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HuwB

Giro 2013: I Secondi Piatti Stages:- May 18th - May 22nd

No hiding place over the penultimate weekend as the riders breach the 2000 metre mark for the first times...............weather permitting.

Stage 14:
Map:


Profile:


Climb:


Finish:




Stage 15:

Map:


Profile:


Climb:


Finish:



Stage 16:

Map:


Profile:


Climb:


Finish:



Stage 17:

Map:


Profile:


Climb:


Finish:
Bartali

Thanks Huw - Looking at stage 15 I now know why Susa to Ceasan Torinese nearly killed me in 2011.  I thought I was labouring on a flat road!!!!
Bartali

This will be a brutal final week .... god help en all!
Fontfroide

Bartali wrote:
Thanks Huw - Looking at stage 15 I now know why Susa to Ceasan Torinese nearly killed me in 2011.  I thought I was labouring on a flat road!!!!


I wonder what medical aids you had to ride 25k uphill (it looks almost ALL uphill) thinking the road was flat and it was bad legs.  Did you have that nice bike?  Is there not a Garmin device that tells you what is going on?  I rode with this guy last year who had one and he told me exactly how steep everything was, as we rode.  I think there is something fishy going on here.  Mind you, fit young guys with light bikes somethings don't even notice slight uphills, they just unconsciously push a little harder on the pedals, while whistling.   Laughing
HuwB

I think there's a fair bit of work to be done before Sunday and that's without more of this!

Fontfroide

Presumably Galibier, although I don't recognise it.  

I was looking at the webcams on the Tourmalet, in view of my wee trip in June, with my buddy who wants to "climb it the other way".  They were still skiing on the Tourmalet, there was no road visible that I could see.  And it is raining a lot down here, snowing above 2,000 metres I presume.  Spring?

Who will benefit, if anyone, if they don't do the biggest climbs?  How is the weather on the big Italian monsters?  Mind you, they do have the right equipment to move snow in those areas.
Bartali

Near the top of the Galibier from the Valoire side - I think?

FF - I think it was what we call false flat.  It looked pretty flat - certainly compared to the two climbs I had just done and Sestriere to come ... but clearly it was steeper than I thought.  Hard hard day for me ... but that stretch was harder than the three climbs up to 2000m+

The prettiest way up the Tourmalet is from Luz ... though both are more or less equally difficult IMO.
Fontfroide

Bartali wrote:
Near the top of the Galibier from the Valoire side - I think?

FF - I think it was what we call false flat.  It looked pretty flat - certainly compared to the two climbs I had just done and Sestriere to come ... but clearly it was steeper than I thought.  Hard hard day for me ... but that stretch was harder than the three climbs up to 2000m+

The prettiest way up the Tourmalet is from Luz ... though both are more or less equally difficult IMO.


It looks steeper that that on the course elevation diagram.   But then I constantly get tricked by diagrams of roads, flat or going up.  I am sure if you had a hard time, then it was … hard.  I reckon I will be driving up that way from Luz if the snow is gone.  Never have done that side in car or on bike.  I love "climbing" in the car, just a little push with the right foot.   Laughing
Boogerd_Fan

Well if there is that much snow i can't see how they'll go up there Sad So looking fwd to this stage!
Fontfroide

It is hard to figure, there is a lot of snow.  They probably won't climb it.

BUT it is utterly astounding what those guys can do with their machinery, all things being equal.  Those shots you have seen of riders going between walls of snow way taller than a person are the result of getting the machines going.  It IS astounding.  

The danger will be the temperature and whether it is still snowing.  The weather report which I look at is the Pyrenees and it was snowing there above 1400 metres today.  if they can get rid of the snow and there is not more and the road dries up enough and the temperature is not freezing at night to make ice, the then they can do it.  

