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. @RobSandy

    @RobSandy

    @Quadzilla

    @stooge

    I DO hope no-one is taking advantage of Frank’s error with the selection window to make sneaky free swaps…

    It’s a bit like riding hard on the front of the peloton when one of your GC rivals has been caught in a crash. I dub it ‘doing a Movistar’…

    I DO hope frank cleared the penalties for those who put their picks in before the first rest day (which were the first official picks, due to the setup error) for which the picking machine said they were 2nd rest day swaps, as he said he had/would. So, these actual 2nd rest day picks should be penalised for what they are.

  2. @RobSandy

    @Quadzilla

    @stooge

    I DO hope no-one is taking advantage of Frank’s error with the selection window to make sneaky free swaps…

    It’s a bit like riding hard on the front of the peloton when one of your GC rivals has been caught in a crash. I dub it ‘doing a Movistar’…

    ‘Doing a Movistar’ might take off, though.

  3. @stooge

    @RobSandy

    @Quadzilla

    @stooge

    I DO hope no-one is taking advantage of Frank’s error with the selection window to make sneaky free swaps…

    It’s a bit like riding hard on the front of the peloton when one of your GC rivals has been caught in a crash. I dub it ‘doing a Movistar’…

    ‘Doing a Movistar’ might take off, though.

    I’m not sure whether ‘Doing a Movistar’ means to take a fair advantage. Or to take an unfair advantage…

    I’m not making any more swaps because I’m not convinced my first lot of picks will stand anyway!

  4. @RobSandy

    @stooge

    @RobSandy

    @Quadzilla

    @stooge

    I DO hope no-one is taking advantage of Frank’s error with the selection window to make sneaky free swaps…

    It’s a bit like riding hard on the front of the peloton when one of your GC rivals has been caught in a crash. I dub it ‘doing a Movistar’…

    ‘Doing a Movistar’ might take off, though.

    I’m not sure whether ‘Doing a Movistar’ means to take a fair advantage. Or to take an unfair advantage…

    I’m not making any more swaps because I’m not convinced my first lot of picks will stand anyway!

    The beauty lies in the ambiguity.

    Yeah, who knows how this race will go VSP wise. I suspect it would be a fairly easy fix – to clear the penalties from before the 1st rest day deadline and count swaps as normal from then on – but as the setup and subsequent ‘fix’ both went awry, I’m not filled with confidence. I reckon Frank will sort it when he gets a chance. Having managed to Delgado one race and have my picks vanish for mens and femmes on another, I’m picking for shits and giggles at this point anyway. Hope the scoring works out for those still in the running.

  5. @stooge

     

    Yeah, who knows how this race will go VSP wise. I suspect it would be a fairly easy fix – to clear the penalties from before the 1st rest day deadline and count swaps as normal from then on – but as the setup and subsequent ‘fix’ both went awry, I’m not filled with confidence. I reckon Frank will sort it when he gets a chance. Having managed to Delgado one race and have my picks vanish for mens and femmes on another, I’m picking for shits and giggles at this point anyway. Hope the scoring works out for those still in the running.

    After yesterday I’m pretty happy with my picks. Got Quintana, Pinot and Dumoulin in my top 4. I’ve also got G and I’m keeping him in out of respect!

    It would have been really interesting seeing how he got on vs Dumoulin, Nibali, Mollema eta. What a total shitter.

  6. Landa out, Dumoulin in

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Quintana
    2. Nibali
    3. Kruijswijk
    4. Dumoulin
    5. T Pinot
  7. Orica-Scott sports director Matt White has slammed Movistar‘s decision to continue driving at the front of the peloton when several major GC riders, including the Australian squad’s Adam Yates, were caught up in a major crash on stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia.

    Source:  Cycling News 

    I really think the police moto incident was unfortunate. I am also all for unwritten rules that discourage attacking a race leader when a mechanical or natural break occur. However, I am a bit flummoxed as to what exactly Mr. White is upset about here.  With time trials still ahead Movistar had to put time into rivals today. Easing off may have well put the entire GC at risk for them.

    I am not a Movistar fan nor detractor- I respect them as a great team. I thought they should have raced ahead last year when Froome abused the power of the leader’s jersey by asking for a natural break when his team crashed. Cancellara, who was the sheriff, declared no racing and Movistar complied, although reluctantly. Personally, I would not have blamed them for racing ahead when CF clearly took advantage of his standing in the peloton.

    The situation on Mt. Ventoux last July was similar and I don’t recall his rider waiting for the guy in Yellow. That was of course rectified by judges but I don’t blame Adam Yates for continuing to ride.

