle them selves with a lower grade team. Then bring the strong domestiques together with the #1 rider at TdF.

    It sounds a bit weird but it puts good pressure on the lower riders to look after (and perform) for their leader, whilst the top domestiques have to work harder for the #2.

    I still think SKY with the Wigins, Porte, Thomas, Uran et. al. will be able drag Froome along just as they did last year with Wiggins. Wiggin's form in the Giro should have shown all and sundry that Froome definately deserves top billing.

    With some good domestique (ie get Simon Rogers) recruiting 2014, a Richie Porte led Orica Green Edge could do very well.
  7. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Yeah, I agree about Uran. I just can't see Sky giving Uran free reign unless Wiggins stumbles massively, although I think that making both Uran and Wiggins leaders at this point in time would be the right decision.

    I am not sure Wiggins will actually go too well in some of the remaining Giro climbs - he does not fair so well on the prolonged very steep (>10%) gradients. The TdF doesn't generally get those nasty climbs, but the Giro tends to have them in spades.

    I think that TJVG and Evans will be given co-leadership in the Tour. The rest of the BMC team makeup will be interesting, Frank and Pinotti are probably the next best climbers when on form, Pinotti in particular has gotten a top 10 in the Giro before although he's mainly a time trialer. BMC's strength is their squad of strong classics riders, not their climbers.

    Pinotti would've been a huge asset for Evans in the Giro, but he broke his collarbone earlier this year and the Giro del Trentino was Pinotti's first race back (plus he's even older than Evans now). The rest of the BMC climbers - Santaromita, Morabito, Moinard and Cummings are all maybe fourth or fith tier climbers at best - alright to add depth to a squad, but not good enough to rely on as the key mountain domestiques. (Unless they're in Sky, however - amazing how Sky gets those guys to shell "better" climbers like no tomorrow.) The other guy Evans would be missing is Ballan, who is a great classics rider. Pinotti and Ballan would've made a huge different to the TTT.

    Would like to see Porte at GreenEdge as well, but he won't get any support unfortunately as I just don't see GreenEdge bothering to hire mountain domestiques, especially as the good ones generally aren't cheap.

    The great thing about this Giro is that Sky is the only team there that comes close to being able to control the race, and they are behind and have openly stated that they are here for the win, nothing else. That means that Sky can't afford to do their usual US Postal train tactics up the mountain as they are unlikely to shed Nibali and Evans. That, and the Giro is normally very hard for any team to control, particularly in the usually insane third week.

    Regarding the Tour, I'm looking forward to the showdown between Froome and Contador. Very likely everyone else will be racing for third.
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  8. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    For tonight's stage, I think that Astana will try to lose the maglia rosa to give themselves a rest for the next couple of flat stages. Astana and the other GC riders will have one eye on stage 14 and stage 15 now.

    If I was Sky or BMC I would keep the break in check and make sure Astana are stuck with the jersey. Same maybe with Lampre (Scarponi) and Vini Fantini-Selle (Santambrogio).

    Particularly BMC. If they can control the race up until the lower part of the final climb then Evans has a real chance at a place and taking back some bonus seconds. The problem is that I don't think they are a strong enough team.

    Here's the profile for tonight's stage:
    [IMG]

    Prediction: someone from the breakaway wins.

    Here's the final climb:
    [IMG]

    Fairly mild compared to the Giro's other offerings, really. At 7k it's not short, but it's not steep either. The final 200m downhill may result in a sprint if a group comes in together.
  9. Gibbo Ron Walden (29)

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    Shirt sharp steep incline at the end - with a sprint tacked on has Evans written all over it. I wouldn't be surprised if his ego gets the better of him and he has a go - just to test the legs. He's an opportunist.
  10. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    The break won, with a Navardauskas and Oss attack before the final climb holding out. Navardauskas was much stronger on the climb, and his win will boost Garmin after Ryder's failure to defend his title. Oss from BMC held out for second. Evans obviously wasn't concerned with the stage as he let one of his domestiques get in the break.

    The GC contenders just sat in as there were no bonus points or stage win on offer. BMC were never going to chase once they had a man (Oss) in the breakaway, same with Vini (Di Luca). Nibali still 41 seconds up on Evans, Nibali still in pink, Evans still in red.

    Next two stages are sprint / transition stages, so I don't think there will be any GC shake up. Goss will be gunning for at least one of the next two stages for GreenEdge, but Cavendish will be hard to beat. GreenEdge have had an anonymous Giro so far, so they will be motivated for some kind of result.

