The Giro d’Italia is now less than 24 hours away, and earlier this afternoon our Giro coverage team of Tim, Kitty and Sheree celebrated at VeloVoices Towers by cracking open the Friday drinks trolley. They chewed the fat over their long-standing love affair with the Giro and their thoughts and hopes for this year’s race. The highlights of their chat are reproduced below. [Jack is celebrating his birthday today and then away on non-VeloVoices business this month. He doesn’t like to talk specifics, as it involves import/export, you know the sort of thing. The name is Sargeant, Jack Sargeant – Ed.]
Pocket rocket Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) took the biggest win of his career – his first for two years – and recorded a prestigious victory and welcome boost for his ProContinental team ahead of the Giro d’Italia, when he emerged victorious to win the 36th edition of the Giro del Trentino. In addition, he won both the third stage and the mountains classification.
With the exception of the team time trial on stage one, won by BMC, this really was a race for diminutive mountain goats – the more diminutive the better. On the queen stage three, we were treated to that rare spectacle, riders in 34×29 granny gears, moving as if in slow motion, up the 15% average gradient along little more than a track to Punta Veleno. Runner-up Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) said it was even worse than the Zoncolan! Sylvester Szymd (Liquigas-Cannondale) rewarded his team’s efforts by hanging onto third place overall. Continue reading
Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) won the queen stage and the final individual hilly time-trial to take the overall win (and the points jersey) in Vuelta al Pais Vasco, earning himself an even larger place in the hearts of the Basques. He became only the second Euskaltel winner of the stage race after Iban Mayo in 2003. Miguel Madriaga, the Euskaltel team manager was delighted – just the boost he needs in his search for further sponsors. I’m sure the local bank Sabadell Guipuzcoano – who stepped in at the last moment to save both this race and the Clasica San Sebastian – will have been pleased with the return on their investment.
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), also a double stage winner, rode the time trial of his life to finish second overall and win the prize for ‘most elegant rider’. Continue reading