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Lemur-ing
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I thought today's stage was nice with Di Luca attacking rather fiercely and Contador responding like he had a magnet attached to Di Luca.

Did he tire out at the finish or was he just saving himself seeing as he knew he won't lose too much time from Di Luca anyway for today?

Also, I was expecting Kloden to be better but I guess it's still early and the guy has the TTs to catch up too.

Contador, as Eurosports said, might not be really up to it yet but could very well settle in come the next few days.

Can't wait for the next stage. Mountain stage rather.

Oh and where in the world was Levi?

Edit to add: Ok Contador didn't have the legs as he just said so in an interview. He was pleased that he was about the level of Di Luca and Ricco though.
 

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A close examination of today's placings shows that the first real GC report card has come out. Ricco, Piepoli and Conti were alert enough and had the legs to respond to DiLuca's attack knowing the time is now to start clawing back on Visconti's 9-minute lead. The GC "gruppetto" contains Pellizzoti, Kloeden, Menchov, Bruseghin, Savoldelli, Gibo, Levi and Nibali, among others -- they lost close to a minute on DiLuca and Ricco. Soler did worse, losing a buck fifty to Gruppo DiLuca, but more importantly he couldn't stick to the GC "gruppetto."

I think Conti is getting his form back but he's not 100%. If he was he would have been on DiLuca's wheel on the line with ease. But if I'm the Italian GC hopefuls I would be most worried about Conti as he can only be getting stronger each day. Levi and Kloeden aren't punchy climbing riders, they tend to grind it out, so I don't think you can extrapolate too much that they didn't hook on to the Gruppo DiLuca today.

5 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes - Ballan 2.04
6 Riccardo Ricco' (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott
7 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott 2.07
8 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 2.10
9 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 2.55
10 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas
11 Andreas Kloden (Ger) Astana
12 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
13 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
14 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre
15 Chris Sorensen (Den) Team CSC
16 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) LPR Brakes - Ballan
17 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
18 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana
19 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Silence Lotto
20 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC
21 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) CSF Group Navigare
22 Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) Team CSC
23 Luis F. Laverde Jimenez (Col) CSF Group Navigare
24 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems
25 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas
26 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale
27 Juan M. Soler (Col) Barloworld 3.30

Another observation -- we're one week into a grand tour with no big mountains or long ITTs as of yet and look at the lanterne rouges -- already an hour and a half behind! A very tough Giro indeed.

181 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Saunier Duval - Scott 1.20.16
182 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Slipstream Chipotle 1.23.16
183 Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott 1.28.35
 

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fornaca68 said:
A close examination of today's placings shows that the first real GC report card has come out. Ricco, Piepoli and Conti were alert enough and had the legs to respond to DiLuca's attack knowing the time is now to start clawing back on Visconti's 9-minute lead. The GC "gruppetto" contains Pellizzoti, Kloeden, Menchov, Bruseghin, Savoldelli, Gibo, Levi and Nibali, among others -- they lost close to a minute on DiLuca and Ricco. Soler did worse, losing a buck fifty to Gruppo DiLuca, but more importantly he couldn't stick to the GC "gruppetto."

I think Conti is getting his form back but he's not 100%. If he was he would have been on DiLuca's wheel on the line with ease. But if I'm the Italian GC hopefuls I would be most worried about Conti as he can only be getting stronger each day. Levi and Kloeden aren't punchy climbing riders, they tend to grind it out, so I don't think you can extrapolate too much that they didn't hook on to the Gruppo DiLuca today.
fornaca68 said:
fornaca68 said:
Look out for Gabriele Bosisio, this guy i've seen before, and he can really climb, more of a classics rider but he has got a few days to recover from the effort today, I will be really interested in how LPR will play the tactics out, because they have a real joker in Bosisio and Salvodelli will just be there to help Di Luca (and to go hell for leather on the descents!).
However, expect LPR and Saunier Duval to do this everytime they hit the mountains because they have already realised that the Astana boys will take time back (and possibly more) in the TT's
 

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JSR said:
Good question. The profile looked like it would suit him.

