VdB, on 21 May 2012 - 11:43 AM, said:
I know there are still a few gruelling mountain stages to come, but the hesitant approach of most riders is interesting. If you look at the GC there's a mere 3 minutes or so putting the leader and the 10-15th placed riders apart. I can't say I was hapyp with the relatively passive riding of most contenders, but at least it's more of a race than when Contador was riding!
Trying to be positive there still five first cat mountains, and the climb to Stelvio to come. Thus far there have been just three. So, it's a bit Tour de Francey - pretend those 3 climbs were the Pyrenees, and the leaders just watched each other. Now waiting for the main course this week. Sadly, most fans preferred the Giro to the Tour because of the spread of stages and that the race wasn't backloaded.
In addition, I don't think any of the contenders are necessarily "scared" of any of their opponents when it comes to the time trial, so less need to create gaps or do or die missions. Is it also the calibre of rider? Do they have a greater fear of losing than desire or need to win?
However, given that today is a rest day, I was disappointed no one really went for it yesterday. They may not have won the race, but would surely have whittled down the number of contenders further (Hesjedal and Uran could have lost minutes; same with Gadret). Thus far we have only really seen Rujano and Pozzovivo fall away - and let's face it, these guys could quite possibly still gain minutes. Instead we saw Szmyd set tempo on the climb, and even that didn't really eat into Rabottini's lead.
Or, controversially, perhaps we have been spoiled and what we are seeing isn't what we expect, because they are all riding clean.