They have webcams all over the place now, so you can see how they are doing.  Looks like the snow is gone at Bardonecchia. http://www.bardonecchiaski.com/images/webcams/chesal.jpg/640x480.jpg

We will have to check it all out googling "webcams" where we want to.
HuwB

Stage 15 is gone. Butchered. Pinched from elsewhere.



the Inner Ring ‏@inrng  17m  
Avalanche danger means Sunday's #Giro stage could be shortened to 50km, roughly this route in the red box

the Inner Ring ‏@inrng  24m  
Snow forecast for weekend in Alps. French government rules on #Giro route, no Galibier http://www.ledauphine.com/savoie/...cols-du-mont-cenis-et-du-galibier … (French) via @wielerman

New stage probably looks to be this:



EDIT:


Finish at Les Verneys (between km 15 and 16 on the profile)


(unless they can find some way to extend the route, which is highly improbable)
Bartali

Shame ... they might as well cancel the whole thing though a thrash up the telegraph might be surprising.
Beasley

RCS had to salvage something, if only to keep the TV folks (remotely) happy. They'll have a huge hole to fill in their schedules as it is!
HuwB

Ironically, the RCS made RAI pledge to showing the whole of this stage, as one of three, in order to get the 4-year contract.
Now, their 5 hour schedule won't fill 2. Eurosport will be left with the truly awful coverage from Norway. (or table tennis)
Always was a terrible risk; taking on many so +2000 metre ascents.

I fully expect even worse news with regard to tomorrow's stage.

Oh and there is 4 metres of snow, either side of the Stelvio road, atm.
Biosphere

There doesn't seem to be anything official yet. I saw a report that suggested they would try to have finish at Plan Lachat on Sunday, 8 km short of original finish and a bit shy of 2000m.
JohnD

Aaargh - World Cup Tiddlywinks for Eurosport then!
HuwB

There is a chance that Bio might be correct, since the paper seems to be the source of the information,
rather than it being a government proclamation.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/s...-racing-to-col-du-galibier-summit

Struck me last night, that the disruption doesn't end here.
Mont Cenis was not only their way into France, but their way out.
With the French government ruling (be it the case) meaning stage 16 will also lose
it's first 100kms.
What is left is 140kms of flat, with a small climb, 20kms from the end.
HuwB

Well, it seems the final decision has not yet been made, although the omens aren't good:

Quote:
David Walsh ‏@DavidWalshST 1m
Threat of avalanche on French side of Alps may shorten and diminish tomorrow's epic stage to summit of Galibier. Decision at noon.


What I find odd is how come Mont Cenis is also looking to be excluded, if the avalanche threat is limited to the top slopes of the Galibier?
Confused
HuwB

Today's stage.
Confirmed that Sestriere is gone.
Straight up the main valley road, one climb.
(unless the weather takes that one out, too)

Well, it's turning into a toothless Giro.
Risky business this +2000 metres in May, lark.
Nolte

david millar has abandoned apparently. just surprised he didn't ride to the top of final mountain today and stopped at 5 meters to go in protest Very Happy
Nolte

it seems the telegraphe is the last climb standing for sunday
HuwB

Official. No mountains, no coverage, no interest.
This Giro is a total suckfest.
Zomengnan may have had an obsession with gradient, but Aquarone's obsession with altitude has ripped the heart out of this race.
Watching Norway with Norwegian commentary.
Fontfroide

Getting kind of anthology of bits of music and flashes of sports moments.  this bit of the Giro is hard to watch, like impossible.  Still, there are tickers which tell me I am missing nothing.  An easy day in the saddle, with the usual bad weather.
Biosphere

Quote:
AFP are confirming, via French officials that the Galibier and the Col du Mont Cenis have been withdrawn from tomorrow' stage. RCS are scrambling to come up with a new route.
kathy

Shake up on GC, but Nibs looks strong!
HuwB

Right, so the latest from the rumour mill (inrng) is, having said Mont Cenis is out, it's actually in, but with some, or all of it neutralised. Possibly even 75kms of 145kms, not raced.
Stage finish at Les Granges du Galibier (2300m) but no spectators allowed past Plan Lachat.(2000m)

Frankly, I'll believe it when I see it, or perhaps like today, when Rai tell me what's going on.
Nolte

HuwB wrote:
Rai tell me what's going on.


the commentary tomorrow will be provided by the trustworthy Orson Welles Very Happy
Boogerd_Fan

need to catch the highlights, but just checking the GC - what happened to Gesink!?!?
Nolte

damned if anyone knows. there was a big group of blanco riders in it though with him.

the 1 hour highlight show will be riders riding in the last 300 meters
Boogerd_Fan

The Giro facebook page is stating they only skip the last 4.25km of the stage tomorrow!

