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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

A rest day is a good time to take stock and reflect. (As well as start a freash thread to avoid clutter! :D )

Over the course of the past two weeks, a lot of assumptions about how this race would progress have been put to the test - some held, many didn't.

Let's start out with our pre-race favorites:
Bradley Wiggins (Sky) - Many tipped Sir Bradley to take a Giro that seemed tailor-made for his TTing prowess. There was an assumption that once Wiggins and his team dominated the others in the Time Trials, that would be all she wrote and Sky would dominate the peloton and suffocate any attempt to challenge Wiggo's stranglehold on the Maglia Rosa.
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) - "The Shark" had a great Spring and many feared he had peaked too soon and the Giro would find him in the lower end of his performance spectrum - again, Nibali would have to play second fiddle to a GT champion.
Ryder Hejsedal (Garmin-Sharp) - Who made history when he became the first Canadian to capture the final Maglia Rosa last year. We looked back on his performances this Spring and it seemed as though he was peaking at just the right time. The idea of a Giro repeat for the Garmin-Sharp captain did not seem that far-fetched.
Cadel Evans (BMC) - Not even a favorite really for many of us. His performances this Spring were not inspiring of confidence and he was essentially called-off-the-beach to come and do this year's Giro. A top-ten seemed possible if some form kicked in, but a spot on the podium? Few credited him with that possibility.
Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) - He did it before - he could do it again. At the very least, a position on the final podium seemed possible.
Rigoberto Uran (Sky) - Olympic Silver Medalist yes, but few mentioned his name as a Giro podium contender - Henao seemed the more likely bet - and even then, only to take a lower step to Bradley Wiggins.
Robert Gesink (Blanco) - His condition and performance makes him the proverbial dark horse - sometimes he seems world class, and at others just ho-hum - a long-shot for a Giro win in most people's books.
Sammy Sanchez (Euscatel-Euskadi) - Only a contender in his own mind.

Some of these predictions (hopes?) did indeed pan-out - most did not.

Wiggins and Hejsedal preformed badly and it was soon evident that their Giro aspirations were built on sand. In the meantime, Vincenzo Nibali met and exceeded expectations and by the end of the second week has achieved a formidable, but not insurmountable, lead and has worn the Maglia Rosa well even going on the attack to distance his rivals further.

Right when you begin to lose faith in Cadel Evans, he pulls out an amazing performance as he has in this Giro - I for one did not see this coming and I'm sure I wasn't alone.
And Rigoberto Uran in third place and looking dangerous to go higher? Now that has been a revelation as has the continuous ability of Sky to dominate the headlines, if not the peloton, at The Giro this year.

Santambrogio and Scarponi are still in it with a chance, but one or more of the top three will have to falter dramatically for either to hope for a podium place.

Break-aways have done surprisingly well and the harsh wet and cold weather has revealed the ****** in the armor of many big names within the peloton. Young riders like Carlos Batencur (AG2R LaMondiale) and Rafal Majka (Saxo Tinkoff) have shown some metal and have to be considered as possible favorites in future GTs.

And then there is Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) - achieving his centennial stage victory and more at this Giro - he is moving ever closer to the stage win total of The Great One, "The Cannibal", Eddy Merckx.

Danilo DiLuca,"The Killer" - has been amazingly aggressive and seems to go on an attack at least once during each stage - a recent Vini Fantini signing that along with his teammate Mauro Santambrogio, has done his fair share to animate the race.

Any discussion of the last two weeks would be incomplete without mentioning the weather - in short, horrendous weather has left its mark on the race and sunny days have been few and far in between. This has not been the Sunny Italy of the tourist brochures - rather, it has often resembled the rainy Spring classics of Northern Europe instead. One can only hope for improvement in the weather conditions.

All-in-all, a great and unpredictable race thus far that promises to deliver a crescendo in its last week.

