Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2017

I spy with my little eye a certain Michele Scarponi, who sadly lost his life while out training near his home two weeks ago, in there amongst his teammates after his captain, Nibbles, won the race. I’m torn about a death like Michele’s – we subject ourselves to similar risks every time we climb aboard our bikes and we accept it as part and parcel of our craft. Yet, while every day members of our tribe lose their lives to their trade, it takes a high profile rider to remind us how real that risk is.

But onto lighter topics, Nibali won the Giro last year going downhill, and it happened on the one stage I managed to sleep through which is another way of saying I missed it. But I love waking up to a that WTF feeling only a reshuffled GS can give you.

The race starts Friday morning, which is sooner than I expected, so I’ll stop typing so you can start picking. Get them in by the time the clock goes to zero, and remember that our Grand Tour scoring rules are a little different than the smaller events. So jump on that start list and get prognosticating!

Good luck!

[vsp_results id=”104353″/]

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410 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2017”

  1. @wiscot

    @John Irvine

    Top six within 90 seconds going into the last two days. I don’t think Dumoulin was being snarky when he told Q and N to watch out: Pinot, Zakarin or even Pozzovivo could sneak onto the podium. This is anyone’s Giro.

    For now, I will enjoy my temporarily fabulous VSP: 4 of 5, with 1,2,4 ITRO.

    Yes indeed. If Q wants to win overall, he’s going to need more than 38 seconds going into the TT. The whole podium is up for grabs.

    What a great race! I am conflicted as my heart says to root for Tom D but a Quintana win would save my VSP picks. Tomorrow is going to be a cracker!

  2. Damn that’s tight! I’d hazard Quintana is not in a strong position there. Stage 20 – Monte Grappa is a long climb but doesn’t seem super hard….the climb up from Valstagna has one steep little ramp towards the top but there’s a 15km run in to the finish from the summit. It’s going to be an nail-biter TT!

  3. @chuckp

    And even though I’m not a big Sky fan, chapeau today to Landa for a well deserved win … especially after getting pipped twice in previous stages. Plus appropriate for him to win a climbing stage wearing KoM jersey.

    …….and a propper casquette for the presentation.  Really happy for him.  If Q has only a handful of seconds at the TT I do hope he does not turn out in and on a pink monstrosity and get trashed.

  4. Winning is winning I guess but I can’t help but note that barely a single second of Quintana and Nibali’s recovered time today came from them as individuals.

    It was all as a result of their combined team attack early and then sitting behind domestiques on the way up. Nibali made a micro attack about a mile from the finish which can’t have lasted long because he crossed a few seconds down in a group. At least Nibali did something to take the stage the other day – Quntana has just been attached to other wheels the whole time.

    If Dumoulin doesn’t take it then this will have to be one of the most anti-V grand tour wins in recent history… and I’m inluding A Schleck and every Sky victory in there.

  5. @ChrisO

    Winning is winning I guess but I can’t help but note that barely a single second of Quintana and Nibali’s recovered time today came from them as individuals.

    It was all as a result of their combined team attack early and then sitting behind domestiques on the way up. Nibali made a micro attack about a mile from the finish which can’t have lasted long because he crossed a few seconds down in a group. At least Nibali did something to take the stage the other day – Quntana has just been attached to other wheels the whole time.

    If Dumoulin doesn’t take it then this will have to be one of the most anti-V grand tour wins in recent history… and I’m inluding A Schleck and every Sky victory in there.

    In fact both N and Q seemed to get dropped by their domestiques when they tried to up the pace.

  6. Yep… right down to the wire.

    If Nibali had a few more seconds I wouldn’t rule him out but I think it could be Dumoulin, Nibali, Quntana on the podium with very few seconds between them. Zakarin might push close for third.

  7. The Giro delivers again. What a week. The vertical meters covered is staggering. I agree, @ChrisO, those three on the podium with little between them. I reckon Dumoulin will do enough to take it.