La Direzione del Giro d'Italia conferma il percorso originario della tappa di domani salvo gli ultimi 4,250 km. Il traguardo sarà a Les Granges du Galibier-Monumento Pantani. Qui il comunicato ufficiale: http://eepurl.com/zIOWv

The Direction of the Giro d'Italia integrally confirms the original course of tomorrow stage except for the last 4.250 kms. The finish will be set in Les Granges du Galibier-Pantani Monument. Here the official statement: http://eepurl.com/zIPkn
kathy

Week 3 Giro FP thread here

http://justcycling.myfastforum.org/about4940.html
Bartali

I'm glad I recorded that.  It reminded me of La Plagne in 87!!

.....is that ... it is .... its Nibali!
HuwB

Nolte wrote:
damned if anyone knows. there was a big group of blanco riders in it though with him.

the 1 hour highlight show will be riders riding in the last 300 meters


Seems Sky sports and Rai have now shown the whole of the final climb, so maybe there's hope............
In anycase, it all seems to have kicked off at 1.8 kms to go.
Time to dump these mega mountains in favour of small shark's teeth, imo.
Biosphere

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
need to catch the highlights, but just checking the GC - what happened to Gesink!?!?


You mave seen this on CN.

Quote:
Robert Gesink (Blanco) finished with three teammates but was 4:16 behind Nibali and dropped to 11th overall, 6:40 down, his hopes of overall victory suddenly over.

He was so cold that he was allowed to change in the podium area tent. He faced the extra problem of being selected for anti-doping but at least could get warm in the special vehicle used for the testing. He refused to speak when he headed to the ski lift that took the riders down the mountain to the waiting team buses.

A few hours after the stage he tweeted, "A terrible day for me on the bike! Got so cold I couldn't move my legs anymore at the last climb. Thanks @BlancoCycling for all the help!"


http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/j...s-and-bravery-of-the-giro-ditalia

In general, I think it's going maybe going too far when they suffer like this, but on the other hand it's a GT so it's about suffering.
Bartali

These things happen ... its not like it was planned and its notlike  Hampsten riding over the Gavia or Hinault in LBL.
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:
These things happen ... its not like it was planned and its notlike  Hampsten riding over the Gavia or Hinault in LBL.


I probably lean towards not changing things despite my reservations, but I think it is planned to at least an extent. The last 48 hour scrambling about today's finish means they are ultimately taking a decision to knowingly send them into bad conditions for the narrative pay-off of reaching the Pantani monument.
mr shifter

Bartali wrote:
These things happen ... its not like it was planned and its notlike  Hampsten riding over the Gavia or Hinault in LBL.

Hampsten came over the Gavia in 2nd place following the stage winner Eric Breukink.
Hampsten did win that Giro though.
HuwB

It's confirmed that they'll do (almost) the entire original stage:
Biosphere

HuwB wrote:
It's confirmed that they'll do (almost) the entire original stage . . .


A much better outcome than what was expected on Friday. Amazing how news organisations will seemingly make stuff up to fill voids or encourage web clicks or whatever.
Biosphere

Snowing outside RAI's finishing line commentary box. International feed live from 12:00 GMT so about 20 mins from now.
HuwB

Nothing until 14-30cet at the earliest.
I gave up a Sunday lunch for Mont Cenis.
Dry and sunny (OK v cold) at the start.
RAI suck balls.
I'm off out.
Biosphere

RAIS 1 seem to be live now.

Sunny. Jackets have been opened and arm warmers rolled down. Big bunch tempo climbing Mont Cenis. Not sure if there's a break or not.

