Giro – Vuelta and the last Monument.
The Giro has produced some great racing and talking points. There are only a few days to go and the finish in Milan, at one point there was a lot of talk that the race would not make it to the end, but with only a few days left the race will most likely arrive in Milan on Sunday.
Also the route with the huge mountain stages and climbs was in jeopardy of being changed and altered to account for the poor weather but again this might not happen after all.
But now we are hearing that the Mayor of Briancon is not allowing the Giro to travel in to France due to coronavirus restrictions in France There fore the Giro will not be going over the Cols Agnello and Izoard !!
Geraint Thomas had to withdraw very early on after falling in a neutral zone
when he cycled over a stray bottle. He fell at the start of stage 3, but then completed the day but was over 12mins down and did not start the day after. A small undisplaced fracture of the pelvis. A tragic premature end for Geraint.
Simon Yates also withdrew after testing positive for Covid-19 a few days later.
Then his team Michelton Scott withdrew from the race along with Jumbo Visma ! Citing various health reasons and Covid-19 related precautions
On better news the British rider Alex Dowsett claimed his first Giro d’Italia stage victory in seven years.
Dowsett, who rides for the Israel Start-Up Nation team, attacked from a six-man breakaway group 17 kilometres from the end of stage eight, a 200-kilometre route from Giovinazzo to Vieste. A terrific effort from Dowsett.
With Ineos not having a GC contender in the Giro pushing for the top places they have switched to winning stages. They now have 5 wins in this Giro, with Filippo Ganna claiming 3 superb victories. Two ITT ‘s and then stage 5.
Ganna performed incredibly in the TT on Saturday 17th Oct. A 32.1 km course and he completed it in 42 mins 40 secs with an average speed of 48km/hr. The stage was more than lumpy, with some gradients hitting 19% in this wine region and Prosecco area of Italy.
Also an incredible effort from Tao Geoghegan Hart from Ineos Grenadiers who is now in 4th place and only 1 second behind Jai Hindley in 3rd place. Could Tao take 3rd and a podium place ?
It looks like the battle for the overall winner will come from Wilco Kelderman from Sunweb and the Portugese rider Joao Almeida from Deceuninck Quick-Step. A tremendous ride so far from Almeida so far who leads Kelderman by 17 seconds.
So as the Giro heads to the last few days the Vuelta starts on a Tuesday !!
All slightly bizarre but that is the nature of the world and the cycling season at the moment.
What an incredible first day of the Vuelta – a hilly first day and over 170km’s. Roglic takes the stage with an incredible effort and Chris Froome is already 11.12mins down after the first day.
Surely Froome’s best days are behind him..
On the second day at the Vuelta with more hills climbed and great racing again, Marc Soler from Movistar wins the stage by 19 seconds and Roglic gets second. Roglic cleverly gains extra seconds on the line as he sprints in.
Chris Froome finishes way down the field and is 18mins and 44 seconds behind the winner.
Incredibly he is now in 85th position and 29 mins and 53 secs behind Roglic after just two days !
The Tour of Flanders created a superb spectacle with Alpecin-Fenix’s Mathieu van der Poel triumphing in a thrilling finale. He beat Wout van Aert by just over a quarter of a wheel, but many people were left wondering what might have been if road race world champion Julian Alaphilippe hadn’t crashed out while part of the leading trio with the winning duo.
After Mark Cavendish claiming he has raced his last race and becoming emotional at the interviews after the Flanders race he then raced on the Wednesday and at the week-end. . Keep an eye out for more Cavendish news. .
Tour de France – Announcement for the route in 2021 is in one week !!!