Johan Vandevelde wears a snow helmet on the Gavia during the '88 Giro. Johan Vandevelde wears a snow helmet on the Gavia during the '88 Giro.[/caption]

Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2014

Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2014

by / / 874 posts

For the simple reason that the Cobbled and Ardennes Classics are behind us, I have not alternative but to get back on my soap box about the Giro being the best of the three Grand Tours. Well, usually, at least. Last year’s race sucked the big one (even if it was supremely Rule #9), but for the most part it is the race that is the most closely contested of the three. There are mountains everywhere Italy meaning there are less bunch sprints, the weather is completely unreliable, and the slightly lower calibre of rider seems hungrier. Or maybe the reduced pressure means riders aren’t quite as stressed out and are able to funnel that extra energy into the race.

My favorite Giro is a hard one to pick out, but its either the 1988 Giro when Andy Hampsten took the win after freezing himself stiff with Erik Breukink on the Gavia or when Pantani took his in 1998. I’ve been watching the ’98 Giro during my morning turbo sessions and Merckx-oh-me, that was an All-Drugs Olympics nail-biter. ’98 is also an interesting contrast to ’88; in just a decade, the technology had changed so much but more than that, the doping atmosphere in the sport transformed completely. From Hampsten’s Giro, EPO went from just being dabbled with on the fringes to being abused by leaders and domestiques alike by the time Pantani won. Hampsten wrote a nice piece about racing against dopers in Tyler Hamilton’s book, The Secret Race. He described the various side-effects that the popular drugs of his era had, such as bloating and a tendency to make the user over-estimate their abilities. Amphetamine made the riders do stupid things, cortisone made them retain water, and steroids made them heavy; a clean rider could use those factors to their advantage. A far cry from the rocket fuel that allowed humble domestiques to big ring up major alpine passes.

Why am I talking about drugs? There’s a race starting in a few days, people! This is our first Grand Tour, and the picks are worth more points, not to mention that strategy starts to play into things with the chance to swap your picks out on either of the rest days – at a certain point penalty. Remember that points are not accumulated; the standings on the last day of the race are what kinds, so keep the long game in mind.

Any points you win count towards the overall prizes plus the winner of this event also gets to post for the rest of the year in the pink jersey badge. So check the start list, review the VSP Grand Tour Scoring Guidelines and get your picks in by the time the countdown clock goes to zero at midnight PDT on Friday, May 9th. If you think we mapped one of your picks wrong, use the dispute system and we’ll review it. Also remember to be precise enough in your description so we know which rider you mean; in other words, if you enter “Martin”, we will use our discretion (read: wild guess) to decide if you mean Tony or Dan – and that choice will not be negotiable once the the countdown clock goes to zero. There has also been a recent scourge of people putting a rider in more than one place. Two words: Piti Principle, people! Don’t make me do a bunch of extra programming to keep you from being allowed to submit such an obviously unsportsmanlike set of picks. We will mercilessly clear out all your entries should we find you have attempted this.

Also don’t forget we’ve got three major prizes for the season-long VSP:

  1. First place overall wins a Veloforma Strada iR Velominati Edition frame in addition to the customary VSP winner’s VVorkshop Apron
  2. Second place overall wins a set of hand built CR Wheelworks Arenberg wheelset in a custom Velominati paint scheme laced to orange Chris King hubs. (CR Wheelworks is Café Roubaix’s new wheel goods brand.)
  3. Third place overall wins a full Velominati V-Kit with accompanying custom orange Bont Vaypor+ road shoes.

Good luck, have fun with it, and don’t lose your Rule #43 spirit.