    Dumoulin  made a point of thanking Yates, Jungles, and Mellema for pulling with him today, in at least two interviews. Just as odd as having a go at Nibali and Quintana the other day for not doing so. He said their GC placings were pretty much fixed, and so they had no reason to pull other than helping him. Maybe. Yates and Jungles were still fighting it out for the White Jersey, just as Nibali and Quintana were not interested in lower step podium places. Blame and praise where they don’t belong. Hard to know if it’s nativity or something more calculated.

    In some ways he’s been fortunate to have such a big and hotly contested GC field around him – even when without team mates during this brutal week, he’s had plenty of wheels to follow; wheels that just happen to have a mutual objective at a given time.

    Drama aside, this race will change him as a rider for years to come, and I look forward to seeing the result. Long live the Giro!

  8. @stooge

    The Giro delivers again. What a week. The vertical meters covered is staggering. I agree, @ChrisO, those three on the podium with little between them. I reckon Dumoulin will do enough to take it.

    Dumoulin made a point of thanking Yates, Jungles, and Mellema for pulling with him today, in at least two interviews. Just as odd as having a go at Nibali and Quintana the other day for not doing so. He said their GC placings were pretty much fixed, and so they had no reason to pull other than helping him. Maybe. Yates and Jungles were still fighting it out for the White Jersey, just as Nibali and Quintana were not interested in lower step podium places. Blame and praise where they don’t belong. Hard to know if it’s nativity or something more calculated.

    In some ways he’s been fortunate to have such a big and hotly contested GC field around him – even when without team mates during this brutal week, he’s had plenty of wheels to follow; wheels that just happen to have a mutual objective at a given time.

    Drama aside, this race will change him as a rider for years to come, and I look forward to seeing the result. Long live the Giro!

    There were prestage rumors in the French media that other Velon teams would help Dumoulon. Yates, Jungels, and Mollema all ride for Velon teams, as does Tom D.

  9. @Rick

    @stooge

    The Giro delivers again. What a week. The vertical meters covered is staggering. I agree, @ChrisO, those three on the podium with little between them. I reckon Dumoulin will do enough to take it.

    Dumoulin made a point of thanking Yates, Jungles, and Mellema for pulling with him today, in at least two interviews. Just as odd as having a go at Nibali and Quintana the other day for not doing so. He said their GC placings were pretty much fixed, and so they had no reason to pull other than helping him. Maybe. Yates and Jungles were still fighting it out for the White Jersey, just as Nibali and Quintana were not interested in lower step podium places. Blame and praise where they don’t belong. Hard to know if it’s nativity or something more calculated.

    In some ways he’s been fortunate to have such a big and hotly contested GC field around him – even when without team mates during this brutal week, he’s had plenty of wheels to follow; wheels that just happen to have a mutual objective at a given time.

    Drama aside, this race will change him as a rider for years to come, and I look forward to seeing the result. Long live the Giro!

    There were prestage rumors in the French media that other Velon teams would help Dumoulon. Yates, Jungels, and Mollema all ride for Velon teams, as does Tom D.

    Interesting. Still, I find it hard to believe that Yates and Jungles wouldn’t have liked to put time into the other, given how close they are in the white jersey running. Neither wanting to give anything to the other happened to be exactly what was good for Tom. But, maybe they did have an arrangement.

  10. @stooge

    Of course I have no idea if they had an alliance or not. I did think the cooperation was interesting after I saw reports of these rumors this morning. Also, Yates and Jungels racing for the Maglia bianca would not exclude them helping Dumoulin.

  11. It makes more sense that they weren’t far from re-joining the front group so they would try to do so and have the possibility of a stage win.

    As for the Yates v Jungels situation goes there’s no reason for them to do anything other than sit on Dumpulin’s wheel and make sure they other one didn’t escape. Yates in particular – he’s not as strong a tester as Jungels so by rights should have saved energy where possible.

