I've inadvertently/ on purpose skipped the past two stages of the Giro (14 and 15). The racing has been great too. The problem is, I have to confess that my love for European pro cycling has taken a hit after the past week's doping confessions and other drug related news. It sucks too because, as you know, I'm a huge racing fan. I've just become so heartbroken by it all. And yet, I've continued to follow the racing each and every day, as if nothing has happened. Why? Because I love this sport. I probably always will too.
Stage 14- Stefano Garzelli got a wonderful win on a difficult stage, arriving at the line with Simoni (who claimed that Garzelli only caught him because the TV motorbike pulled him to the line). Simoni took a little time out of DiLuca and looked to have a great thing building up with the help of his teammates, who worked diligently to isolate Danilo. Danilo managed to stay in the maglia rosa, but it look like the mountains could begin his unraveling.
Stage 15- Roccardo Ricco, Simoni's most valuable (possibly) assistant got a great win on one of the toughest stages this Giro will see. Ricco was given the stage win, for all his hard work, by his elder teammate and winner of stage 10 Leonardo Piepoli. What should have seen DiLuca lose more time to Simoni turned into a stage that allowed DiLuca to put more time back into Simoni and further cement his now-commanding lead. Danilo is looking more and more like the heir to the Giro throne. His rivals are now looking at the widening gap and wondering if there are now enough mountains left to unseat him from the lead.
Wednesday's ascent of the feared Monte Zoncolan and Saturday's time trial are the two main tests left in the race and if any of the remaining contenders have the legs to try and win this Giro, it will happen on either of those two stages. That's the meat of what is left of this Giro. Mark your calendars... those two days will likely decide the final outcome.
And there you have rest day wrap up number 2.