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Discussion Starter #1
Vital stats:
Giro
Time trials: 4, prologue, team and 2 ITTs
Distance: 3553 km
Summit finishes: 7

TDF
Time trials: 3, prologue and 2 loong ITTs
Distance: 3639 km
Summit finishes: 3

Vuelta
Time trials: 3, team and 2 ITTs
distance: 3129 km
Summit finishes: 5

Comments??
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'll make the first comment.

TDF aka WTF? No team trial? 3 summit finishes?? What a silly race. Talk about dropping the ball when it could have been the most exciting tour in years.

Bravo Giro. Thanks for stepping it up. I only wish there was daily TV coverage in the US.

The TDF favors Jan Ullrich. I like Ullrich. He's going to win. Floyd Landis with his awesome new ITT position will do very well too. David Zabriskie might beat his teammate Basso since he's the king of ITT.

Basso is a fool for trying to win the TDF 32 days after such a hard Giro.

Michael Rasmussen might as well skip the TDF. 3 summit finishes???? Two 50k plus ITTs? Do the Giro instead Rasmussen!

francois
 

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Was reading...

francois said:
I'll make the first comment.

TDF aka WTF? No team trial? 3 summit finishes?? What a silly race. Talk about dropping the ball when it could have been the most exciting tour in years.

Bravo Giro. Thanks for stepping it up. I only wish there was daily TV coverage in the US.

The TDF favors Jan Ullrich. I like Ullrich. He's going to win. Floyd Landis with his awesome new ITT position will do very well too. David Zabriskie might beat his teammate Basso since he's the king of ITT.

Basso is a fool for trying to win the TDF 32 days after such a hard Giro.

Michael Rasmussen might as well skip the TDF. 3 summit finishes???? Two 50k plus ITTs? Do the Giro instead Rasmussen!

francois
Was reading something about this type of comparison yesterday actually, and the Giro looks to be the more exciting, and consequently, harder race this year. The Vuelta is, and always will be something for the Spainards to beat each other down over, not too many other people care about it aside from them, I think it's becoming a 3rd class citizen as far as GTs go, and sort of agree with some folks who have said, they should cut it back to a 2 week race. Although, the Vuelta has provided some interesting racing as of the last few years.

This year's Giro though is going to be jewel for grand tours, at least in excitement and hardness. 7 mountaintop finishes, and some of them coming near the end of the race, which means guys will be battling it out tooth and nail almost to the end of the race, whereas in the Tour it'll get sorted out about a week before the end of the race, and then it's just long breakaway stages, and maybe a catch, and then a sprint. It's formulaic and boring. The problem with France is its geography. If they would start at a different point in the country, it would make it easier to hit the mountains earlier, but I don't think they'll change that. It's always what? 5-7 days before they hit the Alps or the Pyrenees usually? That stinks. It needs to be shaken up before that, so then there might be more attacking, and more action. Also, was reading about one climb they have in the Giro this year, 5k of a dirt road at the top of some lone mountain in the Dolomites. Can't remember the name of the climb, but according to Simoni, it's going to make the Finestre look like a cake walk. This new climb has gradients on the dirt of around 24-25% in some sports, and climbs at a consistent 12% once it hits the dirt. He rode it, and said that near the top, he had to switch to a mountain bike to make it to the summit, and Simoni ain't no slouch in the climbing category if you know what I mean. He also mentioned that guys will definitely need either a triple, or a compact crankset to get up this thing, and if the weather is bad, there will be lots of walking that last 5k. He comared it to the Angrilu in Spain, and pronounced it much much harder. So that's something to look forward to. Also, there are some climbs and finishes in the Giro this year that harken back to old Giros and their finishes, so it's sort of a "best of" mountain top finishes. It's going to be great, except, no coverage in the US.

The Tour this year, in contrast, is going to be sprinters the first week, some hills, and then long TTs, where Der Kaiser will smash people into submission. Interestingly enough, there are still some huge climbs in the Tour, but the promoters have placed them at the start of stages, which will probably see someone, or a small group breakaway on the early climbs, and the others riding tempo up said early hills, and catch the break later on down the road. The only interesting thing that could come out of something like this is a contender gets away on one of the early climbs, and then we have a desperate chase from the other guys and teams. That could make it good, but still placing climbs early in the stage, like the Col d'Izoard is just pure folly. No Ventoux either. I mean, come on, these are almost mystical places for le Tour, and they just avoid them like the plague.

Ah well, it's still going to be a good year for racing.
 

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I ain't no pundit, but....

The Giro has managed to reinvent itself after the doping years and a few rather lame editions and is now the most exciting of the GT's. This year's edition promises to be as nerve-wrecking as last year's and I hope they continue on the path they have chosen.