Current Top-Ten on GC
1) Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 62:02:34
2) Cadel Evans (BMC) 0:01:26
3) Rigoberto Uran (Sky) 0:02:46
4) Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) 0:02:47
5) Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) 0:03:53
6) Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) 0:04:55
7 Carlos Betancur (AG2R La Mondiale) 0:05:12
8) Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) 0:05:32
9) Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) 0:05:39
10) Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Movistar) 0:05:51

Current Jersey Distribution:
Pink - Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
White - Carlos Batencur (AG2R La Mondiale)
Red - Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
Blue - Stefano Pirazzi (Bardini Valvole-CSF Inox)

The Official Website (English Version):
Giro d'Italia 2013 - Official Site - Gazzetta dello Sport

The Remaining Stages:
Stage 16 - May 21: Valloire - Ivrea, 238 km
Stage 17 - May 22: Caravaggio - Vicenza, 214 km
Stage 18 - May 23: Mori - Polsa (ITT), 20.6 km
Stage 19 - May 24: Ponte di Legno - Val Martello, 139 km
Stage 20 - May 25: Silandro - Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 203 km
Stage 21 - May 26: Riese Pio X - Brescia, 197 km

Information and Press
Giro D'Italia 2013: Stage 15 As It Happened, Route Maps & Results | Cyclingnews.com

Giro D'Italia 2013: Stage 15 Results | Cyclingnews.com

Peloton Visconti Wins Giro Stage 15 on the Galibier

Evans Hopes Worst Is Behind Him After Tough Stage To Bardonecchia | Cyclingnews.com

Cyclisme - Giro - «Pantani m'a peut-être aidé»

Riis-kaptajn tabte ungdomstrøjen i vildt vejr - Cykling

Video: Hansen On The Slog And Triumph Of The Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Cyclisme - Giro - Nibali peut-il encore perdre ?

Saxo-Tinkoff pønser på etapesejr - Cykling

Cavendish Survives In The Snow At The Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Giro Stage 15: Visconti Hangs On - Podium Cafe

Blanco Looking For Plan B At Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Giro d'Italia Maglia Bianca Competition Heats Up - Podium Cafe

Nibali Resists The Call Of History On The Galibier | Cyclingnews.com

Evans Retains High Expectations At Giro D?Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Giro d'Italia: and now for the mountains. Weather permitting - Notizie Giro d'Italia 2013

Visconti Back To His Best A Year After Quitting The Giro | Cyclingnews.com

Giro d'Italia, stage 14: Santambrogio brings home a tough victory in the snow, with Nibali still in pink - Notizie Giro d'Italia 2013

Uran Confident About The Final Week Of The Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Giro d'Italia, Nibali: "E' ancora lunga". Santambrogio: "Ancora non ci credo" - Notizie Giro d'Italia 2013

Scarponi Stays In Podium Hunt At Giro D?Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Giro d'Italia, ecco il Galbier accorciato. La tappa nel nome di Pantani - Notizie Giro d'Italia 2013

Parra Calls For Colombian Alliance To Defeat Nibali | Cyclingnews.com

Ciclismo, Giro d'Italia, tappa 15: favoloso Visconti, Nibali resta in rosa - Notizie Giro d'Italia 2013

White Jersey Battle Not A Concern For Majka | Cyclingnews.com

Giro d'Italia, Visconti: "Marco mi ha aiutato da lassù". Nibali: "Difficile fare la differenza" - Notizie Giro d'Italia 2013

Giro D'Italia: 10 Conclusions From The Second Week | Cyclingnews.com

Giro, Evans lancia la sfida a Nibali: "La terza settimana può riaprire tutto" - Notizie Giro d'Italia 2013

Evans Still Ambitious For The Third Week Of The Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Stage Sixteen - Preview

Valloire - Ivrea, 238 km

Stage 16 flips the script on stage profiles as it starts up in the mountains of France and ends on a plateau in Piedmont, Italy. A break-away has another good chance here - but if reeled in, a group sprint is the probable outcome. I would not expect any major changes in the GC, but the fight for the white jersey could take a turn if Rafal Majka can get away from Carlos Batencur towards the end - only five seconds stand between them. Niether Majka nor Betancur can afford to miss a break that contains the other. If they are swallowed by the pack, I'll be counting down to launch...the Manx Missile will be on his way to victory 102...a nice birthday present for Cav.

