Vincenzo Nibali won the Giro going downhill.

Velominati Super Prestige: Giro d’Italia 2017

by / / 410 posts

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. @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.

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  2. 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.

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  3. @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.

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  4. 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!

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  5. @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.

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

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  7. 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.

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  8. 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.

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  9. 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?

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  10. 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?

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  11. @Rick And if there’s no-one there to hear it..,

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  12. @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!

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  13. @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.

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  14. @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.

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  15. @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.

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  16. @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.

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  17. 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.

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  18. @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!

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  19. @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.

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  20. @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.

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  21. @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?

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  23. @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.

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  24. @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.

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  25. @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.

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  26. @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.

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  27. @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….

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  28. @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.

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  29. @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.

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

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  31. @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.

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  32. @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.

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  33. @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.

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  34. @Teocalli That used to happen quite regularly as I recall. I loved the suspense that it added to the race.

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  35. @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.

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  36. @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.

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  37. @Jansen It’s not the pick system that’a crappy, it was Tom. He clearly came Turd.

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  38. @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.

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  39. @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.

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  40. @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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  41. @wiscot

    @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.

    A certain race in July has deemphasized ITTs for the last several years. The races have been relatively boring for the reason listed above-the climbers simply mark each other. I wish we would see a return of the penultimate day ITT in Le Tour. Or at least one in the last week before a mountain finish on the Saturday before Paris. The Saturday mountain stage prior to the finale on Sunday was riveting. That is the kind of excitement I like in Grand Tours.

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  42. @Rick

    @wiscot

    @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.

    A certain race in July has deemphasized ITTs for the last several years. The races have been relatively boring for the reason listed above-the climbers simply mark each other. I wish we would see a return of the penultimate day ITT in Le Tour. Or at least one in the last week before a mountain finish on the Saturday before Paris. The Saturday mountain stage prior to the finale on Sunday was riveting. That is the kind of excitement I like in Grand Tours.

    Yup, hopefully Proudhomme is watching what the RCS and the Giro are doing. I mean, I know the Tour is THE Tour, but dammit, the Giro is just more exciting! Ooohhh . . . lots of mountains! That’ll be great . . . yeah, when all the faves watch each other like hawks waiting for someone to attack. That why I like Dumoulin – many would have said “he’s too big to win a GT.” Well, he did. And I think Geraint Thomas should stop wasting his prime years in the service of Froome. You can’t tell me there isn’t a team that would built itself around GT for whatever grand tour he wanted to go for. Once Bertie retires, Trek should sign Geraint.

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  43. Agree with the praise above for more and well placed TTs in grand tours. It was odd to read so much hate for the course of this year’s Giro – not here, but there was a lot of it around in the usual haunts. I thought it was great. The Sardinia and Sicily stages made for some odd tranfers (and subsequent stages), but it felt like a proper tour of the country, fitting for the 100th. The TTs balanced out the medium and big mountain stages well. The 3rd week was even more brutal than usual, and if anything I think that, had some of those 3rd week stages been shorter than they were, we might have seen more attacking in the mountains. @wiscot, apparently Landa will ride the TDF this year. Froome, Thomas, and Landa – there’s some excess GC power right there. If we see courses more like this Giro over the next few years, and if he continues to focus on grand tours, I’m sure Geraint is capable of competing with anyone for the podium. Time’s not on his side, though. Fingers crossed for such courses.

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  44. @wiscot There’s one reason that they WONT do that for the Tour- Froome. He’s so strong in the TT and the mountains that adding any more stages against the clock would make it impossible for anyone to beat him. What do you think would have been the outcome if Froome had been riding against Dumoulin et al in this year’s Giro? He’d have been close to Tom D in the TT and blown him away in the mountains. Of course, I’m sure it’d be a different story if Froome was French.

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  45. @wiscot

    @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @Jansen

    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.

    Couldn’t resist re-posting this little gem. Please take note here, ladies and gentlemen: Joop started in the TdF SIXTEEN times. And he finished SIXTEEN times. And he finished SECOND SIX times. I know a lot has been said and written about Joop being the ‘eternal second’ and that he lacked something in the areas of panache, killer instinct, whatever. Be that as it may, but to me, Joop Zoetemelk is one of the truly great cyclists. (And I happen to know, and have pointed out on this site a few years ago, that Bernard Hinault feels the same way…) Thanks for the refresher course, @wIscot! Time I started writing an “Awesome Dutch Guys”-piece on Joop, perhaps.

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  46. @RobSandy You’re totally right, guys. Sorry for being a little grumpy, I clearly did not have my best day.

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  47. @Jansen

    @RobSandy You’re totally right, guys. Sorry for being a little grumpy, I clearly did not have my best day.

    Welcome back!

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  48. @Teocalli

    @Jansen

    @RobSandy You’re totally right, guys. Sorry for being a little grumpy, I clearly did not have my best day.

    Welcome back!

    You can be forgiven for being a little grumpy. Just don’t go all dumpy on us.

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  49. @ErikdR

    @wiscot

    @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @Jansen

    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.

    Couldn’t resist re-posting this little gem. Please take note here, ladies and gentlemen: Joop started in the TdF SIXTEEN times. And he finished SIXTEEN times. And he finished SECOND SIX times. I know a lot has been said and written about Joop being the ‘eternal second’ and that he lacked something in the areas of panache, killer instinct, whatever. Be that as it may, but to me, Joop Zoetemelk is one of the truly great cyclists. (And I happen to know, and have pointed out on this site a few years ago, that Bernard Hinault feels the same way…) Thanks for the refresher course, @wIscot! Time I started writing an “Awesome Dutch Guys”-piece on Joop, perhaps.

    Joop Z was an incredible rider. It was sheer bad luck that his career overlapped with two other cyclists: Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault. His fellow riders sure knew how good he was.

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  50. @wiscot “Joop Z was an incredible rider. It was sheer bad luck that his career overlapped with two other cyclists: Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault. His fellow riders sure knew how good he was.” Couldn’t agree more – and yes; I’m pretty sure his peers all knew what he was capable of. As the French would put it: “Il etait un vrai”. The genuine article. Have a good weekend, all – and happy Whitsun.

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