Off out myself for a local ride. Will catch up later.
kathy

Have been out for a ride this morning.  Came back expecting to see cycling Twisted Evil
kathy

Looks like we're just about to get some coveerage - after ES's endless self-adulation!
kathy

Pathetic lot of wimps!
gerry12ie

I should have stayed longer... looks like a go slow.  What a sorry state of a weekend's racing.
HuwB

I'm back.
This is dumb.
Yesterday's spectators had more backbone than the peloton.
Surely, they will now suffer more with the cold on the long, long
drop to St Michel du M?

Bottom line: Like it or not, they are in the entertainment business and they are refusing to entertain.

Poor old Pirazzi's KOM campaign in tatters after the weekend's two
big gifts either taken out or neutralized.
gerry12ie

That's an awful lot of snow.  After the last three long winters that Europe has had only a marketing man would send a race up to ski resorts in May...

A neutralised Alpine weekend would have suited race leader Wiggins down to the ground if Sky and Acquarone's Plan A had worked Wink
HuwB

Finally. Pirazzi has kicked off the racing.
mazda

Watching on ES2 in HD.
The snow and the lakes takes your breath away.

There is a break of 7 going up Mt Cenis.
Are they actually not racing yet ?
kathy

They're on the descent now -a few pushing on!
Biosphere

CN say the riders have neutralised it for Cenis so there will not be a big cull by the cut this evening. Was shocked when I came back and I still caught the first summit. Glad I caught the hour on my bike too Smile
Biosphere

mazda wrote:
Watching on ES2 in HD.
The snow and the lakes takes your breath away.


Found I had a HD feed on my box all along courtesy of one of Swiss Italian channels Smile
HuwB

Only HD for me, these days.
I've seen that lake up close and personal, many times.
Our old route into Italy.
Great, safe descent and good roads all the way to the Galibier.

Weening is already down and off the mountain.
Biosphere

HuwB wrote:
Only HD for me, these days.


Not so sure about HD toilet breaks.  Wink
kathy

Gesink suicice bid!
Beasley

Gesink is trying his arm. After yesterday, can't blame him. Has nothing to lose.

Henao also giving it a go. Astana are gonna have to work for it.

Always staggered by the array of competitions on offer at the Giro. Seems somewhat unnecessary.
Biosphere

Betancur at it now.
Bartali

This is going to take some controlling .... everyone having a go!
Beasley

Nibali has three men with him, but they're not really turning the screw. And by Nibali's antics, that's not by choice!

Di Luca joins up with Henao and Gesink.
Bartali

They've kept gesink at about 1.00 all the way though .... I'm nervous for my man, but I think they know what they are doing ....
Fontfroide

Biosphere wrote:
Betancur at it now.


Dupont?
HuwB

It's a long drag.
Nice little Giro village in Valloire.
Bartali

I'm confused now.  Maglia rosa was 50s behind Gesink at the top of the climb .... now its saying nearly 3 minutes in Valloire???
Bartali

That's better ... under 40s
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:
I'm confused now.  Maglia rosa was 50s behind Gesink at the top of the climb .... now its saying nearly 3 minutes in Valloire???


Someone forgot to stop a clock. About 35 seconds.

Strange to see how different the conditions are at the finish which is  only 11km away
kathy

AG2R getting animate
Fontfroide

Seems like I can feel the tension, the thinking, the questioning.  Sure with I could hear the earphone conversations.  In NASCAR racing around an oval of cement, you can tune in with earphones.

Hard to imagine nothing will happen.
Beasley

Nibali's down to one man, but Scarponi's boys are doing the pace setting for him.

Gesink has done a lot of work for very little gain. Soon that will be no gain, I suspect.