Final Race Results
1. QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander
2. URAN URAN Rigoberto
3. ARU Fabio
4. ROLLAND Pierre
5. POZZOVIVO Domenico
Final VSP Results
1. il muro di manayunk (40 points)
2. anthony (40 points)
3. Ron (40 points)
4. Harminator (38 points)
5. Patrick (38 points)
6. blue (38 points)
7. G'phant (38 points)
8. sthilzy (35 points)
9. Steampunk (35 points)
10. bunji (35 points)
11. t-Dot-toronto (35 points)
12. boudewijn (35 points)
13. boomboom-84 (35 points)
14. Gino (35 points)
15. actor1 (35 points)
16. napolinige (35 points)
17. Geordi (35 points)
18. the Engine (30 points)
19. DCR (30 points)
20. Gianni (30 points)
21. Beers (28 points)
22. Barracuda (28 points)
23. The Grande Fondue (28 points)
24. zeitzmar (28 points)
25. tony macaroni (28 points)
26. Emsworth (28 points)
27. LIIIXI (28 points)
28. Facetious_Jesus (28 points)
29. xyxax (28 points)
30. ramenvelo (28 points)
31. Chica (28 points)
32. GiantSmokey (27 points)
33. TOM.NELS2120 (26 points)
34. freddy (26 points)
35. meursault (26 points)
36. VeloVita (26 points)
37. Rhodri (26 points)
38. LA Dave (26 points)
39. Two Ball Billy (26 points)
40. stickyjumper (26 points)
41. Bill Chris (26 points)
42. JohnB (23 points)
43. KW (23 points)
44. andrew (23 points)
45. la plaque (23 points)
46. Chris S (23 points)
47. Buck Rogers (23 points)
48. JCM (23 points)
49. Fausto (23 points)
50. foggypeake (23 points)
51. Xponti (23 points)
52. Rom (23 points)
53. minion (23 points)
54. bigbailey (23 points)
55. simonsaunders (23 points)
56. dyalander (23 points)
57. seemunkee (23 points)
58. Tartan1749 (23 points)
59. polka-dot palmarès (23 points)
60. lindrop (23 points)
61. Tom Mc (23 points)
62. aaus (23 points)
63. ErikdR (23 points)
64. norm (23 points)
65. Brian McAndrews (23 points)
66. scaler911 (23 points)
67. spoderman (23 points)
68. habswin1 (23 points)
69. Jay (23 points)
70. jeyrod (23 points)
71. roberto (21 points)
72. kixsand (21 points)
73. Sauterelle (20 points)
74. Owen (20 points)
75. Jee-O (20 points)
76. BoogieStudio22 (18 points)
77. chrismurphy92 (18 points)
78. Mikael Liddy (18 points)
79. V-inden (18 points)
80. Fins (18 points)
81. Blah (18 points)
82. schall und rauch (18 points)
83. Wardy (18 points)
84. Haldy (18 points)
85. Dave R (18 points)
86. Weldertron (18 points)
87. Minnesota Expat (18 points)
88. Bianchi Denti (16 points)
89. Yagerbomb (16 points)
90. Nate (16 points)
91. CanuckChuck (16 points)
92. ChrisO (16 points)
93. justinevan88 (13 points)
94. strathlubnaig (13 points)
95. SimonH (13 points)
96. Rob (11 points)
97. atze (11 points)
98. Stephen (11 points)
99. taon24 (11 points)
100. dancollins (11 points)
101. Mirko (10 points)
102. harminator (9 points)
103. TheDon (9 points)
104. cal (9 points)
105. Bat Chainpuller (9 points)
106. Spencer (9 points)
107. LeoTea (9 points)
108. therealpeel (9 points)
109. Duende (8 points)
110. oneninefiveninesix (8 points)
111. Jeff simmons (8 points)
112. DeKerr (6 points)
113. HMBSteve (6 points)
114. the-farmer (6 points)
115. Shlumpen (6 points)
116. Badger (6 points)
117. Floridian (6 points)
118. ten B (6 points)
119. RedRanger (6 points)
120. Brianold55 (6 points)
121. V-olcano (6 points)
122. San Tonio (6 points)
123. Deakus (6 points)
124. ped (6 points)
125. Ccos (6 points)
126. VbyV (6 points)
127. Skip (6 points)
128. imakecircles (6 points)
129. asyax (6 points)
130. frank (6 points)
131. geoffrey (6 points)
132. R00tdown (6 points)
133. PT (6 points)
134. Luis G (6 points)
135. el gato (6 points)
136. Wilpheston (6 points)
137. Steve-o (6 points)
138. plynie (6 points)
139. Geraint (6 points)
140. RO (6 points)
141. Father of Four (6 points)
142. Chris (6 points)
143. eenies (6 points)
144. wkleik (6 points)
145. Al__S (4 points)
146. razmaspaz (3 points)
147. Mantis Style (3 points)
148. Daccordi Rider (3 points)
149. RossArmstrong2014 (3 points)
150. Mike_P (3 points)
151. Erik (3 points)
152. Darren H (3 points)
153. BaltoSteve (3 points)
154. Dr C (3 points)
155. brett (3 points)
156. starclimber (3 points)
157. unversio (1 points)
158. piwakawaka (1 points)
159. wiscot (1 points)
160. Island Bike (1 points)
161. Teocalli (1 points)
162. Roobar (1 points)
163. Lukas (0 points)
164. Adrian (0 points)
165. Mr fabulous (0 points)
166. VirenqueForever (0 points)
167. GogglesPizano (0 points)
168. dpalazzo (0 points)
169. kplarkin (0 points)
170. fignons barber (0 points)
171. Tobin (0 points)
172. TheVid (0 points)
173. Chui (0 points)
174. VeloJello (0 points)

