Thursday 10th May
ENTRY DEADLINE 12:30 CET
STRICT DEADLINE = STAGE START TIME
The Scuderia at Maranello is just down the road from the start, but that's not the Ferrari that will be getting all the publicity tomorrow morning, as some kind of "official apology" seems to be planned. Let's hope it turns out to be just a "sorry mate" and a couple of handshakes.
The course is a prime example of the topology-defying dead straight roads that the Romans invented. (Of course, it took a Belgian to advance the road concept by introducing narrow windy bits with cobbles, mud and diversions toward all hills in the vicinity). Luca Scinto will point his boy southeast and hope that he picks up enough momentum to get over the modest lumps before the end. If Guardini or any other sprinters can't manage 2km at 5%, there's a 30km run-in to come back. With a strong team in pink and a lot of hungry sprinters, holmovka will give up vodka for a month if a break stays away on this stage. The only relevant question: do Cav's injuries slow him down, or just make him angry?
Stage 4 Results
Garmin-Barracuda, Katusha, Astana.
Garmin delivered, but only just. The theme of the day was that the top teams did not dominate as expected. With Katusha only 5 seconds behind Garmin, J-Rod now has a fantastic opportunity to win a GT, something that some thought beyond him. He will be relishing the coming medium mountain stages, notably Stage 10 next week, where the finish is perfect for him to take at least bonifications over his GC rivals. With his newfound TT unsuckiness, the biggest question may be his stamina on the longest climbs of the third week, but there's no shortage of the steep gradients that suit him best. The worst 4 TTT teams finished in the positions expected, but losing less time than we had feared. The pure climbers Rujano, Pozzovivo and Gadret have some work to do in the mountains, but are still very much within striking distance on GC.
In the game, almost everyone had Garmin of course. 12 bonus points went begging since nobody had Katusha, but our joint stage winners were wannabe_scattista and LooseHorse who split the bonus for Astana. Honorable mention goes to agl and harlequin_forest who missed out by a fraction of a second with Saxo. With a second consecutive outside pick and stage win, wannabe_scattista is also our new cappelo rosa.
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.