Giro shorts: Stage 21 review

Stage 21 – Milan individual time trial, 30.9km

Stage profile: A technical individual time trial through the streets of Milan. It was shortened to 28km due to roadworks.

Top three for the stage: 1.Marco Pinotti (BMC), 2. Geraint Thomas (Sky) +0:39, 3. Jesse Sergent (RadioShack-Nissan) +0:53.

Top three overall: 1. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda), 2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) +0.16, 3. Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) +1.39.

Continue reading

Giro d’Italia stage 20 review: Epic De Gendt victory sets up dramatic finale

Stage 20 – Caldes/Val di Sole to Passo dello Stelvio, 219km

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The opening line of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities was equally applicable on today’s penultimate leg of the 2012 Giro, as for once the queen stage lived up to its billing and provided an epic suffer-fest which offered us both elation and misery and left the fate of the maglia rosa still hanging delicately in the balance.

Indeed, the stage could have been subtitled A Tale of Two Races. Thomas De Gendt produced one of the most memorable solo victories of recent times to put himself within touching distance of the podium, while behind him overall leader Joaquim Rodriguez grabbed a few critical seconds and Ryder Hesjedal defended his position as favourite with great assertiveness and style. But for Michele Scarponi and Ivan Basso, the two most recent champions, the stage saw their hopes of victory effectively extinguished.

Continue reading

Giro d’Italia stage 19 review: Kreuziger gains consolation as Hesjedal eyes the big prize

Stage 19 – Treviso to Alpe di Pampeago, 198km

Astana’s Roman Kreuziger put in what amounted to a 25km solo effort to claim victory at Alpe di Pampeago on the toughest day of the Giro so far and provide him with some consolation for his disastrous day on Wednesday’s stage 17, when he blew and lost 11 minutes to drop him out of overall contention. Meanwhile Ryder Hesjedal emerged from the elite GC group in the closing kilometres of the final climb to take time out of all his rivals and move him closer to the possibility of overall victory on Sunday.

Continue reading