 

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. Chapeau to Rogers. Not just for deploying massive V and winning an epic stage, but also for shouting “FUCK OFF” repeatedly at the fucking arseholes who think it’s a good plan to run alongside the riders on the climb.

    That cunt in the rainbows should have been dragged to the top on a rope behind a moto and cast from the steepest slope. And that would have been too good for him.

  2. @Geraint

    Chapeau to Rogers. Not just for deploying massive V and winning an epic stage, but also for shouting “FUCK OFF” repeatedly at the fucking arseholes who think it’s a good plan to run alongside the riders on the climb.

    That cunt in the rainbows should have been dragged to the top on a rope behind a moto and cast from the steepest slope. And that would have been too good for him.

    Drop him from here from my ride today round the Isle of Wight – it was a long way down to the rocks from there……(by the way that’s 2 tubs not an EPMS)

  3. Missed all the action last night, but sounds like it was all going on… my conclusions:

    Fuck Rogers, I don’t know how that piece of shit lies straight in bed at night.

    Spectators are becoming worse, not just for running and interfering, but they leave hardly any road width for the riders to use for attacks or even safe passage. Anyone running alongside should be dragged off the road and beaten.

    Nairo needs a fashion advisor badly. And a conscience after the stage 16 debacle. Hollow win.

    In fact, Pro cycling seems to be getting worse for cheating in ways not just drug-related. I mean, Froome calling for more testing? That’s a bold way to deflect suspicion. O’Grady, Rogers, all these cunts lying through their teeth just makes me want to walk away. Take the drugs, but don’t take us for fools…

    Rolland is class. Picked him for 4th, and he came through despite my concerns that he may get disinterested. But he’s the real deal.

    Think I need a nice mountain bike ride to calm me down!

  4. The End

  5. FDJ clad twat running with a group copping a smack to the head then having his eyewear jettisoned for his efforts. Respect the race people.

    https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/video/crazy-scenes-rider-steals-spectators-145949209.html

  6. Dammit I stayed up to watch last night’s stage and after the dropkick in the WC jersey fucked Bongiorno over, it was kinda boring. Quintana looked like he rode within himself, and really it was up to him to light it up. DOn’t know it it was a crack in his armour, cos if it is it’s the first one we would have seen, but he really rode himself into shape in that third week.

  7. Oh yeah and fuck Mick Rogers. I know, I live in Canberra, and round here he’s mythical, but I got a flashback to the bad old days when time trialists won the toughest climbs and chicken-legged climbers won flat TTs.

  8. @minion

    @brett

    So, Rogers:  Do you reckon he’s doping now?

    What exactly are you basing your “Fuck Rogers” polemic on?

  9. @mouse

    @minion

    @brett

    So, Rogers: Do you reckon he’s doping now?

    What exactly are you basing your “Fuck Rogers” polemic on?

    I know people who know people.

  10. @sthilzy

    FDJ clad twat running with a group copping a smack to the head then having his eyewear jettisoned for his efforts. Respect the race people.

    https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/video/crazy-scenes-rider-steals-spectators-145949209.html

    Apart from violating at least five rules, he was endangering the Europcar rider by running right in front of him. There were definitely too many jackasses per sqm that day on Monte Zoncolan.

  11. @brett

    @mouse

    @minion

    @brett

    So, Rogers: Do you reckon he’s doping now?

    What exactly are you basing your “Fuck Rogers” polemic on?

    I know people who know people.

    Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck. Mmmmm

    On a brighter note, absolutely cracker Giro, loved every minute of it. Boys will be hurting at the end of this week!