GPS all over the place.
Fontfroide

What I don't get is how Nibali can ride in shorts and short sleeves.  I note the clothing varies immensely today.
Beasley

Ah, Astana have magic'd up another couple of men. Must have been lurking in the group.
Fontfroide

Imagine the work of the guys who set up the signs and banderoles and fences at that altitude with snow, in the morning.  In the cold.  They aren't paid enough.
Fontfroide

And finally I get to see my mountains pick Rabbotini showing himself.  Not that he will win or anything, seems like Pirazzi has the bit between his teeth.
HuwB

Round of applause for Blanco. At least they are trying to liven this up.
Fontfroide

And thanks Huw, your "nothing but HD" attitude reminded me I can take the laptop downstairs, use the English or French audio feed and watch the German Eurosport picture, with the sound turned down.  Good stage for that.  Must keep doing it.  

Merci.
Biosphere

I'm beginning to wonder if anything much is going to happen. With +20km to go it looked like it was getting spicy, and since nothing much. Sanchez has a go.
kathy

Samu has a go!
Beasley

Things are starting to look up for Visconti. Will give him a big boost in the mountains competition, too.
Fontfroide

Glad Nibali got some arm warmers, I was going to ring his mama.
Biosphere

Beasley wrote:
Things are starting to look up for Visconti. Will give him a big boost in the mountains competition, too.


Pirazi has been scoring too though. Depends if he can stay ahead of the Rosa group too.

Edit. No, not looking like he will.
Beasley

Bit more bite to the pace in the peloton, finally.
kathy

And Nibs attacks!
HuwB

Well done Visconti.
Big thumbs down to the rest.
Biosphere

Weird to have so few spectators. Another 2nd for Betancur.
Biosphere

If that was Mourey at only 2min down, I think I'll be FPing him later on the week!
gerry12ie

Visconti well deserved that.  He is a bit of a tool but I can't help but like him.
Bartali

Bravo Visconti!  Good win for him.  Well controlled by Astana ... Sky Postal style!  Perhaps you are being a bit harsh Huw ... considering the weather?  Lots of guys had a go today ... they just didn't make it.
gerry12ie

Quigley had at least three different Giovanni Viscontis on the road toward the end including the Spanish one scratch
Beasley

I struggle to blame Quigley too much ... the passion of the occasion got to his head! In fairness, I think he's a pretty good commentator in general, it's just that this sport is a little off the beaten track. I do wonder what's happened to DH, though.

Another day down for Nibali. Evans is wise to wait for the ITT and back-to-back MTFs, but I'm not sure about the rest. Saying that, it's been a brutal couple of days weather wise and a surprising number of guys had a dig today. Gesink, Kelderman, Henao, Sanchez ... it's just one of those days where if it doesn't look like it's going to stick it's better to consolidate.
Fontfroide

Can't say I know all that much, but it seems to me that there is plenty of racing to come.  If I had to bet on anyone, I guess I would join the world in saying Nibali has it locked up.  But there are still some hills to climb and the ITT, so I am not quite sure why anyone would be thinking it is over already.  On the other hand, I find that the weather has rather ruined the Giro a bit.  I accept that riders have to ride when they have to ride.  But it seems too many good riders, or rather favourites, have found the going too tough, and dropped out.  I reckon I like a bit of rain, but not like this.

And while the winner is semi-obvious (the race is long, many things can happen), the rest is not obvious yet.  Noe of the other jerseys are close to being decided.  Second through tenth are not decided.  there could be many clever plans attempted. l The rest of the riders and teams are not giving up.  And of course we might see a little bit of Italian collaboration at some crucial stage.

But this weather not only ruins the TV coverage, but kind of takes a bit away from the race.  A bit like this spring so-called that has been annoying me down here in the south of France.
HuwB

Bartali wrote:
Bravo Visconti!  Good win for him.  Well controlled by Astana ... Sky Postal style!  Perhaps you are being a bit harsh Huw ... considering the weather?  Lots of guys had a go today ... they just didn't make it.


Mmm, well, it wasn't very pleasant after Valloire, but considering they only raced the final 85kms of the stage, 55kms of downhill, too, in dry, sunny conditions.............
Anyhow, the Galibier, apart from the section they couldn't climb, is ideal train territory.

