Giro – A Week in Pink

A few days late – I’ve been in Canberra – a city with very few wifi hotspots, and staying in a very average hotel that charges for wifi like a wounded bull. I refuse to pay $60 for 3 days access.

Consequently this weeks, and probably over the next 6 weeks as the project I am working on comes to its conclusion, the weekly wednesday legs may be reduced in frequency, timeliness and size. I’ll do my best, the project may be able to be done by a mix of Adelaide and Canberra time – time will tell.

Also, I’ve had some good feedback. I’ll compile and publish the results of the feedback over the next few weeks. Would love to receive your feedback if you haven’t had a chance yet.  wednesdaylegs@gmail.com

Anyway, on with the show

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Marcel

Back in 2011, a young neo pro German called Marcel Kittel won four of five stages in the Four Days of Dunkirk ridin for Skil-Shimano – all 4 stages wins were print finishes. A sign of things to come.

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marcel-kittel-wikipedia 360 German overall leader Marcel Kittel (C)

Born in 1988, he came to the Skill Shimano team as a time trialist and lead-out man, but with more sprint-specific training, he soon started to show his potential by winning a stage at the Tour of Langkawi in 2011. Things progressed quickly from that point onward. Since then he has developed into one of the world’s best sprinters and has won many races, with his recent wins in stage 2 and 3 of the Giro rounding out Kittel’s “triple crown,” giving him wins in all three grand tours. He won a stage at the 2011 Vuelta a España, and then four stages in last year’s Tour de France, where he dominated the sprints.

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At a height of 189cm (6’2.5″), and weighing in at 86kg, he is a big unit.
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I’ll tell you a secret: I always wanted to stand at the startline with a great looking lady,holding an umbrella for me… #giro #magliarossa

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He is starting to bring home some good results and looks like turning into one of the games best sprinters. Cavendish, Greipel and Sagan are in his shadow at on present form.

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Unfortunately, Marcel withdrew with sickness after the 3rd stage in Ireland.

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Giro  – Keeping the Pink

A wet but rewarding three days in Ireland for the Orica Green Edge team carried over to a superb 4 days in Italy.

This has been a great season start for Orica GreenEdge who are carrying on with their winning ways after a successful Ardennes week.

Great to see Svein Tuft take the honors by leading crossing the First it was the TTT with Svein Tuft celebrating his birthday with the honor of crossing the line first and rewarded with the Maglia Rosa.

Then Bling Mathews took the lead with his 8th placing in the sprint on stage 2, won of course by Marcel, and retained it for the first stage on Italian soil by finishing safely in the lead pack in the sprint into Dublin, won again by Marcel.

Good to see the Magli Rosa honored by OGE by taking on the peloton responsibility ever since stage 1 TTT win.  Michael Matthews has been well supported to finish in the top 10 on each of the stages so far, even taking stage 6 in front of the now favourite Cadel Evans.

Stage 6 was marred by some horrendous crashes. Roads in southern Italy become grimy and dusty over summer with little rain to wash them down, so the first spring rains turn the roads into an ice rink, as occurred on stages 5 and 6. 

“Roads become a pool of soap when it gets wet,” said pre-Giro favorite Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

“It was a terrible crash. It was not a lucky day for us,” said Belkin sport director Frans Maassen. “That’s racing in southern Italy. When it started to rain, it became very slippery. We knew it would be very dangerous, and we saw that with the massive crash.”

“I took a good blow when I landed during the crash at the roundabout, and I slid a long, long way,” said Michele Scarponi (Astana)

Ben Swift hit the kerb with his hip and was in so much pain afterwards that he ended up fainting in the shower on the team bus.

OGE Svein Tuft suffered some sever grazing, but was able to finish te ride and able to start the next day.

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Even Stage 5 into Bari was neutralised except for the sprinters on the final lap due to slick roads.

Showers are forecast as the enter into the Mountains for the first time this weekend. And with snow piling up in the Alps, there are concerns that stage 16 with climbs over the Gavia and Stelvio, might be cancelled

Abandons.

Joaquim Rodriguez, Katusha – Pretty devastating. This was supposed to be J-Rod’s big chance. Instead he goes home with two broken ribs and a broken thumb. A huge blow to him and the whole race really.

