2 postings in 2 days – I’m on a roll, but only because i just had to get some of the classic twitter pictures of last nights stage.
If you didn’t get to watch it, do whatever you can to lay your hands on a copy because that would have to be a modern day Giro classic. Quite frankly, the tour de france has nothing on this.
3 mountains climbs, rain, snow, red flags, mass confusion, race radio announcements, nuetralisations, twitter anouncements, twitter recants, protests, social media mayhem, indignation, unbelievable climbing, this race had everything.
Ok, to cut a long story short:
- Conditions were crap
- The decision was made to start the original route.
- The race was split to about 30-40 riders at the front after the first climb of the day , the Passo Gavia.
- The descent was horrific with rain and sleet hitting the riders in the first kilometers
- With a few kilometres left up to the top of the Stelvio, the second climb, Cataldo attacked alone before the summit and started the descent alone.
- Approaching the creast of the Stelvio, word got out through the race radio that TV commentators listen in on and via the race-twitter that the race would be neutralized on the Stelvio descent.
- Cataldo attacked the descent
- A few Movistar riders including Quintana had slipped away from race leader Uran who was taking the descent slowly
- Quintana escaped in a group with Rolland and Hesjedal and a the start of the finasl climb, had grabbed lead of around 2 minutes
- Quintana and Ryder eventually pulled away up the 22 km Val Martello climb.
- Quintrana won, turning a nearly 3 minute deficit into a 1:40 lead
The issue was the descent.
The riders were escorted down the first part of the descent under the red flag, but it appears the organisers meant for an escorted ride down the first few km. It appeared a communication breakdown, with some riders clearly taking the descent slowly under the impression it had been neutralised, some attacking, and some riders taking the advantage of jacketing up at the top of the Stelvio.
Unfair? Unsporting? A debacle – absolutely. Teams are up in arms, riders are pissed. Only in Italy.
TOP 10 Stage 16
- Nairo Quintana
- Ryder Hesjedal + 8 sec
- Pierre Rolland + 1:13
- Wilco Kelderman +3:32
- Domenico Pozzovivo + 3:37
- Fabio Aru + 3:40
- Rafal Majka + 4:08
- Sebastian Henao + 4:11
- Rigoberto Uran + 4:11
- Cadel Evans + 4:48
- Uran + 1:40
- Evans +3:21
- Rolland + 3:26
- Majka + 3:28
- Aru + 3:34
- Pozzovivo + 3:49
- Kelderman + 4:06
- Hesjedal + 4:16
- Kiserlovski + 8:02
Anyway, there are some spectacular photos popping up on twitter, and the following I think give a great feeling of what these men had to suffer throughout the gruelling stage.
Things got so bad, they had to jump snow banks on the climb up the stelvio
Organisers checking the new weather app before they made the decision to carry on with the full stage 16.
Spectators coming back down the mountain after days end
And finally, a message to the organisers rfom the riders
till next week