Wednesday 9th May
Verona-Verona 33.2km Team Time Trial
ENTRY DEADLINE 15:25 CET. To be fair to everyone, I think we'll start being strict about the entry deadines from Stage 4 onwards. But I'll try to get up the next stage's post about an hour before the end of the previous stage. And if you'll be incommunicado for a few days, remember that you can always post your picks well ahead of time anywhere that I'll see them, I'll keep a note of them for you.
This year's team time trial features flat urban roads at the start and finish in downtown Verona while the central part has a few short technical uphill climbs and descents through vineyards. The course starts with several bends before crossing the Adige river followed by 8 km of straight, fast roads with a bunch of roundabouts to make things interesting. After the rolling vineyard section in the northwest part of town, the course loops back into the city along wide and straight roads up to the finish on Piazza Bra. The 2010 Giro d'Italia also had a 32 km TTT on stage 4 after returning from the Netherlands. Liquigas won it while the last place team lost almost three minutes so this stage could break some GC dreams. Judging by the opening individual time-trial, Garmin-Barracuda will be the team to beat. Orica-GreenEdge, Sky and BMC also have a good shot at winning this stage. It's hard to pass byLiquigas, whom often do well at Giro d'Italia TTTs, but I don't see them finishing higher than fourth this year.
Stage 3 Results
Goss, JJ Haedo, Farrar.
First major drama and polemica of the Giro as hot favorite Cav is taken out before he can launch. Two Farnese-Vini boys doing 60kph behind him can take a lot of credit for a bunny-hop and a sideways fall that may have saved Cav from serious injury.
Gossy was still a popular pick, of course, as was third-placed Farrar. "sparta keeps up the consistent performance, now with 7/9 podium picks correct, and retains the capello rosa. But today's star and runaway stage winner is wannabe_scattista, who was the only DS to pick outsider JJ Haedo, scooping up the entire bonus and 14 points for the stage.
For each stage, pick three riders. The order of your picks does not matter.
The first three riders on the stage score. The basic score is stage winner 4 points, second place 2 points, third 1 point.
In addition there are bonus points awarded. Stage winner bonus is 24 points, second place bonus 12 points, third place bonus 6 points. The bonus points are split equally among all the DS's who picked that rider.
The entry deadline is the official start time of the stage. Now, people may want to be sneaky and change their picks before the stage starts when they see what other people's picks look like. That's fine, it's a normal part of the game and quite acceptable - but we'll allow strictly one change. You can change all three riders if you want, but it has to be in one new post. If you want to make a change, post it as a reply to your original post.
If you miss making an entry for a stage, no problem, you're still in the competition - you just score zero for that stage. Also, there's no limit to how early you can make picks, so if you're going on vacation, feel free to enter ahead of time for as many stages as you want.