  12. This made me titter after yesterday’s ranbowband incident

    https://vine.co/v/MdLugXQtg2Y

    New sport – Tifosi Tripping

  13. @DrC

    This made me titter after yesterday’s ranbowband incident

    https://vine.co/v/MdLugXQtg2Y

    New sport – Tifosi Tripping

    That could catch on!

  14. @DrC Titter ye not!

    (The Merkans won’t get that one).

    Much as I would like to see them taken out from below or above – well positioned snipers spring to mind – the problem would be compounded if they fell in front of a rider…. or rolled. Quite a few of them could easily roll.

  15. @DrC  it is done with such great style, love the commentators reaction

  16. @brett

    @mouse

    @minion

    @brett

    So, Rogers: Do you reckon he’s doping now?

    What exactly are you basing your “Fuck Rogers” polemic on?

    I know people who know people.

    So, ok.

    But now? Right now? Is he doping right now?

    I don’t know my arse from my elbow when it comes to Rogers prehistory about his alleged doping. You would appear to know otherwise. I’m a pretty naive kinda fella. Do you think he’d be doping after serving a suspension for doping in which he’s been exonerated? Could it be that he’s actually a pretty talented rider?

  17. @mouse What is now?

    That’s more than an existential question. If someone gave up smoking yesterday/last week/last month/last year are they a non-smoker now?

    When does a doper become rehabilitated? If someone dopes for 10 years and had the benefit of being able to train harder, for longer and recover better do they become a non-doper because they didn’t take anything in the last three months?

    I have no concrete idea if any of that applies to Rogers, but he has a lot of bad associations and allegations of the sort that have so often proven correct in the past.

    I would normally be yelling at the screen to see an Aussie winning a classic stage like that one but I couldn’t do more than raise an eyebrow yesterday.

  18. Rogers lost only 1.15 to Quintana on the climb. Although Nairo looked like he was on a Sunday ride and could have gone 5 minutes faster.

  19. @ChrisO

    @mouse What is now?

    That’s more than an existential question. If someone gave up smoking yesterday/last week/last month/last year are they a non-smoker now?

    When does a doper become rehabilitated? If someone dopes for 10 years and had the benefit of being able to train harder, for longer and recover better do they become a non-doper because they didn’t take anything in the last three months?

    I have no concrete idea if any of that applies to Rogers, but he has a lot of bad associations and allegations of the sort that have so often proven correct in the past.

    I would normally be yelling at the screen to see an Aussie winning a classic stage like that one but I couldn’t do more than raise an eyebrow yesterday.

    I read an article a while back which purported to show that post doping the body retains a significant portion of the ability the doping induced.  It was a scientifically backed article based on research and was presenting the view as to why dopers (in all sports) should be banned for life.

  20. Final results are in and @il muro di manayunk takes a close win! Just goes to show that getting your picks in early can mean the difference between first and third!

    Congrats, and looking forward to you showing off that pink jersey!

    Final Race Results
    1. QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander
    2. URAN URAN Rigoberto
    3. ARU Fabio
    4. ROLLAND Pierre
    5. POZZOVIVO Domenico

    Final VSP Results
    1. il muro di manayunk (40 points)
    2. anthony (40 points)
    3. Ron (40 points)
    4. Harminator (38 points)
    5. Patrick (38 points)
    6. blue (38 points)
    7. G’phant (38 points)
    8. sthilzy (35 points)
    9. Steampunk (35 points)
    10. bunji (35 points)
    174. VeloJello (0 points)

  21. Cool! Thanks.

    Submitting the order to have my frame repainted pink as I type.

  22. Ouch, what could have been with an earlier submission. That’ll teach me for overthinking my picks. Then again, what fun would it be for me if I didn’t?

  23. watching rogers win just reminded me of Reeshard’s comeback solo victories at the Tour.

  24. @Ron Yeah no kidding, I’ll take the podium spot though.

  25. @il muro di manayunk  Well played. Strong work. And thanks, Keepers –  and community – for another excellent VSP.

    This has been a great Giro.  Although (or perhaps because) I boycotted ATOC and so cannot directly compare the two, I am confident that the Giro was by far the better spectacle – despite (or perhaps because of) the absence of some Big Name Riders.  In fact, Le Tour is going to need to be on its game to compete. (Though I think I might always say that.)

  26. @ChrisO

    @mouse What is now?

    That’s more than an existential question. If someone gave up smoking yesterday/last week/last month/last year are they a non-smoker now?

