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i'm thinking that CSC has one super-honed and killer team assembled now- they took discovery/postal type tactics to new levels for the Giro .
imo, Basso was protected and supported as well as LA has ever been during any past TdF's.
In the mountains over the last week and particularly during stage 20, Simoni seemed the equal to Basso in strength and speed but CSC took much better care of him along the way and that, more than anything, gave him such superiority over the final closing K's.
Did anyone else catch the CSC team car nearly plow down several spectators getting Ivan fed and watered?
 

· BS the DC
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caterham said:
Did anyone else catch the CSC team car nearly plow down several spectators getting Ivan fed and watered?
I don't see how team cars don't take out spectators on a daily basis during these grand tours.
 

· Former Roadbikereview Editor
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have some random thoughts on the Giro. I haven't decided how I feel about it as a whole yet. It started with so much promise and kind of went downhill from there.


Basso is the boss. CSC is a force, specially Sastre and Voight.

Simoni is a great rider. But he's still an a-hole.

Gutierrez is the surprise of the Giro. He can climb. He can TT and he can dig deep.

Doping scandals, OLN, Team Discovery... they are all no good.

Cunego let me down. His legs are young. His TT sucks. At least he showed some good fight in the end.

Olaf Pollack can sprint. But him and T-Mobile can sure botch it up.

How can you finish almost 20 minutes behind and still be in fifth place?? (Salvodelli).

Lance was a fool for not trying the Giro. He could have spanked these italians easy.

Ullrich's TTing and McEwen's sprinting are highlights of this Giro.

Injuries... Petacchi, Hincapie, Kloden... get well soon.

Cycling.tv is the future.

Roadbikereview Pro Cycling forum is fun!!

francois
 

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The dark cloud of doping hasn't gone away with Lance.

There seems to be a rule that you can't win a Grand Tour any more without rumors of doping being attached to you. Very sad.

My other thought is that although once in a while it is nice to see a Grand Tour set up to favor a specialists rather than an all-rounder this Giro was never going to be won by anyone but the best climber. Too bad for Salvodelli.

I'm thinking the Tour de France is also going to favor a specialist (TT) rider too. Jan ought to win this one if he has anything left after all these years.

Why don't they ever set up a Grand Tour to be won by the best sprinter?
 

· Resident Dutchbag
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MB1 said:
T
Why don't they ever set up a Grand Tour to be won by the best sprinter?
Would you watch it, all three weeks long?
 

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From a weblog post about the thing I cooked up yest'day:


Exceeded Expectations:

1 ) CSC : Crushing Victory

Heavy favorites going into the Giro, they were the only team that could be said to have “performed as expected” if they WON the whole thing. But Basso took the thing out by almost TEN MINUTES. Riis’s boys simply crushed all opposition; despite gifting away stage wins, and never looked like the race was out of their hands. They won the Team Time Trial, showcasing their performance as a squad, and Basso had to try pretty hard not to pull an Eddy and take out ALL of the classifications. Ivan Basso had to be a tired, tired man on the podium in the last week, pulling on not only the Maglia Rosa, but the points jersey and the mountains jersey as well, in addition to leading the non-jerseyed combativity and Azzurri d’Italia categories.

2 ) Saunier Duval : Little Budget, Big Results

This team is the Little Fire Engine That Could. With a tiny budget for a protour team, they pulled a major coup in signing Gilberto Simoni. Second place, plus two stage wins by a still-fiery Piepoli, is pretty impressive. I don’t recall reading his name once in all of the pre-race hype, but watching him being the only man to hold Basso’s wheel on a miserably wet Stage 13 was impressive. I think I can!

3 ) Gerolsteiner: German Upstarts Come Good

With their baby-blue kits against the other German team’s pink (magenta, whatever,) it looks like a nation of cyclists spent a little too much time at “Babys R Us.” Though they didn’t contest the major mountain stages, the water boys came good with three stage wins: two by an impressive Stefan Schumacher, and Forster shaking it up on the streets of Milano. Held the Maglia Rosa for a few days, too. They should’ve given Ullrich a blue jersey those days, just for balance.

