This years Giro d’Italia starts in Herning, Denmark.
What do you get when you win the rights to hold the start of the Giro? First you get a special trophy: a wheel with an epic pie plate so big that it completely covers it.
The vision for the 2012 Giro – when Contador was not a tainted
Winner ITT Taylor Phinney:
Cycling News announces “…. we have found a new Abdoujaparov…” as Robert Ferrari takes out Cavendish with a 3 metre sideways move.
We’re worried about Cav (a key member of “The Nazgul”) but he’s OK:
The Sun tastefully introduces Cav’s new girl: ‘Yummy mummy … Page 3 model Peta Todd with her newborn daughter’.
There is a lot to admire here: grated, having to deal with “Curse of the Rainbow Jersey”, having to deal with Italian reporters: Cycling News:
“….although the issue of his recent paternity arose when Italian reporters reminded him that motorbike pilots commonly say that they drove a bit slower once they become a dad. ‘Cav’ skirted the issue, saying: “I’m more determined and focused.” He promised to race “harder and faster”.
Diplomatically, Cavendish denied any intention to quit the Giro d’Italia after stage 13, like most of the sprinters intend to do, openly or not. “I’ve planned to stay until the end,” he said. “I never want to stop a race and leave the team.”
OK, so what’s going on here? It appears that for years they have made the Giro tougher and tougher; billing it as “harder than the Tour de France”. This resulted in 2 things: 1) None of the top GC riders, who are also going to the Tour, turn up anymore. 2) The race director (Angelo Zomegnan) lost his job. The new race director likes flat.
Yes, but can we find intrigue out of flat? OF COURSE, after all, this is cycling, and in week three the race suddenly falls through a wormhole to a bumpy, hilly planet.
Lets look at just a few of the images of the Passo Dello Stelvio; the finish of Stage 20, and the highest point of the 2012 season in all bike races.
Die hochste Strasse Europa (La più alta strada d’Europa). The view from the top. Walls of ice.
Enough said. I’m staying up for that one.
No sprinter is going to survive week 3. Therefore a sprinter will not win the sprinter’s jersey. The real competition is to see which of the major sprinters will be the last to abandon. I’m predicting none will finish.
By the way, who have “Orica – GreenEdge” turned up with? (Orica: how green is that! And the haters said GE didn’t have a business plan… the audacity… selling image.)
The Orica – GreenEdge Cycling Team
100 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus)
101 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn)
102 Jack Bobridge (Aus)
103 Daryl Impey (RSA)
104 Jens Keukeleire (Bel)
105 Brett Lancaster (Aus)
106 Christian Meier (Can)
107 Svein Tuft (Can)
109 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu)
Note that the number 108 is missing. Never to be used in the Giro again. Wouter Weylandt.
The other, non-Orica-Greenedge, Aussies to watch?
Mark Renshaw: Rabobank
Graeme Brown: Rabobank
Adam Hansen: Lotto Belisol
Luke Roberts: Saxo Bank
XE (Virtuale) Sprinters Prize:
I’m going to follow the big five:
Matt Harley Goss
This is totally biased, not towards how they place in each sprinters stage, but how long they stay in the race.
Tyler Farrar: withdrawn stage 6
Pozzato: Did not start stage 10 (Broke hand taking out Goss stage 9)
Goss: Did not start stage 14
Renshaw: Did not start stage 14
End of Giro: Cavendish wins by miles, impressively the only one of the five to finish the Giro. Misses out on the points jersey by 1 point, but gains respect.
It was a great Giro this year with an incredible stage 19 & 20. Those stages marked: “Never to be taped over”.