Vincenzo Nibali won the Giro going downhill.

Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2017

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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!

Final Race Results
1. DUMOULIN Tom
2. QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander
3. NIBALI Vincenzo
4. PINOT Thibaut
5. ZAKARIN Ilnur
Final VSP Results
1. litvi (37 points)
2. chuckp (27 points)
3. MangoDave (25 points)
4. eenies (25 points)
5. Magaramombi (21 points)
6. Erik (19 points)
7. ErikdR (18 points)
8. Woody (16 points)
9. Cameron W (16 points)
10. Quasar (16 points)
11. John Irvine (16 points)
12. dancollins (16 points)
13. Pot Belj (14 points)
14. freddy (13 points)
15. ojhart (13 points)
16. sthilzy (13 points)
17. Buck Rogers (13 points)
18. Ccos (13 points)
19. LeoTea (13 points)
20. hhbiker (13 points)
21. JohnB (13 points)
22. Two Ball Billy (13 points)
23. TurboJoe (12 points)
24. R00tdown (12 points)
25. Skip (12 points)
26. RobSandy (12 points)
27. taon24 (11 points)
28. Quadzilla (11 points)
29. Phillip Mercer (11 points)
30. Steampunk (10 points)
31. Kevin (9 points)
32. ramenvelo (9 points)
33. Teocalli (9 points)
34. Rick (9 points)
35. Yagerbomb (9 points)
36. Lebowski Achiever (9 points)
37. tony macaroni (9 points)
38. KogaLover (9 points)
39. David Olson (9 points)
40. Heusdens (8 points)
41. Cary (7 points)
42. Randy C (7 points)
43. stooge (6 points)
44. JonnyG (6 points)
45. the Engine (6 points)
46. Phillip Hasty (6 points)
47. MikeK (6 points)
48. David van Dijk (6 points)
49. Harminator (6 points)
50. Davido (6 points)
51. dyalander (6 points)
52. Clingon (6 points)
53. ChrisO (6 points)
54. Ron (6 points)
55. Snowy (4 points)
56. The Grande Fondue (4 points)
57. Chica (0 points)
58. Byron (0 points)
59. Joe (0 points)
60. Tom Mc (0 points)
61. wiscot (0 points)
62. Canucklehead (0 points)
63. cycleman3000 (0 points)
64. Brett (0 points)
65. Adrian (0 points)
66. JCM (0 points)
67. mulebeatsdrums (0 points)
68. oneninefiveninesix (0 points)

// Velominati Super Prestige

  1. 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
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  2. 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.

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  3. Are the rest day penalties 5 points per rider or 5 points per rider swapped?

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  4. @Rick Usually per swap, i.e. if you change places say GT – Yates to Yates – GT that is 2 swaps.

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  5. @Teocalli Thank you for the explanation.

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  6. 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
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  7. VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Quintana
    2. Pinot
    3. Nibali
    4. Yates
    5. Dumoulin
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  8. VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

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

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  10. @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.

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  11. @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”!

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  12. @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………..

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  13. @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.

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  14. @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.

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  15. 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?

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  16. 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!

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

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  18. @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.

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  19. @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.

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  20. @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!

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  21. @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!

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  22. 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!

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  23. 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
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  24. @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.

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  25. @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.

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  26. @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.

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  27. @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.

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  28. @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.

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  29. @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.

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  30. @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.

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  31. @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?

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  32. @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?)

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  33. GT pulled out this morning.

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  34. @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.

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  35. 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.”

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  36. @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.

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  37. @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
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  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.”

    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.

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  39. 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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  40. @wiscot What was your time?

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  41. @stooge

    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.

    Yup. Anyone got watts per kilo on that ride from TD? Guys like Yates and Nibbles must surely be wondering how to counter giving they’re losing time trying to follow wheels!

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  42. that was some nice work today by Dumolin. very impressive indeed.

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  43. @Cary

    that was some nice work today by Dumolin. very impressive indeed.

