Stage 16 Belluno-Nevegal ITT
Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:21 PM
Judging from the profile alone, it won't be a mere question of who can slay it to the max uphill for half an hour but also, with the frequent changes in gradient, who can judge the pace sensibly. (having said that, Contador will probably win by 30secs
Velonews has a slight error in their analysis: http://velonews.comp...me-trial_175495 where they talk about 1000m in elevation gain at an average of 8%. Those specs would be strikingly similar to the Alpe d'Huez, but the race doesn't go to the top of Nevegal (probably because the last stretch doesn't seem to have an alternate return route for vehicles).
Instead, the gain is closer to 700m, and the differences between the top guys should be minimal.
The TT is a lot easier than the 2008/2010 Kronplatz test: http://autobus.cycli...stages/giro0816
But probably a lot more comparible to 2007's cronoscalata to Santuario di Oropa: http://autobus.cycli...stages/giro0713
Posted 24 May 2011 - 01:07 AM
And he drops a chain, and his wheel breaks so that he brakes rub, and he forgets his start time. (note those were ands not ors).
Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:22 PM
I can only remember the Giro 2008 and Vuelta 2008 as GTs with uphill TTs that he has contended.
I think he got 4th and 2nd, respectively. I'd imagine that a TT like today's, with lots of changes in rhythm, would suit him better than a constant uphill slog.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 02:53 PM
Scarponi can really grind a big gear up the lesser gradients, that could net him a few seconds.
Gadret can really climb and his cyclocross background means that he is well suited to maximum efforts of an hour or less. Lars Boom is for instance a very good TTer, and so will Stybar no doubt be.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:18 PM
Great performances and times put in by Nibali, Scarponi, Rujano, Garzelli and Kreuziger as well! I had hoped for a better time by Gadret, but still not too shabby a placing by him.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:25 PM
Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:31 PM
Indeed. I wasn't watching it live but reading the CN ticker, which seemed to think Contador was in difficulty. Perhaps he was against his usual standards, but the 34 seconds is a huge margin compared to the compactness of the others. H
Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:37 PM
I'm not sure I'm following you here, as I thought the whole point of riding a TT was to go all out, not rest on your laurels or lead, for that matter? That said, AC took .30 seconds out on his nearest competitors and looked somewhat pedestrian doing it. I appreciate him for the talent he is and am glad to see him go for the stage win rather than give more gifts away. It's not his fault his competitors aren't on the same level as he is. You can only race against those that show up and rather than race down to the competition, you should challenge them to lift their game up to your level.
I suppose you want AC to soft pedal the ITT on the last day so as not to inflict any further emotional pain to his rivals or rub it in? Sorry, not me. I'd much rather see him finish with a bang, no pun intended, and put an exclamation point on his overall GC win.
This post has been edited by bodomaniac: 24 May 2011 - 03:43 PM
Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:49 PM
Two big stages left and a TT, but absent an accident or a Les deux Alpes-like meltdown, this is all over. I wonder if any of the contenders for the podium really believe in this anymore, or whether they will now focus on fighting for the secondary positions.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:49 PM
Are you surprised by this? I'm not sure why you would considering AC put that much time into Nibali in fewer KM's during the Mt. Etna stage. I thought Nibali went out too hard and appeared to be suffering on the steeper segments of the climb more so than Scarponi and much more than Contador.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 04:14 PM
Nibali clearly stated in yesterday's press conference that he was now racing for 2nd. One can only speculate how good a race this would have been without Contador.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:43 PM
I'd like to think how good a race it could have been had riders like Evans, the Schleck's, Horner (the second best climber after AC ), Gesink, Leipheimer, Sammy Sanchez, Vino, etc. would have showed up to challenge or if guys like DiLuca and Menchov would have arrived in much better form than they did, but it is what it is. I suppose next year Zomegan could tell AC to stay home, as his services will not be needed if the organizers and or the fans would prefer a close or more hotly contested GC. Of course, the other option is to make the parcours less favorable to AC should he return. One way to do that would be to eliminate all TT's and mountain top finishes. In fact, when the race goes into the mountains you could have those stages finish on a steep descent to help Nibali's chances, but then it wouldn't be the Giro.
I don't have a problem watching a dominate rider put his full talents on display. Much like Cancellara's dominance and strength in the cobbled classics, AC's superiority in the GT's is a beautiful thing to watch for me. You can have very tight and close GT where all the top GC contenders watch and mark each other, but provide little in the way of aggression, a la the year Sastre won the Tour (yawn!) or you can have a GT such as this where one rider is head and shoulders above the rest and is out proving it each day.
I've thoroughly enjoyed the racing the past several stages - especially Sunday's stage, which saw all kinds of crazy things take place out on the road. I would have loved to have seen the riders tackle the climb and descent of the Crostis on Saturday, but the climb up the Zoncolan was fun to watch and no less impacted despite its exclusion.
Whatever AC's ultimate winning margin is, I think the Giro has been great and hope that the Tour comes close to it for drama and aggressive racing.