4 ) Phonak : Taste the Rainbow

Seriously, these guys are a Skittles commercial. Have you seen them at time trials? They’ve got green, white, and yellow kits, red aero booties, and black and red bikes. Well, at least it’s not blue or pink.

José Gutierrez Cataluna, though, was pretty impressive. It was a little bit of a Francisco Mancebo move, but nonetheless, watching this unsung hero hang tough with the best was exciting. Mancebo move? Well, he didn’t win a stage, and didn’t start any of the action, he just stayed in the fight with very solid time trial performances and clinging like a limpet to Basso and the rest in the mountains. Still, it’s quite a feather in the rainbow-coloured caps of the Phonak squad.

This is a good thing, because with Phonak’s sponsorship ending this season, the team that would be ishares.com needs to prove themselves.

And maybe they’ll earn some better colours.

5 ) Quick*Step : Breakfast of Champions

In the classics, listening to Phil Ligget describe the Quick Step train went something like this: “There’s the world champion on the wheel of the Olympic champion, being lead by the Belgian champion.” Better known as a classics force, the Belgian team didn’t come into the Giro with a lot of pressure as a team. Paolo Bettini, on the other hand, had a bone to pick. Though he’s a bit of a, shall we say, “personality,” raising his arms in pretend victory once, disgust on other occasions, after much trying, he came good with a stage win. Their “other champion,” Spain’s Juan Manuel Garate, had an impressive performance, mixing it up day after day in the breakaways, coming good with a stage win memorable for Jen’s Voigt’s gesture as much as anything. Bettini walked away with the Maglia Ciclamino points jersey, Garate with the green mountains jersey.

Fell Short :

1 ) Lampre-Fondital : Nothing to Show for it

The biggest positive thing that came out of Lampre’s Giro was Damiano Cunego’s final week, which showed that last year’s general sucking really was the result of mononucleosis, and the guy’s still got a lot of years ahead of him. But for a tiny super-climber, Cunego was p0sitively pWned by bA$ … I mean, by Basso, and without even a podium in Milano or a stage win, they top the losers list, along with the other team that’s made the Giro the focus of their season:

2 ) Liquigas: Di Luca Doesn’t Deliver

“The Killer” wasn’t scaring anyone with his shark-faced saddle this year, ending up 23rd, almost an hour in arrears. No good. The only thing that saved them from topping the losers list was Franco Pellizotti, whose stage win and top-10 spot were as unexpected as they were impressive. Maybe they should’ve worked for him? For Di Luca, winner of last year’s (what does this do?) UCI ProTour, it leaves the feeling of “what next?” He cut down his classics campaign to focus on the Giro, and ended up with nothing.

3 ) T-Mobile : No Cigar for You

Since I’m from Portland, Oregon, I have a special place in my heart for T-mobile. Wait, what does this have to do with anything? Portland houses Paul Allen’s infamous Trail Blazers basketball team, which has consistently had the highest budget in the league, but failed to deliver. Sure, they have an impressive performance now and then, and they ought to with the kind of cash they’re putting down.

Yes, Jan Ullrich took on all comers in winning the individual time trial.

Apart from that, though, t-mobile’s Giro was a collection of “almosts.” They ALMOST one the Team Time Trial, losing by a single second when one Mattias Kessler couldn’t hold the wheel coming to the line. Olaf Pollack ALMOST won every flat stage, but came up with a goose egg of wins and a lot of pounded handlebars. Ullrich ALMOST made it all the way to Milano.

Come to think of it, they’ve ALMOST won the Tour de France about a zillion times, too.

4 ) Milram : The Headless Centipede

You know, the old arcade game? Instead of racking up stage wins, Alessandro Petacchi was the victim of an unfortunate early crash that left him racking up hospital time. Without their raison d’etre, the rest of the Milram team couldn’t figure out what they ought to do, so settled on becoming the leadout train for Paolo Bettini. Helpful, since he hadn’t brought one of his own.

5 ) Selle Italia : I don’t Have to Take This Anymore.

I’m going home.

