Talking Tactics: How Luca Paolini became the maglia rosa

In last week’s Talking Tactics I looked at how different teams’ objectives influence their rider selection for the Giro, depending on which of the many races within the race they are focussing on: general classification, climbing, sprints, individual stage victories and so on. Today I’m following on from that to explore how team tactics can influence the outcome of individual stages, depending on whether their agendas align or conflict – in particular the chain of events which led to Luca Paolini winning a thrilling stage three and taking the overall lead.

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Giro stage 5 preview

 Stage 5: Cosenza to Matera, 203km, flat

The GC boys and overall leader Luca Paolini should be able to enjoy a fairly quiet day after the excitement of the last two days. as the sprinters will be back in business on this flat stage which goes up the Ionian coast. (Watch out for possible crosswinds again). It won’t be an easy finish, though. There’s a short, sharp kick-up in the form of the cat 4 Montescaglioso 20km out. Then after a short descent an uphill run into Matera will drain the legs of the speed demons vying for the stage win. Continue reading