Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Giro d'Italia 2007- Stage 11

Is it just me, or did anybody else find the emotional meltdown of French rider Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis) to be pretty amusing? It isn't often (ever that I've seen) that a rider in a solo breakaway, that is gaining time on the field, stops and has an emotional crisis in the arms of his team director. I mean...

Anyway, outside of that bit of entertainment, the race was largely marked by not much of anything until the sprinter's teams all decided to put an end to the day's break. The race got pretty wound up on the wet roads leading to the finish line. All the sprint trains were getting set up and Milram had a bullseye on the line with Petacchi's name written on it. Things were sketchy on the wet roads leading to the line, but the sprint with without a hitch for Petacchi, who scored his third win of this Giro. Sadly, it was the guys in about 10th who had problems as a massive pile-up took place just before the line. Tinkoff rider Nikolai Trusov slid out on the wet paint stripes and took out Paolo Bettini. This lead to a nice big pile-up that took down many riders just before the line. Race leader Andrea Noe actually finished the race sliding across the line on his ass. Not pretty, but still a finish, I guess. Most riders looked mostly unhurt, but Aitor Hernandez of Euskaltel fractured his collar bone. Disco's Popovych didn't look too hot either and may not be on the line tomorrow...

... and speaking of tomorrow. Looks like lots of riders won't be bothering to show up to the start line, unless in street clothes. Tomorrow the real mountains begin with two huge passes that go from Italy into France... including the dreaded Col d'Izoard. Looking at the course profile though, it looks like the climb in Italy, Colle dell'Agnello, is even worse. Still, the Izoard is a legendary climb and the summit is only about 21km from the line. Even though that last 21km is all down hill, it's gonna be a strong man who wins tomorrow as the Giro rolls into France. The stage, especially after the relative ease of today, should blow things apart pretty good and really separate the contenders from the pretenders. It'll hurt some folks. Bad. I'm not making predictions on this one because it is too hard to call. Some contenders may want to wait a little while still and may be willing to let lower placed riders get away on the mountains. Or, somebody like Simoni or Cunego may launch an assault on the GC and try to blow apart their rivals (DiLuca). It's too hard to call... so I won't.

Tim

1 comment:

Valeria Maltoni said...

Tim:

I saw the reporting of this stage in La Repubblica and was going to send you a link... then thought you might actually do a better job at writing it -- aside from the fact that you may not wish to read Italian (it can be verbose).