Giro! 2012 style



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 word brand:

Somehow their marketing division got the promo ufficiale all wrong. The actual 2012 Giro looks like this:

Stage 1
Herning to Herning: Denmark, Flat

Winner ITT Taylor Phinney:

American in Denmark leading Italian race.

Stage 2
Herning to Herning: Still flat. (How much did this city pay)?

Cav brings in the win; his first, postpartum.

Stage 3 Horsens to Horsens. Still Denmark. (Did I mention it’s flat and they like herring?)

Orica! (can anyone else see Ezekiel wheels…)

Cycling News announces “…. we have found a new Abdoujaparov…” as Robert Ferrari takes out Cavendish with a 3 metre sideways move.

Rest Day
We’re worried about Cav (a key member of “The Nazgul”) but he’s OK:

Stage 4 Verona: flat

Stage 5 Fano (Italian for flat)

Pumped full of anti-inflammatories, Cav wins again:

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.”

We’ll see.

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.

Stage 6: Strade bianche type roads.
Who can forget 2010 when Cadel covered the rainbow jersey with white glory:

And then the Mountains:
Stage 14, 15, 17, 19 and 20.
Especially the penultimate stage 20:

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.

Vittorio Adorni – 1965 Giro

Bernard Hinault – 1980 Giro

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:
Mark Cavendish
Tyler Farrar
Matt Harley Goss
Mark Renshaw
Filippo Pozzato

  • They score points according to their placing in each stage.
  • The one with the least points at the end of the Giro wins.
  • If they have dropped out, they get last place for each subsequent stage.
  • This is totally biased, not towards how they place in each sprinters stage, but how long they stay in the race.

    Day

    1

    2

    3

    4

    5

    6

    7

    8

    9

    10

    11

    12

    13

    14

    15

    16

    17

    18

    29

    20

    21

    Total

    Cavendish

    60

    1

    172

    9

    1

    187

    123

    157

    88

    171

    4

    154

    1

    170

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    1298

    Farrar

    29

    4

    3

    1

    166

    194(DNF)

    193

    191

    191

    190

    189

    186

    185

    180

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    1902

    Goss

    94

    2

    1

    6

    2

    153

    173

    99

    144

    173

    183

    77

    6

    180(DNS)

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    1293

    Renshaw

    175

    6

    5

    15

    14

    172

    161

    170

    80

    151

    16

    152

    3

    180(DNS)

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    1300

    Pozzato

    20

    26

    131

    14

    95

    7

    93

    91

    114

    190(DNS)

    189

    186

    185

    180

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    1515

    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”.

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    4 Responses to Giro! 2012 style

    1. 888riley says:

      The List must be getting stupidly long, but sure the Passo Dello Stelvio should be added?
      In the meantime, we urgently need you to write a Giro update to makew sense of this crazy race. See the Cavendish pic on Facebook that was taken as he crossed the finish line oin Stage 3?? The one that looks like his hip and shoulder have been put through a meat grinder?? And then he wins Stage 5??? I can’t imagine what colour that hip must look like now

      Greenedge team has looked really good in the little of the race that I have seen … they delivered Goss beautifully at the end of Stage 3, completely in control

    2. Mark says:

      Yes, Italy the land of classy motorbikes and rich traditions – except when it comes to sponsorship. I looked up the Giro’s “official motorbike”. It’s the Yamaha TMAX 530 (30 being used, all painted pink).
      And even more exciting: ” …on the penultimate day of the race, the Stelvio will host an attempt at the world record for the biggest ever Yamaha TMAX parade, just ahead of the potentially decisive tappone.” wow

      Anyhow, I’ve finally worked out how Orica fits in with Greenedge. Clearly, it was the only way GE could get Ezekiel wheels onto the jersey. And straight away they have taken a grand tour stage win.

    3. Mal says:

      You know Moto Guzzi named a motorbike after that road … the Stelvio… it looks OK too.

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