Tag Archive for ‘Giro d’Italia 2013’
One of the standout performances during the 2013 Giro was Alex Dowsett’s (Movistar & GB) winning ride in the brutal Stage Eight 55 kilometre time trial ahead of all the ‘Bigs’ – to prove categorically that there is; ‘life after Sky,’
Dowsett has shown his class over the years, shining in each level of his career.
It’s one to bore the grandchildren with – the day you were right there when Nibali joined the Greats on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. ‘Epic’ doesn’t do it justice; there was a full fledged blizzard raging for the finale – it was as if the Giro organisers had tee-ed it up.
But it wasn’t just Vincenzo who deserves the plaudits, every finisher down to last man home, Sacha Modolo deserves huge respect. We drove race route and the raging melt waters on the way up the valleys gave a clue as to what was coming.
The original plan for the stage 18 mountain time trial was to do a ‘tech’ piece on the bikes the top ten would be riding for the ‘chronoscalata.’
But with the number of Tifosi around the buses and the fact that the ‘Bigs’ kept themselves out of the way ’til the last gasp, we shelved that one.
So we decided to do a piece on the aspects you need to make a time trial – percorso, hardware, fans . . .
In the ‘small world’ file, there we are near the top of the final climb – which would be Cav’s undoing – when this lady hear our Scottish accents and asks us if we know La Favorita Pizzeria in Edinburgh? Well! Are they no’ just about to open a branch in Portobello, just round the corner from me?
It transpires that it’s her brother, Davide’s business. Cue smiles all round and photo op with Sarah and hubby in ‘see you Jimmy’ wig.
Wednesday morning, 09:55 the ‘Milano by-pass’ average speed around 10 mph. You only think you’ve seen traffic jams ’til you come to Northern Italy. And it’s not helped by the fact that everyone thinks that it’s their private fiefdom; the standard of driving is dire.
We arrived late on the Monday rest day and after much messing around at the airport deciphered that our hire car was through an agency, so we had to tour the car hire offices ’til we got the right one.
Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 15: Cesana Torinese – Col du Galibier 149km. Visconti Takes Movistar’s 2nd (0)
I didn’t get much opportunity to see stage 15, it was a long day for VeloVeritas – Alford and back, and then all the editing and formatting that it takes to put a piece together. But it was another tough day in a tough Giro – albeit the ‘Bigs’ declared a cease-fire.
You’ll hear no complaints about that from Giovanni Visconti, Movistar’s former three time Italian champion who grabbed the Spanish team’s second win of the race in fine style. The 30 year-old from Torino saw his stage win as a ‘rebirth’ after what he viewed as a bad year in 2012.
Sky did well to pull Wiggins out of the race when they did, starting Stage 14 today could have seen him contract pleurisy if he’d ridden. There’s still a long way to go but Nibali looks like it’s his race to lose.
However, the ‘Forum Dwellers’ are at it already; when I was looking on CN for the full stage result I stumbled upon the forum bittie at the bottom.
GreenEdge and Cannondale learned again that those who live by the sword die by the sword, Having slyly left Patrick Lefevre’s men to do the lion’s share in bringing back the break of this longest day of the race, they formed their trains late in the tappa; hoping to exploit a Cavendish whose team was all used up.
But they reckoned without Cav’s hunger, power, commitment to his team and God-given positioning sense. There were in excess of 300 metres to go when he went – a long, long way in sprinting circles but that famous ‘jump’ gave him too many metres to pull back. Nizzolo can bang his bars as much as he wants, Cav is the King.
Mark Cavendish, there’s little left to say, really. He’s the best roadman sprinter in the world – and his partnership with Steegmans is developing into something special. It’s not as if anyone is going to lean on Big Gert . . .
The Belgian is quick in his own right and has found the perfect niche as Cav’s final ‘booster,’ developing the power to take Cav clear of the peloton’s gravitational pull and launching him to the top of the podium. The other day I was saying that Bouhanni is quick, he is, but Cav is even quicker.
Ryder Hesjedal is one of the nicest professional athletes you’ll ever meet, polite, grounded, sincere, soft spoken and likeable. To see him languishing in the gruppetto with Cav, yesterday was really quite sad.
He was strong at Liège, paving the way for the win which took Dan Martin from ‘up and coming,’ to firmly, ‘arrived!’
The Giro isn’t over for Bradley Wiggins, but every day he has like today makes it harder to envisage that he’ll make the podium in Brescia. He lost time again today as team mate Uran launched an attack with five miles to go and no one could get him back; the plan looked to be that all Brad had to do was sit on the other GC riders as they chased Uran.
But as has happened to Sky numerous times in this Giro, things didn’t go according to the script. Wiggins couldn’t respond when the ‘digs’ went in and he lost a minute to Nibali, Evans – and Uran.
The Giro d’Italia – if it ended right now it would have been great, aggressive race, but the fact is that there are still two full weeks to go.
I did a race preview for, ‘a well known North American website’ so thought I’d take a rest day wander back and see how my tips for the top are doing…
Known as one of the strongmen of the peloton, today Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol) shook off the company of his five breakaway companions one by one and battled hard in the pouring rain and on glacial road surfaces to take a fantastic solo win on the Giro d’Italia’s seventh stage, finishing over a minute clear of the small group led in by Italy’s Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani Valvole) and Danilo Di Luca (Vini Fantini).
The Aussie rider, a “big unit” in the World Tour and hugely respected as a team player and lead-out engine extraordinaire, is nevertheless a softly-spoken, modest and shy man.
The Italians love a good ‘Giovani’ – Under 23 rider.
Today’s Edinburgh edition of the Gazzetta deals with Battaglin’s fine Stage Four win. The Italian journo’s are already thinking about when he’s going to buy a Lambo/date a model/move to Monaco and they can say; ‘he’s not serious!’
There are aspects of the sprinting phenomenon which is ‘Cav’ that don’t rest easy with me. The baby and Paul Smith on the podium, mouthing off about his team, the swearing… But when I see him sprint, I could forgive him just about anything.
He has the coolness under fire, the spacial awareness, the grinta and the raw speed – but most of all he wants to win so badly. Maybe that’s why he says inappropriate things about his team; defeat hurts him so much that the emotion pours out – he’s disappointed in himself and his boys because he knows that they all could have done better.