Fit For Gladiators

the Gladiators, Valverde and Pozzovivo...
looking like a painting.
photo Cycling Art

The Italian weekend of racing is over and they were... classic.

To start, Alejandro Valverde won his first race in Italy (hard to believe) and has that early season strength that looks pretty dominating. He is infamously tied in Operation Puerto, banned for two years and still hasn't admitted his involvement. And, questionable or not, he beat a rapidly charging peloton to score his 6th win of 2014. With momentum, on his side, I wonder why he doesn't increase his chances to chalk up more wins and ride Tirreno Adriatico and Milan Sanremo?

Phillipe Gilbert finished a fine 7th and complained of cars on the course. I was shocked to see a car ramble close, and thankfully stopped in front of the racers. Where are the race marshals? My prediction of Filippo Pozzato turning an authentic victory salute never happen, however it was still an exciting race, with beautiful scenery finishing by the Colosseum - fit for gladiators.

Sagan and Kwiatkowski
photo Cycling Art

Exciting performance for Michal Kwiatkowski dropping Peter Sagan to win one of my favorite races, the Strade Bianche in Siena. The Polish champion was the only one to react when Sagan (the Green Tornado) attack with 20kms remaining. Then attacked on the toughest ascent in the final kilometres to score a memorable victory. For Peter Sagan,  I have no doubt a huge win is coming.

photo Cycling Art

Back in France, Paris Nice. Stage 1, Mantes-la-Jolie...

Winning by a skin-suit.
Nacer Bouhanni erased an early fall, came back to out sprint
John Dagenkolb and Gianni Meersman.