    When does a doper become rehabilitated? If someone dopes for 10 years and had the benefit of being able to train harder, for longer and recover better do they become a non-doper because they didn’t take anything in the last three months?

    I have no concrete idea if any of that applies to Rogers, but he has a lot of bad associations and allegations of the sort that have so often proven correct in the past.

    This. I am no scientist, but I think that the level you can push your body to through the use of PED’s, is an adaption that remains after you stop, training is muscle adaption, once you have trained at 11/10 you can probably go there again even when clean.

  27. @piwakawaka

    @ChrisO

    @mouse What is now?

    That’s more than an existential question. If someone gave up smoking yesterday/last week/last month/last year are they a non-smoker now?

    When does a doper become rehabilitated? If someone dopes for 10 years and had the benefit of being able to train harder, for longer and recover better do they become a non-doper because they didn’t take anything in the last three months?

    I have no concrete idea if any of that applies to Rogers, but he has a lot of bad associations and allegations of the sort that have so often proven correct in the past.

    This. I am no scientist, but I think that the level you can push your body to through the use of PED’s, is an adaption that remains after you stop, training is muscle adaption, once you have trained at 11/10 you can probably go there again even when clean.

    Gents.  Still not buying it.

    If that were the case, Armstrong would have won 9 TdF’s and Contador would have won several more. We know that there are several confirmed ex dopers in the peleton at the moment and they certainly aren’t a level above.

    Blood vector doping is a physiological means to increase the “octane” of your blood. If it aint there, you don’t have it, whatever your brain might be telling you is possible.  Hamilton describes the sensation of being doped as your body continuing in spite of what your brain might be saying.

    I’m wondering if there isn’t a bit of confirmation bias going on here.  Once a doper always a doper is a handy shorthand to paint characters in a certain light. It may not reflect reality of now.

    I, once again admit that I don’t know the reality of the situation but I can’t help to feel a bit put off by the line of reasoning going on here.

  28. @brett

    Missed all the action last night, but sounds like it was all going on… my conclusions:

    Fuck Rogers, I don’t know how that piece of shit lies straight in bed at night.

    Spectators are becoming worse, not just for running and interfering, but they leave hardly any road width for the riders to use for attacks or even safe passage. Anyone running alongside should be dragged off the road and beaten.

    Nairo needs a fashion advisor badly. And a conscience after the stage 16 debacle. Hollow win.

    In fact, Pro cycling seems to be getting worse for cheating in ways not just drug-related. I mean, Froome calling for more testing? That’s a bold way to deflect suspicion. O’Grady, Rogers, all these cunts lying through their teeth just makes me want to walk away. Take the drugs, but don’t take us for fools…

    Rolland is class. Picked him for 4th, and he came through despite my concerns that he may get disinterested. But he’s the real deal.

    Think I need a nice mountain bike ride to calm me down!

    Spot on.  If you have followed the sport since at least the mid-90’s and you did not think this, then you have drank too much kool-aid.  Virenque or Hincapie anyone???

    And yes, bummed that Rolland did not quite make the podium, your picks be damned!

  29. @mouse The articles cited relate to steroid use. No reason to think that the same would apply to EPO, etc. But if it does apply to roids, then convicted roid users should be gone for good. And, personally, I would be happy to see those convicted of blood boosting suffer the same fate, on the basis that they are deemed to also have been at the roids.

  30. @G’phant

  31. is totally different J.V. talks about how riders are worse after stoping and sometimes that doesn’t go away, there is a good article in velonews about the long term affects of P.E.D’s.  b Steroids have a much longer affect on you body than epo steroids can change you permenently epo looks like it does not! I am to lazy to look up the issue It’s all out there though

  32. @anthony I don’t disagree that the duration of the effects of roids and blood boosters may be different.  I simply suggest that, if roid effects are permanent / long-lasting:

    1. a permanent ban for deliberate roid use makes sense; and

    2. perhaps more controversially (and a little bit Old Testamently), anyone caught deliberately using blood boosters should be considered to have also deliberately used roids and also be banned permanently (on the basis that where there’s smoke there’s fire, and cheating with one drug means you lose the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty re use of others).

  33. @G’phant Fair enough, lets hope they are a bit cleaner these days.