    Despite whether it was sporting or not, these moto/car crashes with riders have to stop. I respect the job that the Police do for the races but WTF? If he had to pull over, there was ample room off the tarmac to stop and wait for other riders who needed police presence. Instead he produced the latest Wile E. Coyote moment in cycling.

  8. @Rick

    Orica-Scott sports director Matt White has slammed Movistar‘s decision to continue driving at the front of the peloton when several major GC riders, including the Australian squad’s Adam Yates, were caught up in a major crash on stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia.

    Source: Cycling News

    I really think the police moto incident was unfortunate. I am also all for unwritten rules that discourage attacking a race leader when a mechanical or natural break occur. However, I am a bit flummoxed as to what exactly Mr. White is upset about here. With time trials still ahead Movistar had to put time into rivals today. Easing off may have well put the entire GC at risk for them.

    I am not a Movistar fan nor detractor- I respect them as a great team. I thought they should have raced ahead last year when Froome abused the power of the leader’s jersey by asking for a natural break when his team crashed. Cancellara, who was the sheriff, declared no racing and Movistar complied, although reluctantly. Personally, I would not have blamed them for racing ahead when CF clearly took advantage of his standing in the peloton.

    The situation on Mt. Ventoux last July was similar and I don’t recall his rider waiting for the guy in Yellow. That was of course rectified by judges but I don’t blame Adam Yates for continuing to ride.

    Despite whether it was sporting or not, these moto/car crashes with riders have to stop. I respect the job that the Police do for the races but WTF? If he had to pull over, there was ample room off the tarmac to stop and wait for other riders who needed police presence. Instead he produced the latest Wile E. Coyote moment in cycling.

    It’s a tricky one for sure. Had it been Jungels who was on the ground, then a case can be made for a “race leader down” truce. But it wasn’t Jungels. It was Quintana’s rivals. This opens up a big debate about when to attack and when not to attack. Are all the GC contenders supposed to get to a mid point in a decisive stage and have a wee confab, asking “ok, is everyone doing fine, feeling ok? Lots of food and water? Shall we start racing?” It’s a very tough call on when to hang back because a rival is in difficulty whether self-imposed (bad legs) or by a 2nd party (puncture/mechanical) or a 3rd party (moto). At some point, someone is going to be in difficulty for some reason. It was super shitty luck for Thomas, but that’s racing I suppose.

    Not to self promote, but see my article from a while back on Knut Knudsen and his experiences in the Giro when bad luck (cough, cough) comes calling.

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Nairo Quintana
    2. Thibault Pinot
    3. Kruiswijk
    4. Nibali
    5. Dumoulin
  9. Damn. No complaints on Movistar continuing to race there but that sucks mightily hard for the Sky boys. I’m leaving Gez in there (albeit down a bit) out of respect for a proper hardman comeback…shame he faded

    on the second half of the climb.

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Quintana #thatgeekcanroll
    2. Pinot
    3. Nibbles
    4. Dumoulin
    5. Thomas
  10. so much of what goes on is situational.  when Lance famously waited for Jan after his crash, it should be noted that he was there when it happened.  likewise, when Lance fell on on the Luz Ardiden stage in 2003, he was in contact with the leaders, and it was easy enough for them to calm their tits until he could rejoin.  with the Blockhaus crash, it seems like Movistar were already up the road a bit, at full gas.  this would be a different scenario.  definitely sucks for Sky, but that’s life.

  11. Okay time for my first change to my tips!

    So my second rest day swap is – Landa in my 5th spot is out and Pinot is in.

    I’m keeping Thomas in there and just hoping that he will pull back some time through the TT’s.

     

     

     

     

     

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Quintana
    2. Nibali
    3. Kruijswijk
    4. Thomas
    5. Pinot
  12. VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. QUINTANA Nairo
    2. NIBALI Vincenzo
    3. PINOT Thibaut
    4. DUMOULIN Tom
    5. MOLLEMA Bauke
  13. Best Giro-related quote I’ve seen in the last few days “Bauke Mollema- a man who sounds as if he was naked underwater”.

  14. @RobSandy

    Best Giro-related quote I’ve seen in the last few days “Bauke Mollema- a man who sounds as if he was naked underwater”.

    NAMED. NAMED underwater. Oh FFS.

  15. @RobSandy

    @RobSandy

    Best Giro-related quote I’ve seen in the last few days “Bauke Mollema- a man who sounds as if he was naked underwater”.

    NAMED. NAMED underwater. Oh FFS.

