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HomeRaceRace ReviewsIl Giro d'Italia 2014 - Stage 18; Belluno - Rif. Panarotta, 171...

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 18; Belluno – Rif. Panarotta, 171 km. Julián Arredondo Soars


Giro d'Italia logoIs it me or is Quintana just TOO pink; he looks like something from Toy Story gone feral – but when you can climb like he can then you can get away with pretty much anything, I guess?

It looks like the Giro is won; even if he has an off day in the mountain test or Zoncolan it’s unlikely the little chap will concede 1:41 to Uran and even less likely he’ll drop 3:29 to Rolland & Co.

It’s been a great race and even though it’s now pretty much certain that the small gentleman from Tunja on the Pan American Highway in Colombia will win and Uran will be second, the battle for the third spot on the podium – and just maybe the second one, too – rages on.

Julián Arredondo
Julián Arredondo. Photo©Gian Mattia D’Alberto

Rolland has impressed me; I can’t remember the last time I saw a French rider battling so doggedly for the podium of a Grand Tour – Jalabert, maybe?

I used to be a Jaja fan ‘til I heard about the Pot Belge parties…

Anyway, enough of the ‘D’ word, I’ll leave it to Chris Froome to stir up that particular pot of stew – via social media, naturally – and get back to Monsieur Rolland.

The Giro is the Giro and the Tour is the Tour but let’s hope his riding here gives him inspiration for the Tour in 2015 – no one can perform in two Grand Tours back to back anymore.

Julián Arredondo
Ryder Hesjedal and Piere Rolland. Photo©Fabio Ferrari

Big respect to Ryder Hesjedal, if it wasn’t for that Garmin nightmare TTT in Belfast then he’d be right there with Quintana and Uran.

And respect too to Phillip Deignan, he’s certainly ‘honouring the pink race’ and giving a lack lustre Giro for Sky a little bit of a sheen.

Julián Arredondo
Phillip Deignan. Photo©Fabio Ferrari

One of our musings earlier in the race was that Uran may have improved his time trialling at the expense of his climbing – we were proved right on that one.

And another question we asked was; ‘is Cadel “doing a Hinault” and creating an image that’s based on bravado?’

Sadly, it now looks like the answer is ‘yes’ – whilst there are no easy stages in this Giro, yesterday’s to Panarotta was by no means the toughest we’ve seen but Evans crumbled, losing 1:41 to Aru who was the best of the ‘Bigs’ on the day.

It’s highly unlikely the Aussie can claw his way back from ninth to get those kisses from the bonnie podium girls on Sunday.

The journalist’s questions post-stage must be torture now; he’ll know that the podium is over but has to keep making those positive noises…

Julián Arredondo
Cadel Evans, usually not the easiest of interviewees. Photo©Gian Mattia D’Alberto

And another ‘colombiano’ day on the Giro with Arredondo winning for Trek from Duarte from Colombia and well, Colombia – whilst Quintana leads from Uran on the GC.

Joy unbridled then, in cycling daft Colombia.

Back when ‘I were lad’ the first inclination I had that cycling was big in Colombia was in 1971 when Martin ‘Cochise’ Rodriguez won the World Amateur 4000 metres Pursuit Championship.