You gotta like DiLuca. The first chance to show the race is on and he's hammering.

JSR
Great stage today for sure.

DiLuca is one of my favorites. He's not as talented a GC guy as some but he makes up for it w/ true grit. I think they must call him killer because he'll about kill himself for a win or at least look like it in the process.

I also liked seeing Backstedt yesterday on stage 6 trying to hang in there w/ those guys during the final 20k. You knew he was doomed but he played it right attacking before the final hill to give himself a chance for a better placing. Failed but I appreciated the effort. Thumbs up for the big guy and double thumbs up for the Argyle Army. They are finally starting to make a big impression. Bodes well.

Ricco is looking really strong and I think he might prove to be the best when the mountains arrive but from a team standpoint Astana has some great attack options w/ Kloeden and Leipheimer sitting less than a couple minutes behind the contenders. They could sacrifice either one in an attack on a tough mountain stage and make the other teams do a lot of work. Depends on how their form comes along I guess but I think Bruyneel must love the cards he's holding right now.
 

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Ricco and DiLuca better take a few more minutes out of Contador while they can because if they don't cook him now he's going to ride himself into form by the third week where the steep climbs definitely favor him. Right now he doesn't have the top end and took a long time to get on the break and was off the back when the pace picked up so they need to keep him over the edge as much as possible so he can't recover so well. Never know when a fresh delivery of blood bags might arrive either.

I didn't think DiLuca was looking that hot when Piepoli and Ricco were on the front. He caught sight of the camera and sucked it up for the TV but right before he was really showing the hurt. Ricco looked good but his TTing is going to hurt later.
 

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terzo rene said:
Ricco and DiLuca better take a few more minutes out of Contador while they can because if they don't cook him now he's going to ride himself into form by the third week where the steep climbs definitely favor him.
Yes we all know now how they "ride themselves into form". If UCI/CONI/WADA/Italian police have any real desire to catch them they will be watching these guys like hawks between now and the TT on Tuesday.

Seems like Ricco and company are not buying the story he was on vacation before the Giro and his form is in doubt. Ricco even says he was in Madrid "preparing" for the Giro in the weeks leading up to it.

Contador was not riding like a guy who was just testing the waters. I consistently noticed him right at the front being very attentive in the early stages, meanwhile I've don't even think I've seen Leipheimer yet.

I would not be surprised to see Contador/Kloden go 1 & 2 in the TT.
 

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Yes, funny how those little mountain goats get so good at TTing after a spell in the Discatana wind tunnel...I expect the Ferrari engines will be getting a nice little oil change and tune up tomorrow and then 1-2-3 in the TT and on to glory - another blue train launching their leader 2km from the finish. I really don't care for what the Hog brings to the sport at all.

But I am enjoying, as ever, the spectacle of Italian riders attacking to try and win their national Tour rather than employing negative spoiler tactics. It might not be 'sensible' or 'smart' racing but it is a helluva lot more enjoyable than all that other sh*t.

Today's stage was dedicated to Gino Bartali - he was not only one of the true greats of the sport on the bike but he also risked his life to get Italian Jews out of the country in WWII. Arguably his greatest exploits took place off the bike. A very great man.
 

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todays finale seemed more pushy and perhaps less sporting than usual. Julian Dean *****slapped Bettini off of a wheel, and same thing happened to cavendish, who was pissed, and ruined from it. Even zabel got pinched as it appeared he was ready to come around Bennati. But then again, bennati seemed to keep accelerating even over the line.
it seems like the finales in the tour are far wider than in the Giro, perhaps causing more crap.
I'm not a pro, and don't pretend to have that experience. It did seem more "dirty" than usual.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
I consistently noticed him right at the front being very attentive in the early stages, meanwhile I've don't even think I've seen Leipheimer yet.
Regarding Conti, he is an outstanding rider who (like Boonen) has the ability to consistently stay toward the front of a bunch and the speed to counterattack. But it is strange to see reports that Conti purportedly was preparing for the Giro before he got the call a week before the start in Messina. On that climb to the finish stage 7(?) he couldn't hold DiLuca or Ricco in the final 500 meters and he was clearly hurting. Had he been "prepared" for this Giro Conti easily would have rode across the line with them.