  34. @mouse the reason his nickname is “Dodger” isn’t necessarily just due to his surname…in addition to opening the airways, Clenbuterol is extremely effective at stripping away body fat while not compromising muscle (e.g. very good for one’s power to weight). Interesting he got pinged when the peleton were under the impression that they weren’t being tested for Clen due to coming from China, yet there wasn’t exactly a rash of other positives that would point to tainted food being fed to riders.

    Let’s have a look at when he won his 3 TT rainbows:

    ’03 – Came 2nd to Millar who had it stripped due to EPO use & recorded the same time as Uwe Peschel (from that squeaky clean Gerolsteiner squad)

    ’04 – Beat Michael Rich (another of Gerolsteiner’s stars) & Vino (we all know his TT tactics)

    ’05 – Beat Ivan Guttierez & Faboo on his way up

    Of those 3, that last one is the only one I’d look at & not question based on his company on the podium.

  35. O and by the way fucking Quintana may have bad taste in fasion but he is so fucking calm and ruthless, that kid fucking rules. He’s a Killer!

  36. Here are some Rogers facts. Make inferences as you will.

    Named by Leipheimer in his Reasoned Decision affidavit as being on 2 camps with Ferrari. He says this was a mistake.

    Profiled in 2011 by UCI as being a rider in the highest category of likely doping. The category described as containing riders who showed “overwhelming evidence of some kind of doping, due to recurring anomalies, enormous variations in parameters, and even the identification of doping products or methods”. Keep in mind it was the fucking toothless and gormless UCI that said this. To my knowledge, Rogers has never addressed this.

    Left Sky at around the time that certain declarations were to be signed.

  37. @G’phant

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Marcus

    @ChrisO

    @brett

    So, are we going to form a lynch mob?

  38. @mouse

    not a lynch mob – but I am not joining in a mutual circle-jerk of congratulation for a guy who if he was say Spanish, the Anglos would generally be a lot more  suspicious/ dismissive.

    That being said I was barracking for him all the way up. Just like I loved Dicky’s solo wins and yellow jersey (supported by Rogers) at the Tour

  39. @Marcus

    @mouse

    not a lynch mob – but I am not joining in a mutual circle-jerk of congratulation for a guy who if he was say Spanish, the Anglos would generally be a lot more suspicious/ dismissive.

    What he said ^

  40. @Marcus

    @mouse

    not a lynch mob – but I am not joining in a mutual circle-jerk of congratulation for a guy who if he was say Spanish, the Anglos would generally be a lot more suspicious/ dismissive.

    That being said I was barracking for him all the way up. Just like I loved Dicky’s solo wins and yellow jersey (supported by Rogers) at the Tour

    Ah, a nuanced and well supported argument that reconciles both sides.

    Thanks

  41. @Marcus

    @mouse

    not a lynch mob – but I am not joining in a mutual circle-jerk of congratulation for a guy who if he was say Spanish, the Anglos would generally be a lot more suspicious/ dismissive.

    As always, I agree with Marcus.

  42. @ChrisO

    disappointed that you didn’t raise “mutual circle jerk” as a tautology.

  43. How do you reconcile the lead photo and the madness of Stage 16 this year?

    Exhibit A: cycle racer rides in the mountains, it’s snowing, and he’s in summer kit. I’m sure he commented afterwards that it was a challenging day in the day.

    Exhibit B: cycle racers ride in the mountains, in snow, and they’re in hi-tech gear from head to toe, snowmobile gloves, neck gaiters, hats, booties, wind/waterproof jackets, shades shielding their eyes. Post-Stage they say they don’t appreciate being treated like animals, they organizers are bastards, and they never want to do that again.

    Why is their plight any worse than the conditions and circumstances racers in the past have faced in this very same Grand Tour?

  44. Here’s an interesting coda to the Giro. As you might imagine, ALL the riders will be heading home to rest, recuperate and spend time with loved ones in anticipation of whatever their schedule holds over the next few months. There’s a reason Senor Sexy Boots was celebrating on Saturday – Sunday’s stage was a procession and one for the sprinters after a couple of brutal days in the mountains.

    In 1979, things were different. The organizers had a wizard wheeze: a 670 kms epilogue stage that was supposedly for the top 50 riders. You read that right – 670 kilometers. Not 60, not 70, but 670. How could that be done in a single day you ask? Of course it couldn’t and involved the riders racing through the night. Not even Bordeaux – Paris was this crazy (often around 560 kms/350 miles) and they finished with dernys. Nope, 670 kms (418 miles) through the night. It was Milan to Rome. Needless to say the top 10 riders didn’t show up. In fact most riders stayed away. Only 50 took part. That was about the number of spectators who showed up to watch the finish. Sergio Santamaria won it.