    Oh, I don’t know. I thought you first version was pretty good too. A bit of Dutch “mystique”!

  16. @RobSandy

    @RobSandy

    Best Giro-related quote I’ve seen in the last few days “Bauke Mollema- a man who sounds as if he was naked underwater”.

    NAMED. NAMED underwater. Oh FFS.

    Calling Dr. Freud………..

  17. @Rick

     

    Best Giro-related quote I’ve seen in the last few days “Bauke Mollema- a man who sounds as if he was naked underwater”.

    NAMED. NAMED underwater. Oh FFS.

    Calling Dr. Freud………..

    My secret is finally out. I have a vivid sexual fantasy about being naked with Bauke Mollema in the ocean.

    Changing the subject somewhat…looks like G will be flying back up the GC today.

  18. @RobSandy

    @Rick

    Best Giro-related quote I’ve seen in the last few days “Bauke Mollema- a man who sounds as if he was naked underwater”.

    NAMED. NAMED underwater. Oh FFS.

    Calling Dr. Freud………..

    My secret is finally out. I have a vivid sexual fantasy about being naked with Bauke Mollema in the ocean.

    Changing the subject somewhat…looks like G will be flying back up the GC today.

    Or maybe in a hot tub . . . but the hot tub is the Italian way. The Dutch, being hardy souls, likely prefer the North Sea.

  19. It’s on! Movistar and the other teams with climbers with hopes of GC glory are gonna have to go at Dumoulin pretty hard in the hills. They sure wouldn’t want him to close behind going into that 2nd TT. What a ride…

    Great to see Thomas put in such a good ride. Yates was good, too. He went better than I thought he would, even before the crash. Pozzovivo did well in the windy conditions, so I reckon Quintana’s ride was sub par. Pinot doesn’t look much chop – I think he was slower than Pozzovivo. Will we see van Garderen in another grand tour?

  20. Oooohhh, I loves me a nice bit of time-trialling, and that was some sweet TTing by big Tom D. Don’t the organizers know that a couple of meaty TTs is what really shakes up a race? Look at the state to Mt. Etna. Lots of hype for nothing. A TT creates gaps and gaps spur tactics.

    Great ride by GT – that crash really fucked his chances I think. If not for that, he’d be second overall. Mind you, at this point, he is clearly on form and has nothing to lose so maybe we see GT getting a bit feisty and not just hanging with the main contenders. Nibbles wasn’t spectacular, but he’s a-lurking.

    The second TT isn’t as long (Boooo!) but Dumoulin could take a couple of minutes on Quintana there too. I think we have a race!

     

  21. @stooge

    I doubt we ever see TJ vG as a leader in a Grand Tour again. He just can’t seem to put it together after a promising start to his career.

  22. @Rick

    @stooge

    I doubt we ever see TJ vG as a leader in a Grand Tour again. He just can’t seem to put it together after a promising start to his career.

    Yes, I doubt it too.

    @stooge

    It’s on! Movistar and the other teams with climbers with hopes of GC glory are gonna have to go at Dumoulin pretty hard in the hills. They sure wouldn’t want him to close behind going into that 2nd TT. What a ride…

    Great to see Thomas put in such a good ride. Yates was good, too. He went better than I thought he would, even before the crash. Pozzovivo did well in the windy conditions, so I reckon Quintana’s ride was sub par. Pinot doesn’t look much chop – I think he was slower than Pozzovivo. Will we see van Garderen in another grand tour?

    Actually, Pinot was faster than Pozzovivo. He was slower than Adam Yates, though. Not a good day.

  23. @Rick

    @wiscot

    The second ITT also appears to be downhill. That should work to the climber’s advantage.

    You are correct sir! It’s basically all downhill from the Monza racetrack, but Tom D is a big-ass powerhouse. A 55-11 should see him fly!

  24. @RobSandy

    @RobSandy

    Best Giro-related quote I’ve seen in the last few days “Bauke Mollema- a man who sounds as if he was naked underwater”.

    NAMED. NAMED underwater. Oh FFS.

    I got a good laugh of of that!

  25. Doom may have won today as expected, but Thomas was the real story, to me at least.  it is indeed true that the Giro cannot be controlled nor predicted!

  26. My face muscles ache from grinning (smug face); am as happy as any Dutch cyclist can be!

    • Tom Doomoulin (new one for the Lexicon) dishing out doom against V-tana (Quint= five in ancient languages) and looking good for the overall win
    • Confusion around Bauke’s naming. “Bauke Mollema” (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈbʌukə ˈmɔləmaː] BOW-kə MOL-ə-mah) is Frysian, which is a province in the upper part of the Netherlands. (Me is from the very south Limburg, where Tom also stems from). Koga bikes are also made up there. “Mollema” has a “soft” ring to it, since “molle” means soft in Italian.

