IL Lombardia: Sweet Revenge, Consummate Flandrian, 2014 Pantani Giro & Classy Gimondi

photo Bettini

Sweet revenge for Purito Rodriguez in Il Lombardia.

The Race of the Falling Leaves was the race for seconds for the rest of the riders, as Purito lit up the Villa Vergano climb... and just rode away. For the man denied of the world championship he won his second successive Il Lombardia and top spot in the WorldTour standings.

One of my highlights was Tommy Voeckler gaining time to lead with 60kms remaining. Grimacing wildly pass the Ghisallo and nicely showcasing the Europcar green jersey he was stayed out in front, in the rain, until the 11km mark. Like him or loathe him - I like his panache, the gritty Voeckler finished in 34th, 4:08.

Voeckler grimacing pass the ultimate monument.

Il Lombardia:

1/ Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) - 6h10'18"
2/ Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) - +0'17"
3/ Rafal Majka (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) - +0'23"
4/ Daniel Martin( Garmin-Sharp) - +0'45"
5/ Enrico Gasparotto (Astana)
6/ Daniel Moreno (Katusha) - +0'55"
7/ Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
8/ Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela)
9/ Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing Team)
10/ Robert Gesink (Belkin Pro Cycling Team)

One of my favorite riders this season is Thibaut Pinot finishing in
12th place.
via FDJ

 Many abandoned...

Rigoberto Uran abandons on his last race for SKY.
(from his twitter account)

The consummate Flandrian.

Juan Antonio Flecha decides to hang up his wheels after the Tour of Beijing. The man nicknamed, 'the Arrow' finished a solid 13th. I'm sorry to see him go and will miss his attacking style and near misses in the spring classics - always the consummate Flandrian!

Sounds like Hawaii is a good place to 'retire'...

"I cannot wait to finish that race in mid-October and go to Maui, Hawaii, with an open date on the return ticket. I'll sway the asphalt for the foam of the waves, the bike for the surfboard, and walk barefoot all day, and be free."

Today, the 2014 Giro route was unveiled...

Four guys going for it.

I give the Giro organizers kudos for announcing the new route. In the middle of crisis, as former director Michele Acquarone is suspended for alleged misappropriation of 13 million Euros in missing funds.

First 3 stages in Ireland: what a fantastic idea to showcase this great race in Ireland.

Due to the lengthy transit from Ireland to Italy, the Giro will start on a Friday.

A third rest day is included after riders/teams fought for a rest day to be included during the races's transfer from Ireland to Italy.

Marco Pantani honored:

Stage 8: Foligno to Montecopiolo. The Carpegna climb where Pantani used to train.
Stage 14 Oropa, 15 Montecampione: The site of the two famous victories for Il Pirata.

'The Wine Stage':

Stage 12 - Barbaresco to Barolo; wine will be a welcome hydration.

Stage 16 - The Gavia, Stelvio and the uphill finish in Val Martello.

'Welcome to Hell' Stage:

Queen Stage 20: To the top of the Monte Zoncolan is the penultimate day and will decide the winner.

Total distance: 3449.9 kilometres, 21 stages, One TTT, two ITT, 8 stages for sprinters, 5 medium mountain stages & 5 high mountain stages.

Cadel Evans has expressed that he will go for the Giro and sidestep the Tour. His third place finish in 2013 should dispel any concern that he's washed up. Watch for cuddles to give the Shark a good fight!


Pantani's 1998 winning Bianchi.

The classy Grand Master...

Felice Gimondi...
one more time in the rainbow jersey!

Sunday was a beautiful 23C day for my own Falling leaves ride!

photo Cyclingart