    That was a wonderful ride. TT’ing himself right back up to Nairo, even had his hands over the bars at one point, and then boom. Tom D has made this race interesting for sure. That was great fun to watch. And the stage was perfect in it’s timing as wasn’t tailor made for Nairo to simply ride away up the mtn. The Mtn’s on stages 16, 18 and 20 ? We’ll see. And just when I was thinking that once again the ATOC was the better race… Cheers

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  44. @harminator

    @stooge

    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.

    Yup. Anyone got watts per kilo on that ride from TD? Guys like Yates and Nibbles must surely be wondering how to counter giving they’re losing time trying to follow wheels!

    The seafood diet thing was a bit of a troll – I don’t really think it’s anything fishy. I didn’t expect TD to lose any time this week, but I didn’t expect him to be putting time into the small climbers yesterday (even though the climb kinda suited the likes of him and Zakarin). Can he keep it up in the big multi climbs? Whatever happens, his performance this year will be talked about for many to come. Apparently, in the press conference, someone pointed out that his ride was only 10 seconds slower over the last 6kms than Pantani’s. I don’t think there’s much t be made of it. Pinot looked like he’d gassed big time, then steadily made up ground and caught some for the remainder. That was good to see, too.

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  45. was Gaviria actually trying to win today? it seems likely. why would he chase points, now, with the lead he has? i really think he had designs on the stage. and WTF is up with Movistar clogging the road with a team car? in a corner, on a descent, no less! they’re all lucky that foolishness didn’t get anybody REALLY hurt. VSP PICKS (2nd Rest Day Swaps):

    1. Kruijswick
    2. Yates
    3. Thomas
    4. Pinot
    5. van Garderen
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  46. @john @Gianni Dat you who diddat?

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  47. Out of town all weekend in northern WI doing the Bear 100 gravel ride in Laona. (www.thebear100.com) Insanely hard ride, but I’ll be back at it next year. This might be heresy, but watching the stage Tom D won, I thought, “big man in pink, up with the climbers, chasing down a wee man, not giving up and crushing his rivals in the sprint? That’s Merckxian in style. The race leader calling a truce while a major rival gets sorted after a crash? That’s patron-like behavior.” Other riders might have kept wee Nairo in their sights, but not Dumoulin – . he kept at it. His rivals must be getting nervous and hope he has a really bad day this week.

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  48. @wiscot

    Out of town all weekend in northern WI doing the Bear 100 gravel ride in Laona. (www.thebear100.com) Insanely hard ride, but I’ll be back at it next year. This might be heresy, but watching the stage Tom D won, I thought, “big man in pink, up with the climbers, chasing down a wee man, not giving up and crushing his rivals in the sprint? That’s Merckxian in style. The race leader calling a truce while a major rival gets sorted after a crash? That’s patron-like behavior.” Other riders might have kept wee Nairo in their sights, but not Dumoulin – . he kept at it. His rivals must be getting nervous and hope he has a really bad day this week.

    I can’t see how TD is going to lose. if he’s going to lose a chunk of time, it’ll be tomorrow. Quintana’s last chance? I loved Dumoulin’s comments about it not being right to gain time on a rival when they’ve had a crash…aimed at Movistar, y’think? Class, anyway.

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  49. Ref Kangert’s horrendous crash. Could have been so much worse in the scheme of things BUT…….when I saw it live (and the replay) it looked like he intentionally went to hop the curb and did not see the sign. OK so he may have been forced into that line, it wasn’t clear from the shot but I did wonder whether the fact that the pro peloton are so used to hopping curbs that he chose to go that way and just did not see the sign. Almost impossible to police but hopping curbs at the sort of speeds the peloton goes, it’s always going to go badly wrong at some time or other.

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  50. @Teocalli I was going to mention that -I thought he was lucky not to get impaled on the pole! Looked like he was going at such a speed he smashed the sign out of the way.

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