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.
Albeit he won the Klasika Primavera and Circuito de Getxo and had a list of strong top ten rides in Italian semi-classics.
But he’s a winner, with five, six and four wins respectively in the three previous years.
However, there was of course the link with the Good Doctor Ferrari to mess with his state of mind.
Visconti’s career path is unusual he came up through De Nardi, Domina Vacanze then Milram and QuickStep for whom he won the likes of the Coppa Sabatini and GP Fourmies.
But for season 2009 he went back to Division Two to be with mentor Luca Scinto at the big ex-Mapei man’s ISD squad.
He stayed with Scinto through 2010 and 2011 picking up the Italian Elite Championship both years.
But for 2012 he moved to Movistar for bigger bucks – and some say to be away from Scinto’s somewhat overpowering personality.
Dave and I met a happy Scinto as a spectator at the Giro one year; he chatted away fine with us.
A year later he was a grumpy DS and it seems he can no longer speak English . . .
Dave and I are down at Prestwick as I write this, we fly to Bergamo tonight to cover the last six stages – today is the rest day which has given me a chance to catch up with what the British media have to say about the race.
David Walsh is embedded with Sky for the Sunday Times and was there when the doctor decided that Wiggins had to quit.
There are some interesting stats in the piece – in the time trial where Sky’s captain succumbed to Alex Dowsett, Wiggins rode the last 15 kilometres at an average of 477 watts – and that was with 50 minutes of effort in his legs.
But numbers are one thing…
Meanwhile, over at the Guardian William Fotheringham reckons that Nibali has it won – and I must admit that it’s hard to see past him.
The race is entering that phase where management has to make the decision; “be content with our podium place – or risk everything?”
And the way Vincenzo is riding it’d be a big risk to try and break him.
He has the legs, the grinta and in letting Santambrogio take Saturday’s stage he showed he has political sense, too.
He may not be spectacular but he’s solid, professional and coming in to his prime as a rider.
In today’s Guardian Fotheringham argues that Italy needs another hero to replace Pantani.
But in this post-EPO era I think we have accept that whilst the Classics can be fire crackers, by the end of a Grand Tour everyone is wasted and there’s little room for heroics.
And despite a tight schedule, we grabbed a Gazzetta – stage 12 and Cav’s 100th win.
The paper is full of stats – one panel charts Bradley’s unhappy Giro history:
- 2003: missed the time cut on Stage 18.
- 2005: 123rd.
- 2007: 134th.
- 2009: 70th.
- 2010: 40th – but he did win the Stage One time trial.
The Gazzetta doesn’t seem awfully keen on old Brad – but they adore Cav, his 100th win gets great coverage – a full two page interview.
He says his Worlds win with his golden team is the pearl of his career and that his toughest adversary was Petacchi. And there’s an interesting comparison on other top sprinters and how many wins they’d had at Cav’s age:
- Boonen: 83
- Cipollini: 69
- McEwen: 38
- Petacchi: 15
- Zabel: 75
We’re boarding! Queue to join another queue time!