  12. @Rick

    @stooge

    Of course I have no idea if they had an alliance or not. I did think the cooperation was interesting after I saw reports of these rumors this morning. Also, Yates and Jungels racing for the Maglia bianca would not exclude them helping Dumoulin.

    Yep, that was my point. Had the Yates v Jungles race not aligned with Dumoulin’s needs, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have pulled with him.

    @ChrisO

    It makes more sense that they weren’t far from re-joining the front group so they would try to do so and have the possibility of a stage win.

    As for the Yates v Jungels situation goes there’s no reason for them to do anything other than sit on Dumpulin’s wheel and make sure they other one didn’t escape. Yates in particular – he’s not as strong a tester as Jungels so by rights should have saved energy where possible.

    Dunno about Yates having no reason to do anything other than sitting on Dumoulin’s wheel and making sure Jungles didn’t go. Surely keeping the pace up and testing where Jungles was at, and the possibility of gapping him, was a better plan for Yates, given Jungles superiority in TT. Anyway, all very interesting.

    The TT may not go down as predictably as one would normally expect, given how knackered everyone must be after this brutal week. Pinot has been getting stronger as the race has gone on. Zakarin could get up there. Lot of pressure on the three leaders. A facinating finish.

     

  13. Urgh. NQ decked in pink from head to toe. He doesn’t have any choice about the skinsuit (that’s provided by the organisers). But pink helmet, socks, shoes and even gloves!

  14. @ChrisO

    I have to agree, having picked Quintana to win, that his performance was an uninspiring disappointment. And ultimately glad he didn’t win, despite the toilet flush propulses by my annual rite of picking NQ to win in the wrong GT.

    I liked seeing Pinot getting his Voekler faces on in gritting out his late efforts in the last week. He should have more podiums in his future.

  15. Yep, great to see Dumoulin take it for what is a relatively small team.

    And well done to the Giro too for making the final day competitive not just a ceremonial.

    I appreciate a sprint finish as much as anyone but mixing it up every few years with a TT would be nice and not without precedent.

    At one point the Eurosport guy said “Who would have thought a TT could be so interesting?”… err anyone who’s ever heard of Laurent Fignon and Greg Lemond for starters.

  16. Brace yourself. I know how he felt half way through Stage 16. The jokes are coming, and as much as we may try to hold them back, at some point we’ll just need to pull over and let it all out.

  17. Chapeau to Tommy D aka Dumpy. Got one placing right (Quintana) and the rest NITRO. But enough to move me up to 3rd place in VSP standings. This despite Delgado-ing Gent and les femmes Rhonde. I guess I now actually have to pay attention and take this seriously, eh?

  18. Chapeau to Tom D, despite blowing up my VSP picks. Post race believe two questions need to be answered:

    Is the Pope Catholic?

    Does Tom Dumoulin sh*t in the woods?

     

  19. @Teocalli

    Never been so happy to have my poultry VSP trashed. Bravo TD. Great post race interview too.

    I know Tommy D took a dump, but I had no idea he laid an egg! The Dutch chickens finally came home to roost!

  20. @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    Never been so happy to have my poultry VSP trashed. Bravo TD. Great post race interview too.

    I know Tommy D took a dump, but I had no idea he laid an egg! The Dutch chickens finally came home to roost!

    Dang – can’t even blame that on auto correct.  Though he did come up with a Golden Egg, sort of.

  21. @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    Never been so happy to have my poultry VSP trashed. Bravo TD. Great post race interview too.

    I know Tommy D took a dump, but I had no idea he laid an egg! The Dutch chickens finally came home to roost!

    Dang – can’t even blame that on auto correct. Though he did come up with a Golden Egg, sort of.

    Not to worry. I had four of the top 5 right, but NITRO.

  22. @Rick

     

    Does Tom Dumoulin sh*t in the woods?

