May 28, 2016

Chapeau Chavito!

It happened. Esteban Chaves struggled to follow the Shark's attacks on the penultimate stage 20. Throughout this exciting three weeks I've followed the affable, young Colombian's steady rise believing he would win the overall. He became a legitimate contender for the grand tours last year in the Vuelta. He won two stages and finished fifth on GC. Chavito's amazing exploits (1 stage victory) in this Giro is reason enough that a grand tour victory is ever closer to becoming a reality. I hope Orica GreenEDGE sends him to contend the Vuelta this August.

May 27, 2016

Friday File: An Italian Opera that plays on

Today's Cima Coppi stage was as dramatic as an Italian opera: sweeping, lyrical, majestic and full of twists and turns...

The unfortunate crash...

"I was following the rest and then I made a stupid mistake and I ended up in the snow bank. My morale is broken. I lost the Giro d'ltalia here."

- Steven Kruijswijk

"In these years, I always saw that in the last days of a Grand Tour anything can happen."

- Vincenzo Nibali

"Tomorrow is a hard day, one of the worse or nastiest. There are three or four of us close together, but I'm going out tomorrow to defend the jersey. If we win, we take the jersey home, if we don't, then that's OK."

- Esteban Chaves

Just when you thought the Shark was out of it, he takes a big bite...

Inur Zakarin...

Stage 19: 1. V Nibali, 4:19:54 2. M Nieve, 51" 3. E Chaves, 53"

GC after stage 19: 1. E Chaves, 78:14:20  2.  V Nibali, 44"  3. S Kruijswijk, 1:05  4. A Valverde, 1:48"

Tomorrow's stage will decide it...

May 26, 2016

Those delectable climbs

The San Maurizio climb: cobbled and steep much?

Once again, we can thank the organizers for adding yet another incredible climb on stage 18. The Pramartino climb was big, but the hidden jewel was the 400m cobbled ascent of The San Maurizio climb. It set the stage for brilliant finale win by Matteo Trentin...

Tomorrow's important Cima Coppi stage (the highest point of the race) goes
into France for two days...

How long can Damiano Cunego hold on to the maglia azzurra?

KoMs classification after stage 18: 1. D Cunego, 134 pts. 2. S Denifl, 72 pts. 3. D Atapuma 69 pts.
4. G Visconti, 61 pts. 5. D Lopez Garcia, 54 pts.

May 25, 2016

Smile for IAM Cycling

Roger Kluge caps off a day of brilliant riding.

Got to hand to Pippo Pozzato for attacking in the final kilometers of stage 17. Brilliant! It was reminiscent of his 2006 MSR attack...

If he did win, his fans would got Pippo crazy with love.

"I've been a pro for six years and this is the big victory I have been looking for. It wasn't planned at all. I was working for Heinrich Haussler, closing the gap for him but I saw a possibility to get away. The finishing line was near. It's a strange feeling. Yesterday we were very disappointed to hear that our team is going to stop at the end of the year but we decided to stick together and it's wonderful to come up with a victory to make up for our disappointment." 

- Roger Kluge, IAM Cycling team will fold at end of year.

May 24, 2016


The final 3 before the finish,
The Bullet will take the sprint from Kruijswijk.
photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Unless a quick return to form happens, Vincenzo Nibali's hope to win this Giro has taken a bite. A thrilling stage 16 as the rider with the widest shoulders, Steven Kruijswijk moves closer to becoming the first Dutchman to win the Giro d'ltalia. By far the strongest rider  he handles it all as a true champion with panache. The Dutch came close in the eighties with two podiums by Erik Breukink. However Kruijswijk is going to have to defend big time over the next few days of difficult climbs. 

Full results.

Erik Breukink wore the maglia rosa for 3 stages eventually
finishing in 3rd overall, 1987.

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