Gianni’s Carbon Ball: Sir Twiggo

All Haul Ass. Photo: Sirotti

The glow from the Giro is still visible, everything is still pink but I’m jumping ahead of all the Wilcocksons of the world with a bold Tour de France prognostication. And to do this  I’ve borrowed Frank’s carbon ball, oft used for somewhat accurate predictions of future cycling events. This article was written weeks ago, at the start of the Giro but the frenzy of creative writing out of the front office has kept this buried. It’s now or never.

What can you say about Twiggo? I can say he is heading towards a win in the Tour de France this year.

I have raised issues with a rubbish haircut and cycling knee socks but these are superficial stylistic issues. Who am I to do that? I’m shiet. We need as many free thinkers as possible in cycling and if Bradley or Vaughters have different sideburns, excellent. Conformity is over-rated. Forget the socks, have you noticed his profile on the bike. He has the flattest back in the peloton and not by chance. I bet he and Sky are ticking every stinking little box to get this done.

He won Paris-Nice riding like a true professional, taking up Moser’s method of cooling down after each climbing stage by riding a stationary bike. He won Tour of Romandie like a seasoned veteran and won a field sprint for a stage win! He is winning these on his time trailing strength but not losing them by always riding at the front and climbing well enough. Yes, the Tour is different, the climbs are harder but he is a better climber than the Schlecks are time trialists. He did podium in last year’s Vuelta. He is experienced enough to not chase down every acceleration on a stiff climb, he just tempos it out, smoothing out the highs and lows. Bradley is one smart rider.

How does he stack up against Cadel? That is the question better informed people than myself would hope to answer correctly. Cadel’s mojo has been tainted so far this year and the Tour is still far away but mojo is mojo and his is bad. If Basso does not make the top five in the Giro, my mojo indicator is working and I’ll stand by it. Sorry Australia, you had a good (but short) run. English types, enjoy these years, they won’t last. They never do. And you from Luxembourg, we will talk in private.

The internal Sky problem of Cav versus Twiggo is solved -the Olympic road race is not far from the end of the Tour and Cav is the home field contender for Olympic gold. He will bail early, Sky will put their eggs in a basket made of Twiggs. How can I say these things with any authority? I can’t, I have none, look at my VSP points. But come the end of the Giro and Basso is smoking like a hippie’s motorbike, (which is a bad thing, not a good thing) then my mojo meter is obviously working and who has the big brain then?

Postscript: Basso did finish in the top five of the Giro, barely, so my mojo indicator is not completely tuned in. It could have something to do with the solar maximum. Twiggo has reported in from his secret base in the Atlantic that he has climbed to the moon and back, daily, so he is still ticking boxes. I’m still feeling good about all this.

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194 Replies to “Gianni’s Carbon Ball: Sir Twiggo”

  1. @frank


    @frankI expect “Google Analytics” for historic VSP pick analysis in time for le Tour.Chop. Chop.

    Actually, the code is done for this, other than the CSV download. I will probably even go add the code to the historic VSP events so you geniuses can run all the analytics you need to tell we know fuck all not only about the Giro, but every event we’ve done.@Erik, @harminator Right. VSP Page.


    @frankCool, with fancy visualizations and all that?


    @frank With a snazzy excel file to?

    What the fuck are you people talking about? 1’s and 0’s? You put that shit together and we get the inter webs, “smart phones” and HD TV.
    Are you people breeding? I hope so, because I have no idea how this shit works. If I put any of the rest of you in the woods with a Leatherman, how long before you could send a mail?

  2. @Steampunk

    Behind the scenes with Radio Schleck Nissan Trek.

    Fantastic, had me going from, “Horner will crash out because there is a turn, and with Kloden as our GC we will have lost the Tour by Stage 1.” It never stopped, I literally laughed out loud the whole way through.

  3. Johnathan Vaughters has even won the Giro with a Canadian, eh. GOLD!

  4. Cuddles has 1.44 to make up now. Will he (can he?) attack Pippi Longstocking in the mountains or will Sky News now have a clip of Syrup and those socks every night from now to the end of July.

  5. Yep the broers really need to think hard what to do next.Either that or they should call it quits and hit Curacao earlier.

  6. @Cyclops

    Carbon ball prediction. Andy Schleck will not finish this years Tour.

    @the Engine

    Carbon ball prediction. Andy Schleck will not start this years Tour.

    @the Engine

    Carbon ball prediction. Andy Schleck will not start this years Tour.

    I’m with Cyclops. As defending “winner” I think Andy has to show up. A mystery ailment will hit in the 2nd week and he’ll be gone. Whether or not Frank starts is another question.

    In today’s TT it was blowing a frigging gale. Wiggo’s bike was twitching like a dying fish but he managed to stay upright whereas Andy got blown over. I can’t imagine there’ much of a weight/height difference between Andy and Wiggo . . .

    As it stands, if Wiggo wins the DL and can hold form, he’s got to be heading to the tour with sky high morale (pardon the pun). The morale of the Schlecks has got to be at rock bottom. Interesting times indeed.

  7. Wiggo looks very, very good right now. It will be interesting to see how he handles the mountains, especially with a good time gap. It should mean that he’ll be attacked. This is an excellent test for him and for Sky. Probably exactly what they need. Sky is looking the business at the moment, though. They could conceivably enter two teams in the TdF and look pretty good.