Stage Profile:

Where's Ivrea?:

Information and Press:
Giro D'Italia 2013: Preview, Route Maps & Results | Cyclingnews.com

Nibali Edges Closer To Giro D'Italia Victory | Cyclingnews.com

Video: Visconti Discusses Galibier Victory, Pantani | Cyclingnews.com

Video: Klier Debuts As Team Director At Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Sky Realistic But Not Resigned To Nibali's Dominance | Cyclingnews.com

Giro D'Italia Gallery: Evans And Nibali Enjoy Rest Day | Cyclingnews.com

Taylor Phinney Abandons Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com


 

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Bradley Wiggins- I'm sad to see him out. As Robert Millar said, the weather is too bad for real racing.
Vincenzo Nibali- At last he's riding his own race. Seeing him babysit Basso drove me nuts. It must have been way more annoying for him! And he's a lot better than I anticipated.
Ryder Hejsedal-total bummer. But like Wiggo, he arrived in peak condition. And for a stage racer that means skin and bones. No insulating layer of fat. Not good for riding in freezing rain for hours on end, day after day.
Cadel Evans- The ultimate poker face, he just rides along steadily...that's how he won the Tour and he could win the Giro too if Nibali screws up.
Michele Scarponi- No podium. He's good but not a contender.
Rigaberto Uran- I'd love to see him win. He seems like a genuinely nice humble guy, from a really harsh background. Check out his facebook page. If he won it would be a national holiday in Colombia!
Robert Gesink- way too inconsistent. One bad day and you're out, period.
Sammy Sanchez- one of the most over rated racers of all time. Still milking the Olympic win with his gold shoes. Get over it Sam, that was five years ago.
Carlos Batencur- this guy is really good, and consistent with several high placings. He won't be at AG2R for long.
Mark Cavendish- he says he's lighter than ever, and he does look thinner. He sprints as well as ever but sticks with the peloton instead of getting dropped on every bump.
I'd like to see him get the Red Jersey that he should have got last year. But Evans will likely win it since all the stages have the same point value, and the remaining stages are more suited to Evans than Cav.
 

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Mark Cavendish- he says he's lighter than ever, and he does look thinner. He sprints as well as ever but sticks with the peloton instead of getting dropped on every bump.
I'd like to see him get the Red Jersey that he should have got last year. But Evans will likely win it since all the stages have the same point value, and the remaining stages are more suited to Evans than Cav.
The red jersey is called the points jersey, given for stage finishes. For a tour with a higher number of mountain stages, sprinters will be lucky to get hold of the points jersey unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Stage Sixteen - Results

Valloire - Ivrea, 238 km

Benet Intxausti (Movistar) took the win today, but it was a close thing with both Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre Merida) and Tanal Kangert (Astana) on his heels.

This overcaste and drizzly stage was marked at first by a very large breakaway group of over twenty riders containing many of the usual suspects who have headlined the race up to now - some of the notables included Blue Jersey holder Stefano Pirazzi (Bardini Valvole-CSF Inox), Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giocattoli), Matteo Rabottini (Vini Fantani - Selle Italia), Rasmunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp), Robinson Chalapud (Columbia) and of course Danilo DiLuca (Vini Fantani - Selle Italia). This group started to implode with about 40 km to go as the peloton decided the fun had extended long enough and it was time to reel them in. By the time they rolled onto the climb of the Andrate, the game was up and most of the breakaway had been reabsorbed into the pack.

On the front, Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli) then teamed up with Danny Pate (Sky) and Wilco Kelderman (Blanco) in an attempt to beat the rest of the peloton to the finish line. But thier time on the front would be short as muliple challengers hit the front and then faded again. Meanwhile, the birthday boy Mark Cavendish was dropped by the blistering sustained speed of the peloton and was soon off the back. The chase group,with all off the big GC contenders (with the exception of Mauro Santambrogio) and led by none other than the Maglia Rosa himself, was catching the front end quickly.

Then Carlos Batencur (AG2R La Mondiale), the white jersey, put in an attack and was first over the mountain Andrate - no sign of Saxo Tinkoff's Rafal Majka (only five seconds behind for the white jersey at the start of today's stage) - so Batencur was looking good to hold that jersey into tomorrow's stage. Sammy Sanchez, a good descender, joined Batencur going downhill. Soon Nibali caught up to them followed by Evans, Scarponi, Uran and others creating a selection of about 12 riders up front.

