Giro stage 18: Nibbles rains on Evans’ parade

Stage 18: Mori to Polsa, 20.6km individual time trial

The sharp end of this technical, uphill time trial was always going to be when the top ten riders took off, as most of the other riders were just hoping to get their tired legs to the finish line. The top position changed hands a few times – from Steve Cummings (BMC) to Stef Clement (Blanco) to Cannondale’s Damiano Caruso – until Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) blazed through the course to set an excellent time that was only bested when the last rider came over the finish line. And that was Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) who beat Samu’s time by a jaw-dropping 58 seconds. Continue reading

AntBanter: What makes a great sprinter?

There are few scenes in sport which can match the frantic, head-down, balls-out charge to the line that is a bunch sprint. Watching from afar, it resembles a wave powering in to shore, wiping out anything in its path with an all-consuming fury. Slow it down, focus in, and the wave becomes a mass of snarling riders, straining to channel every remaining drop of power from muscle to sinew, to pedal, to road, to speed. Look more closely, and you can start to make sense of the mayhem. The different kinds of rider emerge, different styles, different body shapes and different tactics. This is the complexity that makes it hard to claim that one rider is a greater sprinter than all others. Hard, but not impossible! Continue reading