As for Levi, something tells me we're not going to see much of him in this Giro -- hopefully I'm wrong. At the 2008 Brasstown Bald stage Levi couldn't drop Trent Lowe and looked sluggish compared to his romp up Brasstown in 2007.
 

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I don't really see how any stage race could surpass the anticipation and potential of so many players in this Giro. I plan on ordering the webcasts and watching the stages at the end of this week. Vs is really missing out.
 

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jhamlin38 said:
I don't really see how any stage race could surpass the anticipation and potential of so many players in this Giro. I plan on ordering the webcasts and watching the stages at the end of this week. Vs is really missing out.
The rider quality will be vastly superior to the TDF and the stages are much more interesting. Even a 1 hr replay of the last 30km or so with some highlights per night would draw some interest.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
Unless of course the "preparation" was a blood extraction and drugs to facilitate the endogenous production of new red blood cells.
That's probably the most plausible of the "preparation" theories.

OTOH, the official story is also plausible - that after ealy season successes at the Basque Tour and Vuelta a Castilla-Leon, where he showed excellent form on the way to GC wins, he was just sitting around moping due to no Giro invite.

BTW - apparently he's soldiering on at the Giro with a broken arm! http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/080519/2/11c7e.html

JSR
 

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Lemur-ing
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Bianchigirl said:
Yes, funny how those little mountain goats get so good at TTing after a spell in the Discatana wind tunnel...I expect the Ferrari engines will be getting a nice little oil change and tune up tomorrow and then 1-2-3 in the TT and on to glory - another blue train launching their leader 2km from the finish. I really don't care for what the Hog brings to the sport at all.

But I am enjoying, as ever, the spectacle of Italian riders attacking to try and win their national Tour rather than employing negative spoiler tactics. It might not be 'sensible' or 'smart' racing but it is a helluva lot more enjoyable than all that other sh*t.

Today's stage was dedicated to Gino Bartali - he was not only one of the true greats of the sport on the bike but he also risked his life to get Italian Jews out of the country in WWII. Arguably his greatest exploits took place off the bike. A very great man.
I'm just waiting for the ITT today to see how it all goes. I expect Kloden and Leipheimer to do well for sure.

I think Di Luca and Ricco would lose time to those guys and maybe even get overtaken in the GC by Kloden perhaps. But, there are also mountain stages where Di Luca can regain time as well.

Contador, with a cracked elbow might find it a tad hard to TT today but who knows. I really like how explosive he is on climbs for sure.

Can't wait for the race later on.

I like all the breakaways/attacks thus far as it's been really interesting like you said, without a doubt.
 

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uzziefly said:
I thought today's stage was nice with Di Luca attacking rather fiercely and Contador responding like he had a magnet attached to Di Luca.

Did he tire out at the finish or was he just saving himself seeing as he knew he won't lose too much time from Di Luca anyway for today?

Also, I was expecting Kloden to be better but I guess it's still early and the guy has the TTs to catch up too.

Contador, as Eurosports said, might not be really up to it yet but could very well settle in come the next few days.

Can't wait for the next stage. Mountain stage rather.

Oh and where in the world was Levi?

Edit to add: Ok Contador didn't have the legs as he just said so in an interview. He was pleased that he was about the level of Di Luca and Ricco though.

Everyone(levi, kloden) is in striking distance. They didn't gain too much time with their attack up the climb.

What these 2 clowns are missing is that this is a 3 week race, and there are bigger climbs to be had. I hope Condor is riding into form vs coming into form the first week like Ricco.


"In yesterday's L'EQUIPE: Riccardo Ricco has accused Alberto Contador
of hiding his game, coming to Italy to steal the Giro,
and taking advantage of the work of his rivals on climbs.
Ricco's teammate, Leonardo Piepoli, added: "A Tour de France
winner should not behave in this manner."
 
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