In the end, Batencur and Majka crossed together in the Maglia Rosa group and the white jersey remains with Batencur. Mauro Santambrogio (vini Fantani - Selle Italia) was the biggest loser on the day ceeding 2:10 additional minutes to the Maglia Rosa.

Current Top-Ten on GC:
1) Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 67:55:36
2) Cadel Evans (BMC) 0:01:26
3) Rigoberto Uran (Sky) 0:02:46
4) Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) 0:03:53
5) Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) 0:04:13
6) Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) 0:04:57
7) Carlos Betancur (AG2R La Mondiale) 0:05:15
8) Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) 0:05:20
9) Benat Intxausti (Movistar) 0:05:47
10) Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) 0:07:34

Current Jersey Distribution:
Pink - Vincenzo Nabali (Astana)
White - Carlos Batencur (AG2R La Mondiale)
Red - Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
Blue - Stefano Pirazzi (Bardini Valvole - CSF Inox)

Information and Press:
Intxausti Remembers Tondo With Classy Giro D'Italia Stage Victory | Cyclingnews.com

Peloton Intxausti Grabs Giro d'Italia Stage 16

Spanier baskede konkurrenterne i Giro'en - Cykling

Riis-hold: Godt kørt, Majka! - Cykling

Giro Stage 16: Intxausti Snatches Sprint; Santambrogio Chunks Climb - Podium Cafe

Cyclisme - Giro - Intxausti s'offre un bouquet

Cyclisme - Giro - Santambrogio agacé

Cyclisme - Giro - Santambrogio agacé

FEATURES: RACY LANGUAGE: GIRO QUANDRIES


Stage Seventeen: Caravaggio - Vicenza, 214 km

Long and flat, except for a little bump right before the finish - this one has Sprinter's Stage written all over it.

Look for Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) to try to pad his Red Jersey lead before the Giro returns to high-ground and Cadel Evans (BMC) begins taking those points.

Stage Profile:

Stage Map:

Information and Press:
Giro D'Italia 2013: Preview, Route Maps & Results | Cyclingnews.com
 

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Will someone wake me up when the Dauphine starts??
 

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Will someone wake me up when the Dauphine starts??
Not so fast! There is an interesting ITT and two very lumpy stages to come. Evans's skills in the TT are well-known, although the uphill nature of this one gives Nibali some advantage. Evans has shown in the past he will attack on those lumpy stages. It hasn't worked before, but he will try, IMHO - if he has the legs.

JSR
 

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Not so fast! There is an interesting ITT and two very lumpy stages to come. Evans's skills in the TT are well-known, although the uphill nature of this one gives Nibali some advantage. Evans has shown in the past he will attack on those lumpy stages. It hasn't worked before, but he will try, IMHO - if he has the legs.
I find it funny that Evans would have a reputation as an attacker after all those years of being called a wheelsucker. I believe that his World Championship win a few years back changed him for the better. Although he hasn't shown a propensity for attacking yet in this Giro.
 

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I find it funny that Evans would have a reputation as an attacker after all those years of being called a wheelsucker. I believe that his World Championship win a few years back changed him for the better. Although he hasn't shown a propensity for attacking yet in this Giro.
Evans is doing what he needs to do. He is in very good form and things look very good for him finishing 2nd overall and taking home the points jersey. Nibali is also in very good form and came into this race with a much stronger team than Evans, since BMC sent their strongest riders to California. Evans shadowboxed a little bit with Nibali on Galibier, launching a brief attack to see if Nibali could respond. When he did, Evans backed off and didn't waste any more energy trying to drop him. Scarponi has been doing this, which is admirable, but isn't doing him any good. The Astana stronger team started out Nibali with an advantage with a good TTT as well. Evans will go for it if the right opportunity arises but it is smartest for him to stick to Nibali and look for a moment of weakness in him to take advantage of. If this doesn't happen, I think closing in on Nibali will be close to impossible. Do consider that Nibali built his entire season around winning the Giro whereas Evans is focusing on the TDF and participated in this race as an afterthought to gain racing miles. Evans will attack if the right opportunity arises for certain but he isn't going to risk his already very good result and burning too much energy before the TDF.

