Six stages in, and I think the GC has reached something approaching stable. Yes, there are still hills coming, and yes, disaster could strike any moment CVV-style, but for the most part, I think the party won’t get going again until after Sunday’s SuperCrit in Milan.
Running back through the results, I see ample fodder for fans of CyclingFansAnonymous (who, by the way, blocked me on twitter because I made fun of her). Dennis Menchov (at left), the first rider to win a Grand Tour via a doping disqualification, is also the only rider to win an individual stage in this year’s Giro without previously serving a drug suspension.
At the other end of the race, first week casualties include Damiano Cunego; given his post-2004 cycling career, this should come as a surprise to no one. I sometimes think he swapped talents for a season or two with Danilo Diluca, when the Killer was bagging classics left and right—it’s like a cosmic mistake in some idiotically plotted Rom-Com.
Also drifting his way back into the cheap seats is Lance Armstrong, which might actually be bad news for the other contenders. Having both Lance and Levi at the top of the GC might mean a divided Astana—or whatever the heck they’ll be called by then—when the third week finally decides this crazy race. But with Lance a few minutes back, and Horner likely to lose time (though that depends on who you ask), the team can focus on making one guy win.
And, in case you’d forgotten, Bruyneel loves having a GC rider outside the Top 20. In ’03, the year Lance almost lost the TdF, and two days after Ullrich took 1:36 out of the Texan in a TT, Postal put Manuel Beltran 15 minutes up the road in a break, giving him the virtual race lead. USPS sat up and said “hey, you wanna let Triki win the TdF, fine by us.”
Ulle’s Binachi squad was forced to chase, Postal got the day off, and the next day, Lance Armstrong took the stage at Luz Ardiden, and secured the Tour. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some similar tactics if things stay close this time around as well.
thoughts on “First-Week Equilibirum at the 2009 Giro”
Common misconception. CFA is a woman, not a man. Used to list my site on her blog but took me off because I disagreed with her viewpoints. Here is her email to me:
I don’t mean to be rude, but I am really disagreeing with a lot of what you say on your site lately. I cannot believe that you would attack DZ in such a petty mean manner. The guy is very nervous and shy of the spotlight & has always been very quiet and uncomfortable in interviews where he is pressured for answers he does not have. He’s very thoughtful and interesting to talk to when the approach is an open one that accepts his quirky personality for who he is. You’ve really shown that you can’t accept the idea of a cyclist who has an unusual personality type and has his own unique view on the world. It is sad to see that you have such a limited acceptance for different types of people and different personalities. You should consider also the painful background that DZ comes from, his father died when he was young from chronic alcoholism and he did not have an easy time as a kid growing up. I am really considering removing your link from my site because I am not very comfortable sending my readers to your site to read such posts that I find very upsetting and unfair. I’ve tried to be tolerant of your differing opinions but I think this goes too far for my taste. I know that you disagree with a lot of what I say as well, so perhaps we are just not meant to link to each other’s sites.
I really like what a great reporter she is, but I find it funny that she won’t accept different viewpoints than her own on the world of cycling. Also, in my opinion, being anonymous is a whole lot easier than putting yourself out there and letting it be known who you actually are. Any way, don’t sweat being shut out, it has happened to many others. Good times.
I admire your recall for cycling past, though it kind of creeps me out. Care for a donut, or 12?
Huh—interesting email. Well, I feel very chauvinistic now. I’ve corrected the gender above. I just thought it was a little odd that she’d block me, since her updates are unprotected and can be read by anyone.
Lauren: Old bike races are the only things I can remember these days, between the booze and the 4-6 hours of sleep a night. I’d like to think that I’m fat enough to dispatch a dozen donuts with collegiate alacrity, but I’m just not the young calorie cruncher I once was.
great observations, especially about the triki move in 03. i had forgotten that, but you’re absolutely right. it does open up a wealth of options. i though l.a.’s willingness to concede a minute to di luca et al today was a sign he’s trying to get far enough back to go stage chasin’, but you can’t think the maglia rosa’s going to let him get up the road with anything less than a 10-minute deficit to the lead.
again, great insight. i just discovered your blog and am referring it to everyone i know.