    He didn’t get that far off the road ! I was gonna say, poor guy, he didn’t get that far… but dang man, he won anyways ! So no one is thinking, poor guy, that’s for sure. What a stud.

  23. @chuckp

    Chapeau to Tommy D aka Dumpy. Got one placing right (Quintana) and the rest NITRO. But enough to move me up to 3rd place in VSP standings. This despite Delgado-ing Gent and les femmes Rhonde. I guess I now actually have to pay attention and take this seriously, eh?

    Astonishingly, I’ve retained the top spot. Probably more a consequence of most people going with the bookies and picking Quintana for the win. But gosh, I like him even less than I did.

  24. Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

  25. @Jansen

    Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

    But we’ll miss you so much!

  26. @Jansen

    Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

    I fear you are taking this way, way, way too seriously.  It’s a bit of fun.

  27. @Jansen

    Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

    Also you only need to click on the dispute option against your pick and it will get sorted in the fullness of time. There is not an army of IT folk behind all this and so hiccoughs are to be expected.  Get a grip man.  Rule 5 and 43.

  28. @Teocalli

    @Jansen

    Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

    Also you only need to click on the dispute option against your pick and it will get sorted in the fullness of time. There is not an army of IT folk behind all this and so hiccoughs are to be expected. Get a grip man. Rule 5 and 43.

    @Frank has also been a bit busy writing a book recently, which probably trumps your VSP outrage.

    What have you done for  the cycling community lately @ Jansen?

  29. @Jansen

    Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

    My picks for the Giro were a bit messed up because of the setup. My picks for a previous race simply disappeared, as did those of some other tippers on that day. So fucking what?!

    This is a place where you can connect with like-minded folk, read great articles, agree, disagree, praise, condemn, even ridicule, all in the name of fun. Oh, and all of this goodness is brought to you free of charge. The fact that such a place even exists is cause for celebration. Untwist your knickers, pull your socks up, harden the fuck up, and score 5 out of 5 for the remainder of the season, just for bragging rights.

    Also, as per rule 43, if you absolutely must be a jackass, be a funny jackass. 

  30. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @Jansen

    Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

    Also you only need to click on the dispute option against your pick and it will get sorted in the fullness of time. There is not an army of IT folk behind all this and so hiccoughs are to be expected. Get a grip man. Rule #5 and #43.

    @Frank has also been a bit busy writing a book recently, which probably trumps your VSP outrage.

    What have you done for the cycling community lately @ Jansen?

    Hopefully it wasn’t THE Jan Jansen……….

    Incidentally I have a Eroica Limburg poster that he signed for me.

  31. @stooge

    @Jansen

    Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

    My picks for the Giro were a bit messed up because of the setup. My picks for a previous race simply disappeared, as did those of some other tippers on that day. So fucking what?!

    This is a place where you can connect with like-minded folk, read great articles, agree, disagree, praise, condemn, even ridicule, all in the name of fun. Oh, and all of this goodness is brought to you free of charge. The fact that such a place even exists is cause for celebration. Untwist your knickers, pull your socks up, harden the fuck up, and score 5 out of 5 for the remainder of the season, just for bragging rights.

    Also, as per Rule #43, if you absolutely must be a jackass, be a funny jackass.

    Exactly. I’ve been here for years and my VSP picks are consistently akin to Tom Dumoulin’s fragile stomach. The prizes are awesome, there are actually winners, and we get it all for free. Nuff said.

  32. @stooge

    @Jansen

    Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

    My picks for the Giro were a bit messed up because of the setup. My picks for a previous race simply disappeared, as did those of some other tippers on that day. So fucking what?!

    Yes indeed @ Stooge, in fact I’m a Giro desaparecido, my entry having been missed. Perhaps I’d be more miffed if I’d got all five in the correct order,,as if that was likely to happen, but with only 3 in the wrong order I think I can afford to be relaxed and enjoy the anonymity.

  33. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @Jansen

    Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

    Also you only need to click on the dispute option against your pick and it will get sorted in the fullness of time. There is not an army of IT folk behind all this and so hiccoughs are to be expected. Get a grip man. Rule #5 and #43.