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Nairo Quintano
    2. Vincenzo Nibali
    3. Tom Dumoulin
    4. Steven Kruijswijk
    5. Geraint Thomas
  27. @stooge

    It’s on! Movistar and the other teams with climbers with hopes of GC glory are gonna have to go at Dumoulin pretty hard in the hills. They sure wouldn’t want him to close behind going into that 2nd TT. What a ride…

    Great to see Thomas put in such a good ride. Yates was good, too. He went better than I thought he would, even before the crash. Pozzovivo did well in the windy conditions, so I reckon Quintana’s ride was sub par. Pinot doesn’t look much chop – I think he was slower than Pozzovivo. Will we see van Garderen in another grand tour?


    @stooge

    Wow, van Garderen lost an additional 21.20 on Stage 11 today.

     

  28. @Rick

    @stooge

    It’s on! Movistar and the other teams with climbers with hopes of GC glory are gonna have to go at Dumoulin pretty hard in the hills. They sure wouldn’t want him to close behind going into that 2nd TT. What a ride…

    Great to see Thomas put in such a good ride. Yates was good, too. He went better than I thought he would, even before the crash. Pozzovivo did well in the windy conditions, so I reckon Quintana’s ride was sub par. Pinot doesn’t look much chop – I think he was slower than Pozzovivo. Will we see van Garderen in another grand tour?


    @stooge

    Wow, van Garderen lost an additional 21.20 on Stage 11 today.

    I’ll confess, TJvG is a better rider than I could be in my dreams (ok, maybe not), and he is, by most measures, a very talented athlete. But he’s just not GT material. BMC need to look elsewhere for a rider to fill this role. Put TJ in the week-long races and the ToC, but in the GTs, he just doesn’t have it.

  29. @wiscot

    Have to agree. BMC needs to accept that he peaked with the Best Young Rider Jersey, and Fifth overall at The  Tour in 2012, and move on. T. J. is a good rider, but he doesn’t have the consistency, or strength for the Grand Tours.

  30. @wiscot

    @Rick

    @stooge

    It’s on! Movistar and the other teams with climbers with hopes of GC glory are gonna have to go at Dumoulin pretty hard in the hills. They sure wouldn’t want him to close behind going into that 2nd TT. What a ride…

    Great to see Thomas put in such a good ride. Yates was good, too. He went better than I thought he would, even before the crash. Pozzovivo did well in the windy conditions, so I reckon Quintana’s ride was sub par. Pinot doesn’t look much chop – I think he was slower than Pozzovivo. Will we see van Garderen in another grand tour?


    @stooge

    Wow, van Garderen lost an additional 21.20 on Stage 11 today.

    I’ll confess, TJvG is a better rider than I could be in my dreams (ok, maybe not), and he is, by most measures, a very talented athlete. But he’s just not GT material. BMC need to look elsewhere for a rider to fill this role. Put TJ in the week-long races and the ToC, but in the GTs, he just doesn’t have it.

    I agree. I feel bad for for him. It looks as though he’s been misled, and perhaps pushed by commercial interests, in his racing focus. We’ll never know, but it seems to me like he could have been a top all rounder and quite successful at the week long tours and big shorter stage races. If he loses his GC spot at the GTs, I hope he switches focus to them and has some success before retirement.

  31. @Rick

    @wiscot

    The second ITT also appears to be downhill. That should work to the climber’s advantage.

    Surely the other way around. At higher speeds the advantage will be to the heavier, more stable riders and also to those who have a much better aero position.

  32. @ChrisO

    Of course that is the case, I was thinking faster than I was typing. What I should have said is that a downhill ITT would somewhat negate Dumoulin’s power advantage.

  33. @Rick

    Possibly but I think he’ll more than reclaim that with his aero advantage.

    I did a little experiment of my own last week on our club TT course. I’d done it the week before on my road bike with 60mm wheels and normal kit and clocked 32:36 on a 12.7 mile ‘sporting’ course at an average (normalised) of 332 watts.

    The following week I did it on full TT rig, pointy helmet, speed suit, shoe covers and all and clocked 31:20 despite my normalised power being 319 watts. And I’m not a super-aero rider either.

    So someone with a good position like Dumoulin who can stay in it the whole time could probably pick up a couple of percent advantage before power even comes into it.

