One need only cast their minds back eleven years ago to support the overused TV commentator’s phrase that ‘anything can happen’. But as Anthony Tan writes, for the podium to be redefined four days from the finish, logic, caution and reason must be thrown out the back door.
The most interest in terms of racing is going to be amongst the fourth to tenth players. They’ll be the ones squabbling over the seconds, chasing each other down and one of those moves might just be the catalyst that Nibali is waiting for to show just how superior he is.Before the final time trial and the arguably the two most difficult mountain stages in this year’s Giro d’Italia, it seems the canny Scotsman reckons the podium is just about set in stone, with the scrap for minor placings where he predicts most change.
It’s a big call. Because maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali needs to have just one bad day in the Dolomites and he could lose five minutes. Or ten. Or fifteen.
It’s never easy when apprentice usurps master, particularly when it happens earlier than expected. But as Anthony Tan writes, for those on the sidelines, it makes for fascinating viewing.
When the winner of the 14th stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia, Mauro Santambrogio of Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, was asked what it felt like to drop his former leader Cadel Evans on the climb to Bardonecchia-Jafferau, he responded thus:
“It gives me great confidence, although I have to thank Cadel because I learned a lot when I rode alongside him. With Cadel I learned how to prepare for a three-week tour. Now, as a captain on a team, I can really make the most of what I have learned.”
For the second year running, he’s the oldest licensed rider in the WorldTour peloton. But as Anthony Tan writes, nothing’s going to slow Jens Voigt down. Not yet, anyway.
I’m mother f**king Jens Voigt so they’re not going to catch me.If only one could clone ‘The Jensie’. Or bottle it up and make Andy Schleck skol copious quantities of it till he’s inebriated beyond belief, drunk on The Jensie.
In January last year, at the Santos Tour Down Under, I interviewed Jens Voigt at length for US cycling publication VeloNews. Then aged 40, he told me that, “Nobody likes to get old, but I can still keep up, so it’s all good”.
From Toowoomba to Tuscany via California, Anthony Tan gives his lowdown in the only way he knows how. Straight up.
No need for TTTs in the NRS
As some Cycling Central readers have already noted, the inclusion of team time trials in the National Road Series only skews results further in favour of the better, bigger budget, teams.
So far, it’s been an interesting first 24 hours for Anthony Tan in ‘the Garden City’, on location for the third race of the men’s Subaru National Road Series.
I wasn’t expecting an A380, but Skytrans flight Q617 from Sydney to Toowoomba was rather, well, exclusive. There couldn’t have been much more than two dozen of us on board.
Bit disappointed I didn’t have a flat-bed, though. It was a one-hour and forty-five minute haul, after all, and I knew that if I didn’t get a good sleep, I’d have trouble waking up the next morning, which was pretty important, since the race started today.