With Rujano pulling a Steve Urkel by suddenly abandoning, the wildcard couldn’t do anything with the big boys. They were generally upstaged by Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, the other non-Protour team in the race, and didn’t manage to bring home anything from three weeks around their home country. Maybe next year they’ll have a team leader who’s not off the team at the end of the month.


Other notes : People may say Discovery Channel disappointed, but I don’t really think so. A top-5 finish, a stage win, two days in the Maglia Rosa, and the admittedly confusing Blue Jersey for Paolo Savoldelli is a decent result for the Falcon. Though he got a lot of attention by winning last year’s edition, this year’s parcours didn’t really suit his talents, and terrible weather prevented Savoldelli from taking advantage of some of the technical descents. I’m not even going to touch the Tom Danielson issue.

Euskaltel-Euskadi : WHY is this team in the Protour again? They’re forced to come out to every race in the thing, and clearly don’t have the depth necessary to do it. Would’ve been better off home.
 

· Cannot bench own weight
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I think it was no surprise that Basso won convincingly. I was surprised that for all the climbing that was to be done, there was very little "action" the last week.

I also have uneasy feeling about Gutierrez. Years of little action and now a second from out of nowhere? From a team with a very recent history of blood doping (2x) and now all this stuff with Liberty/Fuentes and blood doping...hmmm

It's hard to stay optimistic when people keep getting busted for doping, and now having a potential 200 blood dopers from one doctor.
 

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I'm quite pleased that a few of my predictions came true. Namely, that Rujano would be a joke, and it couldn't happen to a bigger jerk, IMO.

Secondly, making the race as decisive as possible eliminates the excitement, it doesn't increase it. Huge climbing stages led to less attacking as everyone just wanted to survive. The riders make the race, and this year the favorite was so above and beyond the rest, it made the race boring. Last year was an abberation, in that it was a tough course, but the top 4 riders were so close in abilities that it made the race exciting.

Silas
 

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francois said:
What are your thoughts on the Giro that just transpired?

Favorites? Disappointments? Surprises?

francois

All I can say is BASSO!

I just hope he has enough left in the tank to make a go of the double. That would punk a certain LA and lay to waste the one race specialist.

Other than that, Argentius neatly summed it up.......
 

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My two cents on the 2006 Giro:

Plan de Corones was a disaster. It was hyped as the greatest day in the history of the velocipede/bicycle and it was a no-go. (Heck, I cleared my morning of any meetings and conference calls so I could watch the OLN feed in the office without interruption!) Act of God is not an excuse; it should have been forseeable to the Giro organizers that a cold, rainy day would have led to a cancellation of a climb up an unpaved ski slope, so they should have had an alternate route ready to go.

* Basso = Armstrong. He deserved all three stages he won and the MR. He will win the TdF, IMO.

* Simoni. I know he's got a big mouth and is a sore loser (now we understand the Simoni vs. Cunego dynamics better), but let that not detract from his aggressivness on the climbs. He lost gobs of time in the TTT and ITT, yet was close to Basso for most of the climbs. Too bad he didn't take a stage, but he wasn't the best climber in this Giro.

* Savoldelli. What happened? Allergies?? Come on.

* Disco's TTT performance -- 45 seconds behind T-Mobile and CSC. Major underachievement, IMO.

* Tommy D. Great job. Apparently he was sick as a dog and hung tough. If not for him Savoldelli would have ended up sixth to eighth on GC.

* DiLuca. He confirmed what most of us on the board thought -- i.e., that he's really not a top contender for GC. The guy is built for the hilled classics and hopefully he will focus on Zurich and Lombardia later this year. But I read he now wants to do the TdF and co-captain with Garzelli who skipped the Giro to focus on the TdF.

* Cunego. He lost FIVE MINUTES to Basso on a totally flat, 50-km ITT. He must find a way to do better on the ITT or he will never win a grand tour again. But chapeau to The Kid for clawing back to fourth on GC over the most difficult last week of the Giro. Look for him to go after a stage win in his first TdF.

* Der Jan. Wunderbar! The big German sent a strong signal that he's a brute force on the ITT and is a serious contender for the ITT-intensive TdF.
 
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