Giro d’Italia 2016 – Stage 16; Not a good day for Esteban Chaves
It wasn't a good day for Esteban Chaves on Tuesday's Stage 16, he lost time to Kruijswijk and Valverde.
With three minutes in hand over the Colombian, the Dutchman is going to take a bit of shifting; and there's a danger that Valverde might leapfrog Chaves, too - he's now just 23 seconds in arrears.
Nibali lost time, too.
He just doesn't seem like his old self in this race.
We were at the GreenEDGE hotel on the rest day - whilst the likes of Sven Tuft and Rubén Plaza went out for a couple of hours on the road, Esteban Chaves sat on the turbo, smiled and chatted to journos.
It's not for us to say but we think that perhaps Chaves' rest day programme wasn't the best?
Too laid back?
He certainly seemed to be suffering the 'Post Rest Day Blues.'
We had the opportunity to have a good nose at the GreenEDGE bikes on Monday.
They have a choice of the well proven Addict or much more 'aero' Foil, complete with huge head tube, 'Stealth Fighter' stem and back brake tucked under the bottom bracket.
Call us traditionalists but we like the Addict best - and we have our doubts about how aero all that wiring is under the stem on the Foil...
And what about when you stick two circular feeding bottles into the equation?
GreenEDGE duly 'done' we headed off to get our race credentials - always a nice milestone to pass.
The digs were good, clean and with nice grub - but freezing cold.
We were the only guests - shades of, 'The Shining' and the heating system wasn't switched on.
Tuesday saw us on the race proper at the Stage 16 start in Bressanone or 'Brixen' - there's a lot of German spoken here - but not before we spied Pippo getting measured for his new Sella Italia.
He's still so damn cool.
Every year the presentation gets that bit grander; this year a "goddess" brings the trofeo in to the sign-on.
There's dancing, hyper 'speakers' and it's certainly more glitzy than a Tour roll out - even if there are less folk around.
Damiano Cunego is still hugely popular and his tenure in the blue (used to be green) of Montagna leader is huge for his Nippo team.
Lampre's Roberto Ferrari is a good sprinter in his own right - he has a Giro stage win to his name - but his role now is as Sasha Modolo's trusted 'last man' in his train.
He has the hair, the smile, the attitude - he's cool.
Brambilla appears and no one bats an eye lid - that stage win and time in pink is forgotten now.
Nibali looked relaxed - but wouldn't at the finish when he dropped time on Kruijswijk and Valverde.
Like we say, not his self.
Valverde looked 'on it' before the start - and so it would prove, taking a great stage win in his first Giro and moving to third on GC.
As we mentioned, it wasn't a good day for Esteban Chaves - seen in this photo on Ulissi's wheel with 10 K to go - he dropped 48 seconds on Kruijswijk.
GreenEDGE PR guy and cycling legend, John Trevorrow reckons it was due to inattention - we're not so sure, he looks tired to us.
Some, like Visconti, were just riding in - glad that another day can be crossed off.
Whilst you can sense the frustration in riders like Pirazzi - desperate for an opportunity to show.
Our first 'real' day in, then, and the digs weren't too far away, the pizza was good and we slept like logs - even though the Sky bus was just around the corner...
More soon - we're still finding our race legs!