The TdF is eating itself by paving the parcours for one favorite, the race has become boring the last years. When they take out the excitement they will be stuck with the Euro summer holiday audience who know little enough of the sport to still go barmy to see their favorite win. It will take them a good couple of years to realize it's not all about the money, but by then they will have lost a lot of their audience to the Giro.

It's the Spanish who are punished with their geography, endless Meseta country and not enough infrastructure at the high mountains to accomodate a GT. Unfortunately Spain keeps churning out climbers who in turn can't shine in the national GT for lack of Hors Categorie climbs so they try to pull it off in the TdF. The Vuelta would be better off as a two week race with short hard stages with the short hard climbs that Spain does have. They even might be able to attract the classics riders to peak again the Vuelta and win stages.
 

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Giro will by far be the best. They have the parcourse, the rivalries

the tifosi, the location and the food.
 

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magnolialover said:
Was reading something about this type of comparison yesterday actually, and the Giro looks to be the more exciting, and consequently, harder race this year. The Vuelta is, and always will be something for the Spainards to beat each other down over, not too many other people care about it aside from them, I think it's becoming a 3rd class citizen as far as GTs go, and sort of agree with some folks who have said, they should cut it back to a 2 week race. Although, the Vuelta has provided some interesting racing as of the last few years.

This year's Giro though is going to be jewel for grand tours, at least in excitement and hardness. 7 mountaintop finishes, and some of them coming near the end of the race, which means guys will be battling it out tooth and nail almost to the end of the race, whereas in the Tour it'll get sorted out about a week before the end of the race, and then it's just long breakaway stages, and maybe a catch, and then a sprint. It's formulaic and boring. The problem with France is its geography. If they would start at a different point in the country, it would make it easier to hit the mountains earlier, but I don't think they'll change that. It's always what? 5-7 days before they hit the Alps or the Pyrenees usually? That stinks. It needs to be shaken up before that, so then there might be more attacking, and more action. Also, was reading about one climb they have in the Giro this year, 5k of a dirt road at the top of some lone mountain in the Dolomites. Can't remember the name of the climb, but according to Simoni, it's going to make the Finestre look like a cake walk. This new climb has gradients on the dirt of around 24-25% in some sports, and climbs at a consistent 12% once it hits the dirt. He rode it, and said that near the top, he had to switch to a mountain bike to make it to the summit, and Simoni ain't no slouch in the climbing category if you know what I mean. He also mentioned that guys will definitely need either a triple, or a compact crankset to get up this thing, and if the weather is bad, there will be lots of walking that last 5k. He comared it to the Angrilu in Spain, and pronounced it much much harder. So that's something to look forward to. Also, there are some climbs and finishes in the Giro this year that harken back to old Giros and their finishes, so it's sort of a "best of" mountain top finishes. It's going to be great, except, no coverage in the US.

The Tour this year, in contrast, is going to be sprinters the first week, some hills, and then long TTs, where Der Kaiser will smash people into submission. Interestingly enough, there are still some huge climbs in the Tour, but the promoters have placed them at the start of stages, which will probably see someone, or a small group breakaway on the early climbs, and the others riding tempo up said early hills, and catch the break later on down the road. The only interesting thing that could come out of something like this is a contender gets away on one of the early climbs, and then we have a desperate chase from the other guys and teams. That could make it good, but still placing climbs early in the stage, like the Col d'Izoard is just pure folly. No Ventoux either. I mean, come on, these are almost mystical places for le Tour, and they just avoid them like the plague.

Ah well, it's still going to be a good year for racing.

Ullrich isn't going to start at Sarthe now because his knee is acting up. This seems all too familiar.
 

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I think that once again the rider's will make the race.

If 2005's Giro had a dominant rider like the 2003 edition (Simoni stomped from beginning to end) then it would've been boring. The parcours don't make the race, the riders do. Last year's Giro had a tough set of mountains and TTs, but 3 riders finished within 45 seconds on the final GC. One would think that an easier course would make the competitors closer on time, but nope,

If Basso had run away with it, which seemed likely until he got sick, it would've been TdF level boring. The top 3 in the TdF that year were 6:21 apart. Just like this year, 3 mountain top finishes.

So, unless you can convince me that more hard stages make the race less decisive (I don't think I'll buy it) then it's really the riders that have made the difference. The Giro has been better simply because it has a more level playing field, and I expect that same excitement to return to the Tour this year.

Silas
 

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I'm p!ssed that the Giro isn't going to get any serious TV coverage here.

This is OLN's coverage: May 7, 14, 21 & 28 @ 5pm ET... LAME!
 

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SilasCL said:
I think that once again the rider's will make the race.

If 2005's Giro had a dominant rider like the 2003 edition (Simoni stomped from beginning to end) then it would've been boring. The parcours don't make the race, the riders do. Last year's Giro had a tough set of mountains and TTs, but 3 riders finished within 45 seconds on the final GC. One would think that an easier course would make the competitors closer on time, but nope,

If Basso had run away with it, which seemed likely until he got sick, it would've been TdF level boring. The top 3 in the TdF that year were 6:21 apart. Just like this year, 3 mountain top finishes.