    This was a year after the Hinault-led protest at Valence D’Agen in the Tour, protesting about split stages and the riders being treated like circus animals. Apparently the Giro organizers missed that one. Changed days we live in, that’s for sure.

  45. @Teocalli

    @Geraint

    Chapeau to Rogers. Not just for deploying massive V and winning an epic stage, but also for shouting “FUCK OFF” repeatedly at the fucking arseholes who think it’s a good plan to run alongside the riders on the climb.

    That cunt in the rainbows should have been dragged to the top on a rope behind a moto and cast from the steepest slope. And that would have been too good for him.

    Drop him from here from my ride today round the Isle of Wight – it was a long way down to the rocks from there……(by the way that’s 2 tubs not an EPMS)

    Lovely, timeless shot. Remove the computer and print in B&W or sepia. Beautiful and nice to see the Butler getting some mikes in!

  46. @wiscot Nice idea re the sepia.  I guess I should have popped the GPS off but needed it as it was a 170 Km trip down to the ferry and round the island and I didn’t know the route.  Nice end to the ride with a huge plate of traditional British Fish and Chips and fine recovery ale.

  47. @Ron

    How do you reconcile the lead photo and the madness of Stage 16 this year?

    Exhibit A: cycle racer rides in the mountains, it’s snowing, and he’s in summer kit. I’m sure he commented afterwards that it was a challenging day in the day.

    Exhibit B: cycle racers ride in the mountains, in snow, and they’re in hi-tech gear from head to toe, snowmobile gloves, neck gaiters, hats, booties, wind/waterproof jackets, shades shielding their eyes. Post-Stage they say they don’t appreciate being treated like animals, they organizers are bastards, and they never want to do that again.

    Why is their plight any worse than the conditions and circumstances racers in the past have faced in this very same Grand Tour?

    Yeah, we were watching the telecast and all these people were tweetng in, “I don’t know why they are making them ride, they should call this off” etc etc. We all just looked at each other and rationed that this is why we watch professionals, to see them do shit we know hurts, to boggle our minds. Cotaldo descending that day was just fucking unreal! Sure, it was dangerous, but I didn’t read any reports of crashes on the ascent or descent of the Stelvio. Seems like going by this rationale, we’d have no Paris Roubaix or Flanders because the surface isn’t Formula 1 spec tarmac FFS.

    Then take out all the epic climbs, even on a good day, because they are too hard? Yawn..

    @Teocalli
    It’s the back story to that bike that gets me, great to see it ridden again as it was meant to be!

  48. Rigo sense of humor.

  49. @Beers

    @Ron

    How do you reconcile the lead photo and the madness of Stage 16 this year?

    Exhibit A: cycle racer rides in the mountains, it’s snowing, and he’s in summer kit. I’m sure he commented afterwards that it was a challenging day in the day.

    Exhibit B: cycle racers ride in the mountains, in snow, and they’re in hi-tech gear from head to toe, snowmobile gloves, neck gaiters, hats, booties, wind/waterproof jackets, shades shielding their eyes. Post-Stage they say they don’t appreciate being treated like animals, they organizers are bastards, and they never want to do that again.

    Why is their plight any worse than the conditions and circumstances racers in the past have faced in this very same Grand Tour?

    Yeah, we were watching the telecast and all these people were tweetng in, “I don’t know why they are making them ride, they should call this off” etc etc. We all just looked at each other and rationed that this is why we watch professionals, to see them do shit we know hurts, to boggle our minds. Cotaldo descending that day was just fucking unreal! Sure, it was dangerous, but I didn’t read any reports of crashes on the ascent or descent of the Stelvio. Seems like going by this rationale, we’d have no Paris Roubaix or Flanders because the surface isn’t Formula 1 spec tarmac FFS.

    Then take out all the epic climbs, even on a good day, because they are too hard? Yawn..

     

    I’ve said it before. It’s a bike RACE, not a fucking picnic ride. Nobody HAS to go as fast as they can down a mountain in shit weather. They choose to because it’s a race.

    And it does seem there were a lot more crashes on FLAT roads in this Giro–regardless of weather conditions–than there were in the mountains.

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