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Did you hear that soft whimper? No, it wasn't the sound of the GC contenders accepting defeat at the pedals of Basso, Nibali, and Liquigas. It was me. Unable to read the live reports. No access to video of the stage. And that will continue through Sunday. Yes, your hummble narrator is stuck in the Quad Cities. And I won't even be able to see the QC Crit on Monday. The horror.

So, from what I have gleaned, Liquigas delivered Basso and Nibbles to the tip of the spear, and from there the two took care of business. With the help of Scarponi. Arroyo, from the few letters I read online, had a killer descent, but just couldn't put all the pieces together.I hear he even startled Sastre on teh way down. Then again, a shadow would spook Carlos on a descent.

Now we have Stage 20. As if the plotters of the Giro weren't saddistic enough, they throw 5 climbs at these guys on the penultimate stage. The final climb is a summit finish. And comes AFTER the Gavia. I think the only way to make this Giro better is to relive the Hampsten Gavia pass. Andy didn't win that stage, but he took pink. And possibly some frostbite.

So, what will happen in the final day on standard road bikes? Basso's closest contender, Arroyo, is just under a minute behind. Teamate Nibali is 2:30 down, and Scarponi is :19 back of that. Unless the other GC contenders left something in the tank, you have to believe Basso will come away the winner. Not of the stage, but of the Giro.

So, who will make a go of it? Everyone. Who can make it stick? Down so many per team, Vino and Evans don't stand much of a chance on their own against Liquigas.Together? Or with Sastre? Possibly Garzelli. Maybe Pinotti. But we are talking several riders making concerted efforts to destroy two members that have a full team protecting them. The closest rider I see with a chance is Evans, as he could gain time on Basso during the ITT on Sunday. In order for that to happen, he would need to cross the line nearly 4 minutes ahead of Basso, possibly win the stage for any bonus (not certain if there are points to be given out), and then kill it on the ITT.

Now, for the stage winner. Who? I know he is sick, but he was only 10:00 back today. He is far enough off the GC time he could get ahead in the race. So, like I have all race, I will say the Hillary Swank doppelganger will regin victorious! Long shot, but I don't think Basso and Nibali will be leading, but protecting against other GC contenders. Time to sit on Arroyo and Scarponi's wheels up the Gavia.

And keep in mind, if Basso does win, this will be historic. The first rider to come back from a 2 year suspension and win a grand tour will start quite a chatter. But we will have to keep that in the doping form.









 

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These guys must be so happy it's near the end... one helluva race so far. I was hoping for Cadel to have faired better today, I don't think he'll be able to make enough time to truly challenge Basso. But I think he still as a good chance to podium. I will be keeping a eye on Scarponi.
 

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Too bad about no coverage

Good stage and yes, team green did a number on the field. The descent off the Trivigno was actually much more technical than the the one after the Mortirolo although the former was dry. Cadel almost smacked into the caravan off the Mortirolo, apparently he says the brakes locked so I guess he was on carbon rims. Arroyo really showed his class today, both on the descent and then in the chase.

Arroyo went down fighting but the chasers, he, Sastre, Vino, Evans and Gadret were pretty knackered. An interesting exchange when Arroyo caught Vino. Arroyo went to the front and then looked to Vino to pull through. Vino refused and they had a conversation including hand gestures from Vino that seemed to say if you want to go, you're the one in pink so I'm not coming through. Vino now says he wanted to work with Arroyo and chase down the leading three. You could have fooled me. I've never seen Vino not pull, regardless of the circumstances including people and placing so it was a bit weird.

Today, well it's going to be about survival and for those with anything left in the tank, improving or consolidating their position. Much as I would like to see it, I think Arroyo will slip down to 4th as team green will look to once again, put some time in for Nibali. Scarponi's been recovering pretty well so he'll probably be able to go with them. I think Cadel's on empty so I'm guessing he'll just consolidate his placing.


weltyed said:
Did you hear that soft whimper? No, it wasn't the sound of the GC contenders accepting defeat at the pedals of Basso, Nibali, and Liquigas. It was me. Unable to read the live reports. No access to video of the stage. And that will continue through Sunday. Yes, your hummble narrator is stuck in the Quad Cities. And I won't even be able to see the QC Crit on Monday. The horror.

So, from what I have gleaned, Liquigas delivered Basso and Nibbles to the tip of the spear, and from there the two took care of business. With the help of Scarponi. Arroyo, from the few letters I read online, had a killer descent, but just couldn't put all the pieces together.I hear he even startled Sastre on teh way down. Then again, a shadow would spook Carlos on a descent.

Now we have Stage 20. As if the plotters of the Giro weren't saddistic enough, they throw 5 climbs at these guys on the penultimate stage. The final climb is a summit finish. And comes AFTER the Gavia. I think the only way to make this Giro better is to relive the Hampsten Gavia pass. Andy didn't win that stage, but he took pink. And possibly some frostbite.

So, what will happen in the final day on standard road bikes? Basso's closest contender, Arroyo, is just under a minute behind. Teamate Nibali is 2:30 down, and Scarponi is :19 back of that. Unless the other GC contenders left something in the tank, you have to believe Basso will come away the winner. Not of the stage, but of the Giro.

So, who will make a go of it? Everyone. Who can make it stick? Down so many per team, Vino and Evans don't stand much of a chance on their own against Liquigas.Together? Or with Sastre? Possibly Garzelli. Maybe Pinotti. But we are talking several riders making concerted efforts to destroy two members that have a full team protecting them. The closest rider I see with a chance is Evans, as he could gain time on Basso during the ITT on Sunday. In order for that to happen, he would need to cross the line nearly 4 minutes ahead of Basso, possibly win the stage for any bonus (not certain if there are points to be given out), and then kill it on the ITT.

Now, for the stage winner. Who? I know he is sick, but he was only 10:00 back today. He is far enough off the GC time he could get ahead in the race. So, like I have all race, I will say the Hillary Swank doppelganger will regin victorious! Long shot, but I don't think Basso and Nibali will be leading, but protecting against other GC contenders. Time to sit on Arroyo and Scarponi's wheels up the Gavia.

And keep in mind, if Basso does win, this will be historic. The first rider to come back from a 2 year suspension and win a grand tour will start quite a chatter. But we will have to keep that in the doping form.









 

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It's like a bomb has been thrown in the middle of the peloton. People are hitting from all directions on the first climb of the day!
 

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