Greipel had just blasted the field to win his first Giro stage the day before; surely there’d be a good write up in the Guardian?

I guess he got around 100 words?

I used to get more of a word allowance to write up races for “The Comic” [Cycling Weekly] back when Scottish racing got a bit of coverage.

Meanwhile said Comic and British Cycling continue to tell us that cycling is now mainstream.

Tom Dumoulin
Vicki and Shane, not hugging. Photo©Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

I flicked forward through the sport section; what’s this? A picture of Shane with a comforting arm around Vicki.

The accompanying copy is another anti-Sutton rant where the female journalist who’s so concerned with political correctness refers to the Aussie as an ‘arsehole.’

And in the text Vicki explains that Sutton never gave her a comforting hug, as he claims he did – what about the picture, Vicki?

Looks like at least half a hug to me?

Sutton’s resigned and Jess tells us she IS going to Rio.

When Jess saw our piece on VeloVeritas about the Sutton Saga she messaged our Facebook page to say she HAD qualified.

We said that was great news and asked for some times to corroborate things.

As yet, nada.Tom Dumoulin

Continuing on the theme of ‘stories best left on the shelf,’ The Comic has produced a Lance volume to go with their, ‘Cycling Legends’ publications.

But I need to have a word with myself, I bought the damn thing!

Another ‘Doper’ – a dead one, this time, Marco Pantani.

Ride Velo website has a big article extolling the man’s abilities.

Apparently it was a Mafia betting conspiracy which saw him turfed off the Giro in 1999.

So I guess that makes all those mad hematocrit levels of his alright then?

The man was a gifted climber but a huge kitter – just like so many of his generation. He did what he felt he had to do – but let’s not make him something he wasn’t.

Many claim he was the best climber ever – but we can find no basis for this in fact in terms of results. Van Impe, Gaul, Bahamontes, Coppi all have much broader palmarès.

Tom Dumoulin
Simon Yates has returned a positive test for Terbutaline. Photo©AP

Back to The Comic; we’re told that Simon Yates has been compromised by the team doctor – who’s name is?

I hope Yates is cleared but have to contend that it’s ‘racist’ for the English speaking Media to jump to the defence of any ‘Anglo’ rider who has a brush with the anti-doping authorities whilst any East or South European in the same boat is immediately castigated.

In fairness to Cycling Weekly there was a good editorial by Simon Richardson where he says, going back to the Sutton debacle, it can’t be easy functioning as a team manager at the highest levels of sport.

Indeed not – and as they say, ‘nice guys finish last.’

Sir Alex Ferguson, Brian Clough and Jock Stein never won any ‘cuddly guy of the month’ awards.

And we’re a wee bit surprised that the British Continental teams are ‘wheedling‘ – to use a good old Scottish word – about… only three of the five outfits getting a ride in the Tour of Britain.

Memory lapse has kicked in, I think?

Did they really think they were going to get off scot free from that debacle last year when they came in 45 minutes down on one stage?

No chance.

Tom Dumoulin
Peter Sagan centre stage in California. Photo©Gregory Bull

Let’s cross the Atlantic – our pal Dave doesn’t admit the Tour of California exists; he says it’s “an aberration”.

And it is always going to be difficult for it to compete with the Giro.

But there’s some interesting racing going on there – Alaphilippe continues to display that he’s the real deal whilst Dennis is at last showing some chrono form which will put him among the favourites in Rio.

Sagan?

He’s great; the journos ask him how he’s coping with all the pressures of being the stage wins record holder in California whilst wearing the rainbow jersey.

He responds that he’s going surfing the next day…

Cav?

It looks increasingly like he’ll be going to Rio, officially qualified or not.

Perhaps we’re missing something but he doesn’t strike us as oozing good form.

But when he peaks perfectly and wins that omnium medal in Rio we’ll be forced to eat our words…

Tom Dumoulin
Tom Dumoulin in the pink at Praia a Mare. Photo©Giant Alpecin/Miwa IIjima

And we best say a few words about the Giro, seeing as how we’re en route as this is written.

Dumoulin, wins Stage One by 1/100th of a second.

At this stage we have to ask ourselves; ‘what’s best for the Giro?’

Big, tall, handsome, chatty home boy Tom to win or the relatively unknown Slovenian, Roglic?

As a Spanish chum of mine said; “politico!

If Stefan Kung hadn’t taken out a chunk of the fence he looked to have Stage One in the bag – and riding in the worst of the wet in the long chrono robbed him of his chance there.

Remarkably, winner Roglic said it was his first individual time trial over 10 kilometres.

Kittel was in a different race – SO strong in winning those two sprints.

It looked very much like Greipel was waiting for Big Marcel to head home before he committed his boys – three stage wins, not a bad fortnight’s work.

A thing that has changed with the big sprint names is that the Organisation no longer criticises the fast men for pulling out before the mountains. They’re just happy to see the big hitters in their race.

The attrition among the sprinters has been massive – Kittel, Viviani, Greipel, Demare and now Ewan, all gone. We’d expected more from Southeast’s Mareczko – who’s also gone – after he won two stages in the Tour of Turkey beating Modolo and Greipel to win his tappas.

But the Giro is at another level, the big hitters raise their game and every Italian is super-motivated.

The last Wednesday and Sunday of the race are sprinter stages – ‘last men standing’ are Modolo and Nizzolo.

Maybe the Trek man will get that win at last? Or more likely Ferrari will pilot fish Modolo home?

Good wins too for Ulissi, Wellens, Ciccone and Brambilla.

Ulissi, Ciccone and Brambilla’s wins mean it’s been by no means a bad Giro for the home nation but the North European teams have dominated the GC.

A great Giro for QuickStep, Lotto-Soudal and now, Jumbo-Lotto.

Jungels was always going to be a star, I interviewed him when he won the Junior World Time Trial Championship a few years back; he had a coaching team, agent and website – you just knew he was a young man headed for the top.

And it’s nice to see a ‘believable’ race – Chavez and Kruijswijk came to the fore on the Queen Stage but they’d been following the wheels ’til then.

Meanwhile Amador and Valverde had bad days – but they’d been burning the watts early.

A few years ago we were used to the same riders knocking lumps out of each other day after day – life’s not like that and it was credible to see guys collapse and others come to the fore.

And to close on the Giro, it’s Sunday night and we’re currently whistling along the autostrada en route Brixen, the rest day town to get involved with the pink race.

A surprise result today in the mountain time trial and a HUGE result for 24 years-old Foliforov and Gazprom.

He’s not a bad rider with solid wins in Russia – never any easy place to win – and two stages in the 2014 Ronde De L’Isard but this is his biggest win by far.

Many – including me – thought Androni should have got the ride but today means the inclusion of the Russians is vindicated.

A Giro of surprises, for sure.

Ciao, ciao.