May 26, 2017

Friday File: un hombre muy peligroso, Dolomites and 1988 Gavia



With a pointy stick from Didi the Devil.






Nairo Quintana took massive time from Tom Dumoulin to take the pink jersey by 38 seconds. Dumoulin may've floundered, which he did, but he still holds the upper card for Sunday's TT. A surging Thibault Pinot took advantage and duly attacked with 7 kilometres remaining pushing the power into his pedals. At the end, Pinot took 1:21 remains fourth overall, only 53 seconds from Quintana.





In the end;
my money's on T. B. to land on the podium




The Condor knew that the Frenchman is a major threat, un hombre muy peligroso - a very dangerous man. 



"There's a lot of pressure on our shoulders, our rivals are also really strong, but we've got the Maglia Rosa at the moment and we will try to defend it with honour. We've got a veteran group, we're consistent, experienced, and I trust my whole group of teammates to defend ourselves well tomorrow."
- Nairo Quintana



"Tomorrow is going to be a very hard stage. There's the Monte Grappa and then it's virtually a summit finish afterwards, so it's going to be a big day."
- Thibault Pinot





Mikel Landa
photo: Russ Ellis





















The Dolomites captured from Gruber Images...


















1988 Giro d'ltalia Gavia; a icy, snowy hell where grown men cried...


The forgotten story of Andy Hampsten's 1988 Giro win here


























May 25, 2017

Taking the pressure off


An emotional Tejay van Garderen





The queen stage in the Dolomites was the absolutely perfect tonic for an 'ailing' Tejay van Garderen taking his first Grand Tour victory by edging out Mikel Landa in Ortisei. Thibault Pinot is one of the big winners today taking back 1 minute finishing third and now sits in fourth threatening for podium. The young riders classification white jersey changes shoulders to Adam Yates. He's riding so well and is 28 seconds ahead of Bob Jungels. Davide Formolo is a close third at 53 seconds that is turning into an exciting three way fight.







The Dolomites are beautiful.










Pressure off















May 24, 2017

Breaking through for Pierre Rolland

"At the end it was a question of courage. I caught the right moment. It's a huge relief."



Pierre Rolland scored a huge win for Cannondale-Drapac and for himself on stage 17 breaking away with five kilometres remaining. 

"I've waited for this moment for such a long time. In 2015 I finished second in a Tour de France stage, and last year was just a year to forget for me. I crashed twice in the Tour. It's been a long wait."
































Athletic prowess again...
Matej Mohoric fueling, rides on the top tube... just normal stuff.











I love his emotional celebration.




May 23, 2017

Dumoulin takes a break, the Shark takes a bite






It was the call of the wild on today's queen stage for Tom Dumoulin. His lead is reduced with Nairo Quintana suddenly 31 seconds in close pursuit of the dazzling Dutchman. His slowdown certainly would've affected all mortals but as soon as he go back on his bike, you have to give him some credit to comeback and remain tenuously in the maglia rosa. Vincenzo Nibali became, finally, the first Italian to win a stage in this year's race. The shark edged out Mikel Landa at the finish with Quintana crossing in third, 12 seconds behind. 


"It's the victory of a complete rider. I had to be consistent from start to finis in a long and difficult stage. At the end I had to be an aggressive climber, a good downhill rider and a sprinter. There are more difficult stages to come but Dumoulin also has a time trial to his advantage in Milan."
- The Shark Nibali














In memory of Michele Scarponi






Mikel Landa climbs the Stelvio first winning the Cima Coppi 
and wears the maglia azzurra



















May 22, 2017

Dolomites tough test


Passo dello Stelvio




Tomorrow's stage from Rovetta To Bormio (the Queen Stage) will truly begin the fight for pink. Tom Dumoulin will really have to answer the question whether he can hold on the maglia rosa until Milan.

Passo del Mortirolo, 962m of climbing in 12.6km, 7.6% avg, 16% maximum

Passo dello Stelvio, Cima Coppi, 1549m of climbing in 21.7km, 7.1% avg, 12% maximum

Umbrialpass, 1116m of climbing in 13.45km,  8.4% avg, 12% maximum

 The Stelvio will be climbed twice and finishes in Bormio.



"It's normal that my body gets better in the third week. The high altitude passes go well for me. Dumoulin is regular and can maintain it well, but I'm good on the high climbs when we are there at 2,000 meters."
- Nairo Quintana










Rest day...


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