    @Frank has also been a bit busy writing a book recently, which probably trumps your VSP outrage.

    What have you done for the cycling community lately @ Jansen?

    Hopefully it wasn’t THE Jan Jansen……….

    Incidentally I have a Eroica Limburg poster that he signed for me.

    No worries, that’s Jan Janssen with double “s”. But you have to tell me more about “the One who preceded Tom” and how you got his signature.  Btw we need to catch up about Eroica 2017….

  34. @KogaLover

    Yup I’m booked up to Eroica Limburg, staying over from Friday evening back Monday if you are around for longer than last year we must hook up for an ale or two.  He was signing posters down at the event tent after the ride last year.  So I just said yes please.  Wasn’t all that radical really.

  35. @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @Jansen

    Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

    Also you only need to click on the dispute option against your pick and it will get sorted in the fullness of time. There is not an army of IT folk behind all this and so hiccoughs are to be expected. Get a grip man. Rule #5 and #43.

    @Frank has also been a bit busy writing a book recently, which probably trumps your VSP outrage.

    What have you done for the cycling community lately @ Jansen?

    Hopefully it wasn’t THE Jan Jansen……….

    Incidentally I have a Eroica Limburg poster that he signed for me.

    No worries, that’s Jan Janssen with double “s”. But you have to tell me more about “the One who preceded Tom” and how you got his signature. Btw we need to catch up about Eroica 2017….

    The “one who preceded Tom” would be Joop. Jan preceded Joop.

    Janssen was the first Dutch rider to win the Tour (1968) and the Vuelta (1967). In the former he won 7 stages in 7 finishes and the points jersey three times. In the Vuelta he won three stages and the points classification twice.

    Great quote from him: We had to be good all the time, from the first of February until the end of October. Because it was my duty to make the most of my sponsor’s name, to get publicity. And if you had an off-day, well, you were letting your sponsors down. Now the whole sponsorship of sport has taken off. It has become so interesting to a company, because a company that wants to get its name known, you can buy a good team, with good management, good public relations, and you can get all the big names. I think, too, that the motivation has changed with the professionals as well. You get riders like Steven Rooks and Gert-Jan Theunisse saying that after the Tour they are stopping at home because they can’t be bothered with criteriums, and that’s not attractive for the public.

    As for Hendrik Gerardus Jozef “Joop” Zoetemelk, he won the Tour in 1980. He started, and more importantly, finished all 16 Tours he entered, winning 10 stages over those participations. He finished second six times. He won the Vuelta in 1979 and won three stages during his participations. Winning the Vuelta was arguably the greater of the two wins as he rode for a French team and that was never easy against the Spanish, and in 1980 he won the Tour after Hinault dropped out. To be fair, I don’t begrudge Joop his Tour win, but had Hinault been healthy, I doubt he would have been beaten that year.

    Both Jan and Joop were Wold RR champs too. The Dutch may not have a grand record in the GTs, but I doubt we’ve seen the last of Tom D on a GT podium. All we need is for ASO to get their shit together and put some more TTs into the Tour so it makes for a better race. Yeah, yeah, I know it doesn’t make for great TV, but the gaps created in a TT are what mandate spicy racing in the mountains.

  36. @Rick

    @wiscot

    I agree 100% on the TTs. I would love to see a July 2018 showdown among, Froome, Porte, and Tom D.

    A nice little 25-30 km TT in the first and third weeks, and a 60 kms in the middle week. That would really force the hand of the racers, particularly the climbers, as they’d need to factor in time gained/lost in the TTs and apply that to the mountains. It would make for a better, more even race.This year the Tour has two TTs – a 13km prologue and a 23 km TT the second to last day. Not. Remotely. Enough.

  37. @wiscot

    Agreed, not nearly enough. I love the last stage as a TT but the Champs has become so important for the sprinters that most would drop out the last week if it was a final stage TT.