    The GC battle should resume on Saturday night, and continue on Sunday before another few sprint / lumpy transitional stages.
  11. Oz-pat Banned

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    In what way is it a 'complete load of cr@p'?????

    You might not like it but of all the sportsmen/women competing in the world today, those from Australia are under more scrutiny than others from other countries

    Multiple drug cheats across all Aussie football codes, betting irregularities in several sports etc etc. Barely a day goes by without an Aussie athlete making the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. I see a track and field competitor was banned just this week!

    It's a perfectly logical conclusion that in the sport of cycling, which has had its own issues with drugs, that the Aussies riding should be viewed with the most suspicion

    I know this doesn't fit in with your narrow-minded view Braveheart that Aussies always 'play a fair game' but that's the way it is

    The only 'cr@p' is the big mess that has now enveloped Australian sport
  12. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I completely accept that there are issues in the NRL and AFL in relation to performance enhancing drugs.

    I also understand that an Australian sprinter (who I had certainly never heard of) is under investigation by ASADA for potentially taking a banned substance.

    I don't see how these have anything to do with Cadel Evans whatsoever. He is in a different sport, doesn't live here, is subject to the tightest drug testing in any sport in the world and has been known as a 'clean-skin' throughout his career.

    The only similarity is that they are Australian.

    Evans has been an elite sportsman and subject to drug testing in WADA sanctioned events since he was about 14.
  13. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    It's not a perfectly logical conclusion at all, it's the conclusion of either a guy who clearly doesn't understand or know sport, or is a troll.

    If you think that the Australian based football codes have anything to do with European based cycling, then you clearly know nothing about cycling.

    Your comment that Australians should be viewed with the most suspicion in the peloton also indicates that you know nothing about cycling and the history of doping within that particular sport. That is not to say that Australians are above reproach, but that if you think that doping is more along national as opposed to team lines, then you don't belong in a cycling discussion.
  14. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Key GC stage tonight, as tomorrow's stage has been neutered down to 60km due to snow on the Galibier. Previously I would've thought that they would have waited till the harder day tomorrow, but will now instead ride harder today.

    Here's the profile:

    [IMG]

    That second cat climb is very long - 60km of upward roads, although most is not too steep.

    The last climb is not overly long for Giro climbs at 7km in length, but it is very steep.

    Here's the profile:

    [IMG]

    The last 3.5km will be crucial.
  15. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Regarding tomorrow's stage, here's the original profile:

    [IMG]


    Would have been a great stage, I love watching the Galibier climb in the TdF.

    Sadly, the stage is now under 60km! Here's the new profile:

    [IMG]

    And, here's the profile of the finish for tomorrow:

    [IMG]
  16. cyclopath Phil Waugh (73)

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    Geez, that finish tonight is a brute. Never mind the climb over Sestriere.
  17. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Yeah, it's nasty and steep, not at all a larger guy like Wiggins' cup of tea to begin with. Smaller and lighter climbers like Pozzovivo go well with those nasty high gradients, larger climbers like Wiggins (and going back further, Asmtrong, Ulrich, Indurain) generally struggle.

    Although, the Giro has had much worse in the past. When Evans last rode the Giro in 2010, he had to contend with Mount Zoncolan. Here was the profile from that stage in 2010:

    [IMG]

    And here's the profile for Zoncolan:

    [IMG]

    That's a max gradient of 22%, and 5km of an average gradient of 15.3%, before it gets "easier" and drops to a mere 13%. The finish is an easy 8.8%. That would be 10kms of hell.
  18. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Bugger, Sestriere is ruled out. Replaced with flat roads, and a very long false flat. Ride up the Bardonecchia will now have larger groups together.

    Weather is also horrible so they've lost the video feed :(

    Horrible weather, easier stage and a big gap means that the breakaway is more likely to survive.
  19. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    There was no video last night so I went to bed :(

    Nibali managed to gap Evans with an attack 2km from the end. Evans responded, but counldn't hold on. Santambrogio, a former teammate of Evans, held on and Nibali gifted him the stage. Evans was a further 33 seconds back. Evans is still comfortably in second, but is now over 1:20 behind Nibali. Evans looks destined for a podium, assuming he can hold on.
  20. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    For tonight's stage, the good news is that they are going through with the original stage, but have just shortened it by 4km.

    Here's the new profile:

    [IMG]

    The finish is most of the way up the Galibier, finishing now at the end of a nasty 11% section where there is a monument to the climber Marco Pantani.

    The temperature will be under zero degrees, so the key for the riders today will be to stay healthy to compete in the rest of the race.
    Gibbo likes this.
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