After the TTT, Evans' best chance of winning the Giro was from time bonuses gained by winning bunch sprints with the favorites. He has done this consistently and stands a good chance at winning the points jersey for it but breakaways have done very well in this Giro, mopping up the time bonuses, and Evans doesn't have the kind of team to real them in (and Astana certainly isn't going to do so, with Evans being a pretty good sprinter and Nibali already having a time advantage).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Stage Seventeen - Results

Caravaggio - Vicenza, 214 km

That little hill before the finish proved too much for Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) ably broke away from the pack and took yet another stage victory for the Spanish Movistar team - thier third stage win in a row! Ramunas Navadauskas (Garmin-Sharp) took second on the stage and Luka Mezgec (Argos-Shimano) swept up third.

Mark Cavendish's grip on the Red Jersey has all but slipped away and it is looking increasingly probable that the final wearer of that jersey will be one Cadel Evans (BMC).

The Blue Jersey is pretty much sewn up, but the White Jersey gap remains at a meager 5 seconds - so that jersey is still very much up for grabs.

Vincenzo Nabali (Astana) remains comfortably ensconced in the Maglia Rosa but must prepare himself for tomorrow's potentially fatefull mountain ITT - Cadel Evans will try and take that jersey from him and Nabali will have to use the Forza to retain it!

Current Top-Ten on GC
1) Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 73:11:29
2) Cadel Evans (BMC) 0:01:26
3) Rigoberto Uran (Sky) 0:02:46
4) Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) 0:03:53
5) Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) 0:04:13
6) Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) 0:04:57
7) Carlos Betancur (Ag2R La Mondiale) 0:05:15
8) Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) 0:05:20
9) Benat Intxausti (Movistar) 0:05:47
10) Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2R La Mondiale) 0:07:24

Information and Press:
Urán Linked To Omega Pharma-QuickStep | Cyclingnews.com

Video: Dirk Demol On RadioShack Leopard's Giro D'Italia Campaign | Cyclingnews.com

Scarponi Moves Up To 4th At Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Dekker Says Giro D'Italia Difficult For Many Reasons | Cyclingnews.com

Nibali Hoping To Gain Time On Evans In The Giro D'Italia Time Trial | Cyclingnews.com

Visconti Looks To Turn The Page At Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Navardauskas Mistakenly Celebrates Victory In Giro D'Italia Stage 17 | Cyclingnews.com

Cipollini Turns Up At The Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Uran And Evans Primed For Mountain Time Trial | Cyclingnews.com

Video: Stetina In Search Of His Climbing Legs At Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Durbridge On The Attack In Final Week At Giro | Cyclingnews.com

Video: Tjallingii On His Vegetarian Diet At The Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Video: Pate Weighs In On His Third Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Kessiakoff On Giro D'Italia Mountain Time Trial | Cyclingnews.com

Kangert Taps Out The Tempo For Nibali | Cyclingnews.com


Stage Eighteen: Mori - Polsa (ITT), 20.6 km

Cadel Evans will empty the tank here - it is it seems his only realistic chance at taking the Maglia Rosa from Vincenzo Nibali. Likewise, Nabali, who starts after Evans will have Evans' times to measure his performance against - a great advantage when trying to figure out how much energy to use and when to use it.

My bet: Stage Win to Evans - but Nabali does not lose anywhere near the amount of time Evans needs him to lose.

With the mountain stages now in question due to increased snowfall (good thing that global warming thing was just a hippie-hoax :D), this ITT may very well be the last realistic chance to take time out of Nabali.
 