  34. @ChrisO

    @Rick

    Possibly but I think he’ll more than reclaim that with his aero advantage.

    I did a little experiment of my own last week on our club TT course. I’d done it the week before on my road bike with 60mm wheels and normal kit and clocked 32:36 on a 12.7 mile ‘sporting’ course at an average (normalised) of 332 watts.

    The following week I did it on full TT rig, pointy helmet, speed suit, shoe covers and all and clocked 31:20 despite my normalised power being 319 watts. And I’m not a super-aero rider either.

    So someone with a good position like Dumoulin who can stay in it the whole time could probably pick up a couple of percent advantage before power even comes into it.

    I agree with you Chris and I think that last TT is a problem for Quintana. Could be worth, what, a minute to TD? So Quintana needs to attack on most mountain stages to claw back his time deficit and then build up a buffer. It could end up being very close. Or, if yesterday is anything to go by, Tom could stick to him like glue and it could be all over before they even get to that last TT.

    I’m riding a TT tonight on my favourite (flattest) course. It’ll be the first time I’ve ridden this course with my aero helmet and skinsuit. I also think I’ve added about 30w to my FTP since then. And it looks like good conditions. My time last July was 22:42. Bets for my time tonight?

  35. @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @Rick

    Possibly but I think he’ll more than reclaim that with his aero advantage.

    I did a little experiment of my own last week on our club TT course. I’d done it the week before on my road bike with 60mm wheels and normal kit and clocked 32:36 on a 12.7 mile ‘sporting’ course at an average (normalised) of 332 watts.

    The following week I did it on full TT rig, pointy helmet, speed suit, shoe covers and all and clocked 31:20 despite my normalised power being 319 watts. And I’m not a super-aero rider either.

    So someone with a good position like Dumoulin who can stay in it the whole time could probably pick up a couple of percent advantage before power even comes into it.

    I agree with you Chris and I think that last TT is a problem for Quintana. Could be worth, what, a minute to TD? So Quintana needs to attack on most mountain stages to claw back his time deficit and then build up a buffer. It could end up being very close. Or, if yesterday is anything to go by, Tom could stick to him like glue and it could be all over before they even get to that last TT.

    I’m riding a TT tonight on my favourite (flattest) course. It’ll be the first time I’ve ridden this course with my aero helmet and skinsuit. I also think I’ve added about 30w to my FTP since then. And it looks like good conditions. My time last July was 22:42. Bets for my time tonight?

    I’ll offer 22:18. Good luck! (I assume it’s a 10?)

  36. @Teocalli

    GT pulled out this morning.

    I noticed a reference to him losing time yesterday as well, was that more then the 6 seconds that some of the GC contenders lost due to the split in the peloton?

    Bloke must be gutted. And angry!

    Still don’t think it’s worth swapping him out, VSP-wise. I’d have to pick the 3rd placed rider exactly to break even for the swap. I’ll settle for zero.

  37. Can we all take a moment and say, “Thank you, Tom Dumoulin, thank you, for not decking yourself out in a full pink outfit and bike. Thank you. Wear the jersey. Do your job. Thank you.”

     

  38. @Erik

    Can we all take a moment and say, “Thank you, Tom Dumoulin, thank you, for not decking yourself out in a full pink outfit and bike. Thank you. Wear the jersey. Do your job. Thank you.”

    Good point, well put.

  39. @Erik

    Can we all take a moment and say, “Thank you, Tom Dumoulin, thank you, for not decking yourself out in a full pink outfit and bike. Thank you. Wear the jersey. Do your job. Thank you.”

    Which reminds me that I should start thinking about writing an article about another Awesome Dutch guy but the picture below cannot be unseen…

    VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Nairo Quintano
    2. Vincenzo Nibali
    3. Tom Dumoulin
    4. Steven Kruijswijk
    5. Geraint Thomas
  40. @Erik

    Can we all take a moment and say, “Thank you, Tom Dumoulin, thank you, for not decking yourself out in a full pink outfit and bike. Thank you. Wear the jersey. Do your job. Thank you.”

    Yes indeed. Now all he needs to do is wear a proper cap and he’s all set.

    Damn, that was some fine sprinting by Gaviria today. Came from way back, saw a gap on the right and shot right through. EQS might have lost Tommeke, but this fine showing in the Giro has to be helping the sponsor relations.

  41. Quite amazing. Heaviest dude of the bunch the fastest up the hill, thrashing specialist climbers. Is he on a seafood diet? I look forward to the next week.

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