2014 Giro d'Italia - Stage Six

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Joaquim Rodriguez

Giampaolo Caruso, Katusha – Already in pain from a scaphoid fracture and now also suffered bad contusions on his hip and leg.

Angel Vicioso, Katusha – Threefold(!?) complex fracture of the femur (thighbone). Ouch, ouch, ouch. That sounds like a career-ender for a 37 year old.

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Brett Lancaster, Orica – Broken hand.

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David Villella, Cannondale, Humeral subluxation (Dislocated shoulder ) and severe contusion. Bad luck for the neo-pro who was having an impressive first season so far.

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Janez Brajkovic, Astana – Broken elbow. That’s odd. Brajkovic almost never has bad luck. Or is it the other way around?

Injured

Rick Flens, Belkin – Broken index finger and road rash on his back.

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Steven Kruijswijk, Belkin – Bruised but not broken shoulder, he lost 15 minutes today too, in case he was hoping for  GC then that’s gone.

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Andrey Amador – Neck pain, no fractures but “cervical sprain”. Hoping to start tomorrow. Quintana, Malori, Castroviejo and Izagirre all went down for Movistar but the others are all said to have very minor injuries.

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Svein Tuft, Orica – “Significant abrasions” That cycling code for not much skin left. Still being monitored and whether he starts will probably depend on if he gets any sleep at all. Cam Meyer is also uncertain to start , not due to the crash but because of illness since yesterday.

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Just scrapes

Rafal Majka, Tinkoff – Pain in hip and knee, should be ok in a day or two. The pole got up and was one of those that finished high up and actually climbed on GC today.

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Nicholas Roche, Tinkoff – Superficial cuts and bruises. Seems to have lost most of the 15 minutes on GC waiting for a replacement bike. Wounds need a few days to heal up.nrRovny Poljanski, Tinkoff – Skin abrasions. Able to continue.

Wilco Kelderman, Belkin – Road rash

Michele Scarponi, Astana – Bruised but seemingly ok.

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Oh yeah, the race

Stage 4

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Stage 5

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Stage 6

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Stage 7

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End Stage 7 Standings

1. Michael Matthews (Aus/Orica) 29hrs 34mins 19secs

2. Cadel Evans (Aus/BMC) +21secs

3. Rigoberto Uran (Col/ Omega) +1min 18secs

4. Rafal Majka (Pol/Tinkoff) +1min 25secs

5. Steve Morabito (Sui/BMC) ST

6. Matteo Rabottini (Itl/Neri Sottoli) ST

7. Ivan Santaromita (Itl/Orica) +1min 47secs

8. Fabio Aru (Itl/Astana) +1min 51secs

9. Tim Wellens (Belgium Lotto) +1min 52secs

10. Ivan Basso (Italy/Cannondale) +2mins 6secs

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Suit of the Week – Parker Dusseau Commuter Suit

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Biking to work presents many risks and your going to piss people off, because our there thats all. So if your’e going to piss people off, you may as well do it in style.  But what is stylish. Lycra, nup – thats how you piss people off.

“The biggest common complaint [cyclists] have is that they have to change their clothes once they get to work,” says Vaughn Brown, whose San Francisco-based company, Parker Dusseau, attempts to address that bugaboo with the Commuter Suit, combining the look of a well-tailored two-piece with the stretch of workout clothes. The inspiration, says Brown, was to make “clothing that allowed me to be active but also allowed me to look the way I want to look.”

To do that, he souped up a merino suit with some clever, high-performance details. The pant has a gusset (a diamond-shaped piece of fabric) in the crotch, instead of a four-way seam, which provides flexibility and comfort, and two strips of rubber in the interior waistband keep dress shirts tucked in. The legs can be rolled up and fastened with a button to keep them from getting caught in the spokes. To prevent split seams, the jacket is lined with an athletic mesh that stretches across the wearer’s back when hunched over handlebars. Reflective strips for night visibility can be exposed with a flick of the collar and cuffs or by pulling out pocket flaps.

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Of course, like most well-made suits, it’s spendy—$485 for the jack, $245 for the pant—and won’t erase all sartorial dorkiness from the two-wheeled commute.

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till next week (maybe)

tight spokes

iPib

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