     

  38. @Rick

    @wiscot

    Agreed, not nearly enough. I love the last stage as a TT but the Champs has become so important for the sprinters that most would drop out the last week if it was a final stage TT.

    You could have a TT on the last but one.  Still leave the precession to the Champs and the sprint.

  39. @Teocalli

    Why not both?

    As several riders pointed out in Giro interviews their race had ended on Saturday – 90% of the field was just going through the motions.

    Let teams nominate riders for a short neutralised sprint stage in the morning and just have 20-30 riders for a TT to follow and decide the final classification – the top GC riders and any TT specialists.

    It wasn’t unusual in years gone by to have split stages on a single day.

     

  40. @ChrisO

    @Teocalli

    Why not both?

    As several riders pointed out in Giro interviews their race had ended on Saturday – 90% of the field was just going through the motions.

    Let teams nominate riders for a short neutralised sprint stage in the morning and just have 20-30 riders for a TT to follow and decide the final classification – the top GC riders and any TT specialists.

    It wasn’t unusual in years gone by to have split stages on a single day.

    Or make the last TT for the top 30 riders plus any riders still in with a shout for a classification. Ok, it’s not the full meal deal, but it would save a few legs for a more dynamic Champs stage.

  41. @Jansen

    Why did I not get my 20 points for getting Tom’s first place right? Probably because of this crappy picks entry that did not work. I’m off.

    Well the actual VSP entry was opened after race start if I recall correctly. Just simply listing your picks, which a lot of us did in advance of race start and the entry being open, was for fun. You may have actually been the one and only original TD for the win pick too ! There were more than a few Steve K’s picked but TD’s ?? Not before the 1st rest day I believe.

  42. @wiscot

    @Rick

    @wiscot

    I agree 100% on the TTs. I would love to see a July 2018 showdown among, Froome, Porte, and Tom D.

    A nice little 25-30 km TT in the first and third weeks, and a 60 kms in the middle week. That would really force the hand of the racers, particularly the climbers, as they’d need to factor in time gained/lost in the TTs and apply that to the mountains. It would make for a better, more even race.This year the Tour has two TTs – a 13km prologue and a 23 km TT the second to last day. Not. Remotely. Enough.

    Interesting.  I seem to recall, though, that people whined (not here, just in general) that too many TT’s made for a boring race.  The strong big riders would dominate the time trials, then just hang on for all of the other stages and nothing much else would happen.

  43. @MangoDave

    @wiscot

    @Rick

    @wiscot

    I agree 100% on the TTs. I would love to see a July 2018 showdown among, Froome, Porte, and Tom D.

    A nice little 25-30 km TT in the first and third weeks, and a 60 kms in the middle week. That would really force the hand of the racers, particularly the climbers, as they’d need to factor in time gained/lost in the TTs and apply that to the mountains. It would make for a better, more even race.This year the Tour has two TTs – a 13km prologue and a 23 km TT the second to last day. Not. Remotely. Enough.

    Interesting. I seem to recall, though, that people whined (not here, just in general) that too many TT’s made for a boring race. The strong big riders would dominate the time trials, then just hang on for all of the other stages and nothing much else would happen.

    But that’s where a well-balanced route comes in. The TT create gaps that maybe give big lads like Dumoulin an advantage over the climbers, who then have to attack in the mountains to shake off said big lads. Dumoulin struggled mightily the last few days in the Giro but came through. In another scenario he might not have held on. Imagine if there had been one more mountain stage after the last TT in the Giro? What racing we would have seen. Currently, we get mountain stage after mountain stage, many of which get a bit boring as the big names mark each other out of the game – Mt Etna stage this year being a great example. Look at the racing on Saturday’s Giro stage. That was incredible as the parcours had been made so that the perfect scenario emerged – the top 5 basically being up for grabs.

    It also puts more emphasis on the rider AND the team.

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