Five Rambling Thoughts on Giro d’Italia Stages 8-11

I’ve decided, by the way, to fight the crowds and watch the race from the Start/Finish area near the Colosseum. Call me crazy, but I think it’ll be the best place to be, especially to see the final podium.

Speaking of which (since I will be taking crazy photos), I’m thinking of getting a new camera for the trip. Something tiny. Anyone out there got one of these? Consumer Reports really likes an older model and it’s cheap.

Anyway, onto the rambling.

  • Di Luca is really doing the ForzAbruzzi thing proud. While it wasn’t quite the stage it could have been had it gone off as planned it was still an impressive victory for him in Stage 10. His run in pink has been impressive and his overall aggressiveness and style have been the story of the Giro so far. No matter what happens from here on in, he’s once again proven himself to be one of those special bike riders you have to keep your eyes on at all times lest you miss something special.
  • I know this is supposed to be a look back, but… along with the stage up Mt. Ventoux on the second-to-last day of the Tour, this massive, rolling time trial (along some of the most beautiful scenery your likely to see in a bike race) is one of the two most highly anticipated grand tour stages for me this year.

    As of tomorrow, we’ll have a much better sense of the “real” centenary Giro. Will The Killer still be there? How will Sastre and Basso match up against the like of Menchov and Leipheimer? Will they be close enough to take it back on the demonic BlockHaus climb? My guess (and hope) is that Levi takes significant time out of the field (and will be strong enough to defend on BlockHaus- but that’s another post.) He’s clearly the best grand tour time trial rider right now, and he’s obviously been biding his time for this moment. I expect him to deliver.

    Regardless of the result, it will be epic (with damn pretty scenery.)

    I can’t wait to see what the time gaps look like.

  • Mark Cavendish is the man. He might rub some people the wrong way with his trash talking (especially his picking on Garmin), but for me it creates an extra level of drama to spice up the already exciting sprint finales. I would love to see Farrar take one from Cav in this race (which would be his second of the year over Cav,) just to tick it all up a notch.
  • The Milan fiasco was a bummer. I’m on the side of the riders with this one. I would hate to have seen one of the favorites go out in some bizarre accident with a parked car. It all should have been handled better.

    At least I didn’t have to feel bad about missing a lot of the race.

  • My podium picks still stand, by the way. Basso and Leipheimer, especially, are riding this race tactically, obviously saving their real efforts for the key moments. Menchov has been a little more aggressive, putting in the effort for a stage win and digging a little extra for 19 seconds on Tuesday, but he’s still looking mighty solid.

    Again, we’ll know more tomorrow.

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