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Great stage last night! Typical Giro! It's hard to see anyone stopping Nairo now. With less than 1 minute separating 3rd and 9th, I think this will be the real battle now.
A bit of controversy too...was there any red flag?? Either way Quintana took another 2 1/2 minutes on the climb, by himself! So really I don't think the Stelvio descent played a huge part in the end result...
That was nuts... Quintana looked like he wasn't even trying until 1.5km to go. Even then... little wonder the sport has concerns about drugs, because some riders pull out superhuman efforts.
That said, Uran and Cadel both didn't really have anything to respond with after big rides earlier, so I guess it is up to Quintana to defend the lead just like they did.
Just on the conditions - it's amazing anyone manages to finish a race like that. Descending through the switchbacks in the snow? Insane. just insane.
only??? enough to easily break your neck if you went over and landed the wrong way which could easily put you a further 6ft under.
Mega kudos to all the riders and support crews (motorbikes etc) who braved the conditions.
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This years Giro has been super exciting. So many conditions, climbs and potential winners. I love it. I was hoping Cadel could be strong enough to take it out, but I reckon him and Uran are spent. Quintana picked his stage and did it very well. What a little champion.
I can only imagine the atmosphere there under those conditions.
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It seems to have been a massive stuff up by the race organiser. They claim they never said the descent was "neutralised" on race radio (although a tweet from the race organiser said exactly that). Instead they announced the use of motos with red flags to guide the riders due to poor visibility. However, they did suggest riders hold their positions on the descent. Go figure.
Well, Wouter Weylandt died rebounding off something similar ... but he was really travelling. These guys had their brakes on.
This is what the Giro officials said over race radio. Sounds like neutralising the descent to me.
“Attention: A communication to directeur sportives. The management of the organisation have planned to put ahead of the head of the riders, depending on the situation, of course, after the top, to place in front of various groups an organisation moto with a red flag. All to avoid having attacks on the descent and after this to ensure that the riders remain in their positions and to prevent taking big risks and, for all, to remain in this position until the security agents lower the red flag.”
Yeah I saw a few photos after I posted that. Very confusing...whatever comes of all this, at minimum, I hope race organisers have learned a big lesson from this stuff up!
I didn't see a red flag in the SBS coverage. So, did Quintana's group pass the moto with the red flag, or was it travelling fast enough for a break to occur?
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Rolland says he denies seeing any red flag on the descent. Pretty sure that's Rolland, Quintana, and someone else on the descent. I'm also pretty sure that's a red flag...must have had his eyes closed
On the start of SBS coverage last night, they said at one stage Quintana actually passed a moto with a red flag. But again, it comes back to the word 'Neutralised' never being used by race radio...If the red flag was only there for guidance, then why couldn't he pass it?
In other news...How good is the Stelvio! That is on my bucket list for sure. Switchback doping heaven!
Nice effort by young Jay McArthy (Tinkoff) to get 3rd in the sprint for a stage podium at age 21 - another Aussie talent flying under the radar.
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Interesting that AIGCP requested that the time differences on the Stelvio descent be nullified. It does appear to have been a total stuff up by RCS.
Interesting to see if anything comes of it.
Mrs Clackers has been better at staying awake during the coverage than me and thought the gain by Quintana was a travesty.
To her, some teams understood the situation, others didn't, and she was wanting the whole stage cancelled!!
I pointed out Quintana would have won anyway, but then again I have won no argument in our marriage in twenty years.
Good to see Quintana riding like the champion - winning the time trial certainly underlines that he is the deserved leader. It would take an extraordinary performance on the Zoncolan for anyone to change the top 3
I think there is still a chance for Aru and Uran, but it will be a pretty brutal contest if something serious happens, as they are so close.
Sadly Cadel seems to have faded like he did against Wiggo; he's a strong rider, but it seems that he doesn't have enough in the tank to keep attacking... they keep saying that he's all about "never say die" but there is a lot to be said for just staying in contention. Quintana has done nothing except for two stages. Much easier to get support from your team when they aren't doing anything for two weeks!
Memorable stage 20. Highlights include the douche spectators, the cyclist who stole one douches sunnies and threw them in the bush, Quintana looking like he was on a leisurely push bike ride, and Tommo saying of Cadel that "we'll never see another one like him for a long time..."
Giro spectators are going to be disappointed that they can't get the riders' faces anymore. I think the tutus and other crap is funny but when the fans are getting shoved by the riders, and the race is getting ruined by stupid behaviour (that twit that pushed Biogorno), that is the line being crossed, and I reckon the Italians will make it happen because it is making their best race look like bit nasty.
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