May 22, 2005
Vande Velde on Stage 14
Christian Vande Velde got to witness Ivan Basso's jour sans firsthand today. The CSC team is going to have to figure out what they can save from this Giro, now that they have no shot at the podium. I was pretty surprised they put the brakes on today, and kept nearly the entire squad back, defending Basso, long after it was clear his day, and his Giro, were shot.
Vande Velde gives Basso a major shout-out for finishing the stage at all, and says he is himself suffering with the junior-league version of Basso's stomach troubles.
Despite the incredible difficulty, I actually did have a really funny moment, though. At one point, coming down a long descent, there were only two of us zooming down the hill, chasing to get back on to some group ahead of us. It was just Michael Barry and me. I started laughing.
Michael looks over and says "what are you laughing about?"
I just thought it was so funny that here in the middle of the Giro d'Italia, out of a peloton of - what, 165 guys? - it's just me, and the one guy in the world who I constantly train with. We were out there with no one else around. I mean, we ride together probably 90 percent of the time, whether it's back in Boulder or in Girona, or ....
"We could be anywhere in the world right now, Michael," I told him. "We always ride together and here we are doing it again... but we're in the middle of the Giro d'Italia."
Vande Velde thinks Savoldelli will take the overall, but looking at the course profile, it looks like Simoni has more opportunities to make up time on the uphills than Savoldelli has on the time trials. There's also a stage with a late climb that, were it a spring classic, would look tailor-made for Danilo Di Luca. This one's anything but over.
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Thanks for the analysis. Should be a very interesting last week. I've seen curiously little commentary about how the stages play out. Whatever the Pro Tour's detriments, it's breathed fire into the Giro. Given the beautiful course, that alone is near justification for the Tour.
Posted by: Tod at May 23, 2005 12:01:12 PM