Giro Weekend Recap, Things Don't Make Sense

May 29 2007

You know, I’m thinking I might buy some Breathe Right strips – I mean, look what they do for Eddy Mazzoleni! While Cyclingnews’ story / buddy comedy film pitch on Savoldelli and Mazzo has put me in slightly less of a mood to mention the latter’s association with a pair of ongoing dope investigations, it’s still eyebrow-raising to see the veteran domestique roll in with the mother of all Giro breaks one day, before pulling back another minute on race leader Danilo DiLuca (with a little help from Saunier Duval) the next.

Speaking of the yellow menace, I’m really not too clear on their race strategy at this point. Piepoli and Ricco have notched classy wins and scored some serious camera time, but they’ve done so at the expense of Gilberto Simoni, lengthening the gap between their best GC threat and the race leader. I get that it’s a shotgun sort of approach to make something happen, but why keep trying to break DiLuca for the benefit of some other team? Stefano Garzelli has turned shattered GC chances into a brace of high-profile victories at this year’s race, but you haven’t seen his Acqua-Sapone team trying to blow the GC wide open in the process.

Of course, it’s cycling, so lots of things don’t make sense. L’Equipe’s response to the Riis confession, for example. Plenty of confessed dopers run cycling teams – Quick.Step DS Patrick LeFevere comes rapidly to mind – but when Riis confesses, for some reason, he should leave the sport. That makes almost as much sense as Big Mig’s consternation that Bjarne would confess at all. And all this while “suspended” riders win races, and somehow call it redemption. Ah well. At least they’ve decided not to fire Erik Zabel for being honest – yet.

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One Response to “Giro Weekend Recap, Things Don't Make Sense”

  1. Kurt Lewis 30 May 2007 at 2:22 pm #

    Go Schleck! Hey I’m writing this comment post-Zoncolon, so you’ll probably write on that soon, but I wanted to comment on you’re words about Riis: dead-on!

    So, we’ve pretty much determined that almost every champion from the 90’s was cheating (and a large part of their supporting cast), we know that East Germany and Italy had systematic doping programs in the 70’s and 80’s (Germany’s pretty well documented, see Rendell’s ”Death of Marco Pantani” for sources about Italy’s), French cycling has Festina and everything related to that and those players, Spain has Puerto, who the hell would be left running any of these teams that wasn’t at least suspected now? Zabel and Altig talked about sitting down after a race and not being able to keep up, Lemond is quoted after retiring that in 1991, he participated in a rolling stage of the Tour that ended up being 30 mph where it used to be 23-24, is anybody left to run these teams after we eliminate people who should be suspected of cheating?

    I don’t know if I should feel this way or not, but I kind of look at today as evidence that the state might be improving a little. I know its WAY to early to say that, but look at the gaps today: 50 riders within 10 minutes of the winner up the steepest climb we’re going to have. I was expecting an elite group to bust out a big lead, but what we saw was a lot of people riding “within themselves” on the only day really left to shske things up.

    I don’t know why Simoni was so excited, he basically lost the Giro today, but I think this is a (potentially) good sign.

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