May 29, 2006
Basso triumphant, anointed Tour favorite
Ivan Basso took the next step in his development as a rider, wrapping up the Giro d'Italia in Milan yesterday. Basso nailed down a dominating 9:18 margin of victory, and became the consensus favorite to win the 2006 Tour.
Gerolsteiner's Robert Forster took the sprint finish to take Stage 21, but Team CSC wasn't letting anything else happen on the stage.
Gilberto Simoni is still mouthing off about Basso's win in Saturday's Stage 20, when Simoni claims Basso asked for money to let Simoni take the stage win. Basso admits that he convinced Simoni they should ride together on the descent of the Mortirolo, but says the rest of Simoni's story is a fabrication.
The two biggest surprises of the Giro have to be defending champion Paolo Savoldelli's 6th overall and José Enrique Gutierrez taking 2nd.
Juan Manuel Garate takes the climber's jersey, Paolo Bettini both the points jersey and the 110 Gazzetta competition (normally the Intergiro).
Jan Ullrich, who still plans to show up at the start of the Tour July 1, held a press conference Friday night to discuss his Giro exit and his condition after almost 3 weeks of competitive racing. Ullrich says he and director Rudy Pevanage had planned to withdraw Thursday night, but decided that would look “ill-timed” in light of the doping allegations coming out in the Spanish press. With his back hurting on Friday, apparently the result of a strength imbalance between Ullrich's legs, the two decided there was no reason for Ullrich to continue.
On Basso's Giro mastery:
Ullrich: He makes a strong impression. And his CSC team is well-balanced. Ivan is on top of his game. However, I don’t think he will win the Tour. The competition is Italy is distinctively weaker than the one in France. And I want to have a say in it, too. (laughs)
Samuel Abt gives Gutierrez a well-deserved callout, and examines Simoni's comment on Saturday that Basso “seems like an extraterrestrial,” with the connotation that something more than good training habits were responsible for his performance.
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» Basso Wins Giro! from SetHigherStandards
I cant say this was a surprise. I guess its sorta like plaing hide and seek in your own house when you are little kid. You know all the hiding spots. You know who is going to hide where. Regardless, it is still a lot of fun. That is how t... [Read More]
Tracked on May 29, 2006 6:51:11 PM
I must say watching Basso dominate the tour was impressive and I really do hope he performs well in the TDF. However, I wonder how any cyclist can win both grand tours nowadays. In the armstrong ere and beyond, cyclists with strong GC contention have been focusing on the Tour de France all year, and early season races to just tune up and get fit. I wonder if Basso has not peaked to early this year?
Posted by: Ravi at May 29, 2006 7:20:22 PM