Rich Land my man at the GIRO on the BIG STRADE BIANCHE
Ok, to STAGE 7. This is without a doubt the one I’d like to have been at this year and it’s all because it feeds the Cobble Goblin in me. I can’t wait to get my first taste of riding on the white roads, it looks both tough but engaging and my guess is just as addictive as the Cobbles. I was reading on Pave’s Blog last week that he thinks Cadel Evans might attack here. Well in one sense it does, the ex MTB rider should have the skills required to open up a gap to grab some time before the uphill finish on the Monte Terminillo. Most of Stage 7 is rolling except for the final 15km up to the finish. At 222km in length the stage is crazy long and this combined with the ‘Strade Bianche’ sections will prove to be tougher than the profile indicates.
So does it makes sense for Evans to attack here, YES absolutely. many of the other GC contenders don’t posses the great bike handling skills to capitalize on the toughness of the course and I am sure will be happy to take second or third wheel behind a Team mate and stay safe. If the Evan’s (currently lying 1:59 down on the GC) of the last 9 months gets his race face on tomorrow it could shake up the results tomorrow. If its the Evans of the last few years, well I think he will have already lost the Giro. Who else could benefit from an attack, well on GC front Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini (back at 3:45 on GC) this would be ballsie and would scare the crap out of the other GC contenders. He’s a great Classics rider, but the Strade Bianche may prove to be too much too soon. Tyler Farrar and Filippo Pozzato could well catch the other teams napping. Neither Team has anyone (really) for the GC and the best chance for column inches is to bag a stage like this. Pozzato has a lot to prove after being so close on occasions this year and at other times ending up being sidelined with illness. Farrar will have the confidence (and his magic transition lenses) of his Stage 2 win fresh in his memory and I am sure will revel in the rougher surface to play on. I am hoping for fireworks and I really don’t want a boring neutralised stage before the Terminillo. The final outside bet to show his hand will be the UK’s own Daniel Lloyd. He’s had a quiet year compared to last year, but he has placed well in this race before and half the battle to any win is knowing the roads. Don’t be surprised to see his face if a breakaway group goes clear.
So I think Pozzato will win the stage and Cunego will gain time as Evans waits thinking that he will claw back some of his losses on Stage 14 (yes 7 stages later) but I am not convinced that he is here to win it. Oh and on that subject I think an Italian will win it, which one, well if Simoni works for him it’ll be Cunego.’
Rich Land. Sprinting for Signs
Rich I can wait for the “white roads” as a race I think it gets a little over look with it place so near the big cobbled classics. This is for sure the one I’m looking forward to outside of the big mountain stages. Thanks for your report.