Never took you for a TDF fan, Bart. Wink
mr shifter

HuwB wrote:
Bartali wrote:
Bravo Visconti!  Good win for him.  Well controlled by Astana ... Sky Postal style!  Perhaps you are being a bit harsh Huw ... considering the weather?  Lots of guys had a go today ... they just didn't make it.


Mmm, well, it wasn't very pleasant after Valloire, but considering they only raced the final 85kms of the stage, 55kms of downhill, too, in dry, sunny conditions.............
Anyhow, the Galibier, apart from the section they couldn't climb, is ideal train territory.
Maybe you don't know why Huw is sulking.
It seems he gave up a good lunch so that he could watch some real racing over the Col du Mont Cenis and they didn't oblige. (I read that somewhere)
They go back the other way on Tuesday so he might have better luck.

For myself I wonder when or if Evans will attack ?? (now that is what I call a "Bore")
gerry12ie

Of course there is nothing sure but Nibali is in the perfect situation.  Evans and Scarponi have all the experience but not the legs, while Uran, Santambrogio, Betancur are still a bit raw.  TBH Nibali looks to be in very comfortable zone and I think it will take an awful lot to shift him out of it.

I like this Majka...
sabcarrera

I seemed like Nibali was trying to avoid attacks that would have chased down Visconti
HuwB

Now, assuming they are even half right, for the icing on the cake, next Friday and Saturday's Dolomiti weather forecast:

http://www.3bmeteo.com/meteo/passo+dello+stelvio

Pick any passo you fancy for Saturday, they are equally bad. Sad
Biosphere

sabcarrera wrote:
I seemed like Nibali was trying to avoid attacks that would have chased down Visconti


I think Nibali has been acting the patron and building alliances - Santambrogio yesterday, Visconti today. Might be useful in a tight spot next week.
Bartali

HuwB wrote:
Never took you for a TDF fan, Bart. Wink


ARGH!!!!  I take it all back!! Smile

FWIW I wasn't awarding panache points to Astana today, merely commenting that they controlled in the tried and tested way. To me, Nibs looked a tad tired today ... I think they will all be looking fwd to tomorrow.
Beasley

I'm not sure of his team - though they have been looking progressively better, it must be said - but the Shark looks very strong.

Today, the only time the leading group were put on the rivet was when Nibs upped the pace with a couple of Kms to go. I'm not sure how they're going to break him, but with a 90-odd second lead over Evans the only way Bartali won't be adding another pink Astana number to his collection is if he's broken.
MS

Bartali wrote:
HuwB wrote:
Never took you for a TDF fan, Bart. Wink
To me, Nibs looked a tad tired today ... I think they will all be looking fwd to tomorrow.


Ditto. If one of the other major GC contenders could have put in a serious dig in the last 1 -1.5 km, they could have gained 20 seconds on GC. Nibali looked vulnerable. The others just didn't have it, apparently. Would like to see just one stage where you have a concerted effort from the teams of spots 2-5 repeatedly hitting Astana.

This just makes me miss The Grump even more.
Boogerd_Fan

Biosphere wrote:
sabcarrera wrote:
I seemed like Nibali was trying to avoid attacks that would have chased down Visconti


I think Nibali has been acting the patron and building alliances - Santambrogio yesterday, Visconti today. Might be useful in a tight spot next week.


Why attack and drag Evans/Scarponi into the head of the race and the chance to chase the bonus seconds on the finish line?

Good tactics from Nibs.

I'm wondering if Evans will attack, but it was summarized quite nicely in the cyclingnews PR yesterday - he's probably in two minds, big risk if the attack fails and he loses time to the guys chasing his podium spot. Sad but true Sad  Personally i think he'll see what the time gaps are on the Mountain TT... whether it's worth trying an attack in the Dolomites.

Scarponi's a bit too far back to be too worried.

Betancur reminds me of Virenque... lots of digs and short attacks with irregular pacing, that amount to nothing but wearing himself down! Can only be  a matter of time before he converts his 2nd places into a stage win though. Pozzovivo surprisingly quiet yesterday? Saving himself for steeper stuff next weekend?

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