So, unless you can convince me that more hard stages make the race less decisive (I don't think I'll buy it) then it's really the riders that have made the difference. The Giro has been better simply because it has a more level playing field, and I expect that same excitement to return to the Tour this year.

Silas
A harder course makes for more chances of mishap, offdays and pure climbers to try and grab victory over the conventional GC riders. The riders make the race but the course can break the riders, and the harder the more likely they are to break.
 

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rogger said:
A harder course makes for more chances of mishap, offdays and pure climbers to try and grab victory over the conventional GC riders. The riders make the race but the course can break the riders, and the harder the more likely they are to break.
Okay, maybe it wasn't that hard to convince me, it does leave more room for extenuating circumstances.

I guess my real point is, if you put the '05 TDF peloton on last year's Giro course, it would've been a pretty similar level of excitement as the TdF. LA is such a dominant GT rider that he and his team made the race.

I think both GTs will be very competitive this year.

Silas
 

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Simoni rode the MTB up the Plan de Corones because it was covered in snow not because of the gradient, though he did say compact or triple would be mandatory. What is disturbing me is that Rujano, who scoffed at Simoni in an later interview that he had won similar climbs to Corones with a 39x22, doesn't look like he will even be riding the Giro this year.

Harder courses almost always make for bigger time gaps but also more memorable imagery and I think looking back it's those images of grand vistas and even grander suffering that people remember rather than the time gaps at the end. I think the Giro will have the largest time gaps of any GT this year but I think it will also be the only one I watch much in the coming years.
 

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Article I read...

terzo rene said:
Simoni rode the MTB up the Plan de Corones because it was covered in snow not because of the gradient, though he did say compact or triple would be mandatory. What is disturbing me is that Rujano, who scoffed at Simoni in an later interview that he had won similar climbs to Corones with a 39x22, doesn't look like he will even be riding the Giro this year.

Harder courses almost always make for bigger time gaps but also more memorable imagery and I think looking back it's those images of grand vistas and even grander suffering that people remember rather than the time gaps at the end. I think the Giro will have the largest time gaps of any GT this year but I think it will also be the only one I watch much in the coming years.
Article I read in Cyclesport said he went up there before the snow came. Mountain bike he rode because of the grade and the dirt. At least that's what I read in Cyclesport. He wanted to ride it before the snow came.

Rujano sure has a big mouth for really not doing much of anything in his career thus far. Sure, he had a breakout Giro, and then he turned into a "I deserve everything" kind of pro cyclist, even when he hadn't really done anything. I'll believe Simoni before Rujano.
 

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rocco said:
I'm p!ssed that the Giro isn't going to get any serious TV coverage here.

This is OLN's coverage: May 7, 14, 21 & 28 @ 5pm ET... LAME!
Cycling TV/OLN are going to have something. Eurosport had it live last year. Both do a way better job than OLN alone. Gonna be hot this year. I hope I can still get some work done during May.
 

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Mine

Bravo Giro. Thanks for stepping it up. I only wish there was daily TV coverage in the US.

The Giro will be on the internet again daily thru olntv.com

The TDF favors Jan Ullrich. I like Ullrich. He's going to win. Floyd Landis with his awesome new ITT position will do very well too. David Zabriskie might beat his teammate Basso since he's the king of ITT.

If it favors a single rider it will be for Vinokurov if he has decent ITT strength which we caught a glimpse of last week, because he has the breakaway power. Landis is going to be the biggest ITT threat. Ullrich has too much pressure on him. He probably isn't sleeping very well as a result.


Basso is a fool for trying to win the TDF 32 days after such a hard Giro.

It will be hard. Landis came to his senses.

Michael Rasmussen might as well skip the TDF. 3 summit finishes???? Two 50k plus ITTs? Do the Giro instead Rasmussen!

Good call! Would love to see Rasmussen and Rujano go head to head on the killer climbing.
 

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TdF has gotten too big for itself, so sponsors and money come first. This year, the World Cup will get more attention so the first week of the Tour will be even more boring. I'll wait for the highlights.

The Giro is what I want to watch, with it's impossibly steep climbs and scenery. It's drama waiting to happen.

...and the Vuelta is too late in the year for me to care. I find the route less than inspiring, but it would be interesting to see how the race will rebound after Heras' doping scandal.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The final day of the 2006 Giro has 2 races: An uphill ITT up Ghisallo and a traditional crit in Milano. Now that is pure genius!!!

Here is Ghisallo (11k, 754 meters):



All the info is here:
https://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/giro06/

Check out stage 17 with 24% grades and stage 19.

francois
 
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