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Excllent rides by Nibali and Scarponi...big disappointment by Evans. Evans was out the saddle a lot, Nibali was much more composed. This was Evans' one chance to get ahead of Nibali and it didn't happen.
Uran looked really good too, he's taking cues from Wiggo, holding his position very well. Not a great first half but he sure had a good second half! He just might get past Evans and move into second overall be Sunday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Stage Eighteen - Results

Mori - Polsa (ITT), 20.6 km

"Excellent rides by Nibali and Scarponi...big disappointment by Evans. Evans was out the saddle a lot, Nibali was much more composed. This was Evans' one chance to get ahead of Nibali and it didn't happen.
Uran looked really good too, he's taking cues from Wiggo, holding his position very well. Not a great first half but he sure had a good second half! He just might get past Evans and move into second overall be Sunday." Cinelli 82220

Agreed. Disappointing showing from Evans in a disipline that is usually one of his fortes. His previously secure second step on the podium is now highly in doubt. However, I suspect he might still be able to hold off Uran - Cadel is a canny rider and knows what he needs to do right now.
The battle for the white jersey between Majka and Betancur remains tooth-and-nail and might only be decided on the final day.
Sammy Sanchez saved some face today by pushing himself into the top-ten - but can he hold on?
The Forza was with Vincenzo today. Nibali has responded to the Maglia Rosa like a true champion and stamped his authority on this race. He will now be able to watch Evans and Uran attempt to destroy eachother in an effort to fight for the scraps on the table.

Current Top-Ten on GC:
1) Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 73:55:58
2) Cadel Evans (BMC) 0:04:02
3) Rigoberto Uran (Sky) 0:04:12
4) Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) 0:05:14
5) Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) 0:06:09
6) Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) 0:06:45
7) Carlos Betancur (Ag2R La Mondiale) 0:06:47
8) Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) 0:07:30
9) Benat Intxausti (Movistar) 0:08:36
10) Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 0:09:34

Information and Press:
Giro D'Italia 2013: Stage 18 Results | Cyclingnews.com

Evans Admits He Had A Bad Time Trial At The Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Nibali In A Race Of His Own At Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Time Trial Of Two Halves For Uran | Cyclingnews.com

Video: Reactions After The Giro Mountain Time Trial | Cyclingnews.com

Sanchez Satisfied With Second In Giro D'Italia Time Trial | Cyclingnews.com

Video: Bäckstedt On The Giro D'Italia Weather | Cyclingnews.com

Giro D'Italia: Weather Sees Stage 19 Cancelled | Cyclingnews.com

Danilo Di Luca Positive For EPO | Cyclingnews.com

Giro D'Italia: Reactions To The Cancellation Of Stage 19 | Cyclingnews.com

Di Luca Sacked By Vini Fantini After EPO Positive | Cyclingnews.com

Giro D'Italia: New Route For Stage 20 Announced | Cyclingnews.com

Video: Vincenzo Nibali's Specialized Tarmac For Mountain Time Trial | Cyclingnews.com

Nibali: The News About Di Luca Is Very Bad | Cyclingnews.com

Di Luca "surprised" By Positive Test For EPO | Cyclingnews.com

Acquarone On Di Luca: How Can A Person Of His Age Be So Stupid? | Cyclingnews.com

Stage Nineteen: Ponte di Legno - Val Martello, 139 km

Seen by many as the Queen Stage of this year's Giro - origionally envisioned as a grueling high mountain stage of historic proportions, the weather will very likely result in a tamer stage than the one seen below.

Gavia And Stelvio Cut From Stage 19 Of The Giro D'Italia | Cyclingnews.com

Whatever happens to the race route, the internal battles Evans/Uran and Majka/Batencur will make this an interesting stage to watch - and may indeed result in the final sorting out of the Giro podium as well as the White Jersey.
Astana just needs to keep Nibali safe and near the front and they will be able to rack up an impressive victory in what has been a very difficult and surprizing race.

Stage Cancelled!

Giro D'Italia: Weather Sees Stage 19 Cancelled | Cyclingnews.com

Stage Profile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Kudos to Nibali ... :thumbsup:
He will be a good bet for the TdF?
Depends on what you're betting on: Winner, Podium Place or Top-Ten?
IMHO:
Winner: Possible but Doubtful.
Podium: Possible and perhaps likely
Top-Ten: Possible and very likely

In short: Maybe. :D

Currently, as far as I know, Astana has only committed four riders thus far to the Tour de France, they are:
Janez Brajkovic,
Jakob Fuglsang,
Enrico Gasparotto, and
Francesco Gavazzi.
Asking "The Shark" to ride, and win (?) back-to-back GTs is a really big ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
And he will be up against the likes of Contador and Froome and would have to beat both of them - ouch!
 
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