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck quietly put in a respectable TT today, too. Not great, but I always thought he was weaker in the TT (maybe I’m mistaken?).

  8. @Steampunk
    Problem for Wiggins: Is he peaking too early? Riding the Dauphine hard but not too hard is great Tour prep. Riding the Dauphine to win, not so much.

  9. @Nate
    Is he peaking at all? It’s kind of hard to say. He’s definitely the class of the bunch in the TT, but we would have guessed as much anyway. Wiggins strikes me as a guy who needs to do a good Dauphiné in order to build his confidence for the Tour. He’ll certainly be riding to build rather than to crush it (he seemed to back off on Evans a bit at the end of today’s TT), and it sounds as though he’s prepared well this year. Time will tell, of course, but I also think the next few days could provide some valuable indications.

  10. @wiscot
    Correction: The morale of the Schlecks has got to be at rock bottom dropping like a chain on the Port de Balès.

  11. @Nate
    He is being repeatedly quoted as saying the Dauphine yellow is nice but that he’s not worried about the final result, and that it’s all just training with room for improvement to come. I would guess he’d be happy to go hard, but also not to dig too deep.

    Of course it’s whether or not he gets that balance right, as you suggest.

  12. @Oli
    Two points really —
    (1) he should not go too deep in the mountains.
    (2) what is the timing on his peak fitness?
    He needs to get both right. (1) he can control but (2) probably is what it is at this point.

  13. @Oli, @Nate
    If Wiggo isn’t peaking now, its going to be a bloodbath at the Tour. Those are big gaps he’s busting out right now.

    He might nail it, but its awfully easy to get sucked into the idea that your form is going to last you and that you still have room to get better. I mean, yeah – everyone always have room to get better. The question is, will his body support that plan?

    My take is he’s peaking now or will peak during the frist half of the Tour and struggle at the end. But I also predicted a Basso win at the Giro.

    He’s shaping up to be my pick, though, assuming I’m wrong as usual and I don’t hate him enough to not pick him.

    I think we can all agree that Evans isn’t peaking too soon. And I know all of us agree Frandy aren’t. Good way to build character.

  14. Just watched it, Wiggo definitely looking good but he’s been looking good for a while now. It’s a long time till the end of the tour. Like @frank I’ll probably still pick him.

    Would love to have seen him ride past cuddles though.

    Tony Martin was also looking good for someone coming back from an injury although 58 x 11 may have been a bit ambitious.

  15. @frank, @Chris
    What I’m saying. I might have to back Cuddles so @Marcus will sponsor my application to emigrate to ‘Strailiur if I ever need to get the f*&! outta Dodge.

  16. Wiggins has been wrecking all season, starting with Paris-Nice. Sky controlled that pretty well, and his uphill TT was great even then.

  17. @motor city
    Ooh la la – where were all the BMC boys today? – I thought they were taking it easy in the TT to have something in the tank for the mountains…..

    Well done Cuddles for hangiing in there – I thought at one stage the Sky boys were going to put Froome on the front, Rogers at #4 as blocker, and blow everone off Wiggo’s wheel – great entertainment altogether

    Go Wiggo!!!!

  18. @RedRanger

    So if Andy and Alberto””arguably the two strongest GC riders over the past few years””are both lining up for the Vuelta this year, does that make the Vuelta more than an after-thought this year? Last year, it was basically an also-ran for those who had crashed out of the Tour and teams desperate for some points. Will this improve the calibre of racing?

  19. @Steampunk
    This news has me asking what Andy’s absence will mean for Frank.  Perhaps he’ll be more free to ride as a GC man. Either that or he’ll break his sacrum swiveling his head around in the direction of Luxembourg looking for his little bro.

  20. @Marko

    Hard to say where he’s at with his preparation, given an aborted Giro and all. Too much riding? Not enough? Methinks he’ll fair reasonably well in the role you describe. And then lose, like, twenty minutes in the TTs…

  21. @the Engine

    2013 TdF designed for C*ntador?


    Latest forecast is for only 3 mountain top finishes..Ventoux stage15 and a double Alpe D’Huez 3 days before Paris it looks like the mid mountain stages will be telling like the Vuelta.  CW seems to have a full prediction of the route from Vergouwen who has got it right the last 3 years.  What about Froomedog with Twiggo riding for him… a full Sky compliment could well neutralise Bertie..

    Question is will Mark Cavendish take the Maillot Jaune in the prolog?…or will he go all out for the Giro again to get the full set?

  22. @Deakus

    I’ll be booking off Thursday 18 July from work  to watch double Alpe D’Huez.  Its handy that the Mt. Ventoux stage falls on a Sunday. 

  23. May well take a trip over the channel for the St Malo stage or a trip up the coast to see the ITT.

    As I expected Monsieur Wiggo is focusing on the Giro and Vuelta next year…I wonder if this is a Brit thing, once we have one something once we are not interested in it again.  He obviously view the treble and PR far above winning the Tour again…but I am guessing if he is to ride for Froomedog in TdF he would miss the Vuelta or will he try to ride all three and win 2 of them….now that really would be something in the modern era..

    The Brit thing comes from the obvious desire of Mark Cavendish to go for the Giro, it seems to be all he wants atm and if he does it, I could see him going to the track for the next Olympics!!  Again he just wants to have won the points for all 3 GTs I think..

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