Bad news for tomorrow's queen stage of le Due Mare:
Due to forecasts of snow, RCS, the organisers of Tirreno-Adriatico decided to take out tomorrow's heavily anticipated mountain-top finish to Monte della Laga in San Giacomo, making it difficult for those high on general classification - namely Jörg Jaksche (Liberty Seguros-Würth @ 0'14), Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital @ 0'20) and the Discovery Channel pairing of Paolo Savoldelli (@ 0'40) and Tom Danielson (0'47) - to overhaul the 21 year-old. Trained by Luigi Cecchini and considered one of the biggest future stars in world cycling, Dekker the younger had improved his climbing considerably over the winter, going as far to break Basso's winter record time on the 936m high Monte Serra, so it would have been an interesting test regardless.
Instead, the fifth stage will conclude with five finishing circuits in Torricella Sicura before the final stage on Tuesday in San Benedetto del Tronto's urban circuit.
So instead of a hotly contested stage with two major finishing climbs, they're going a glorified crit around Torricella Sicura. A few other notes:
- Cancellara's stage win ends the drought for CSC, and forestalls the post I had about what a miserable month they're having. But one TT win on a day almost too miserable to ride is a nice feather for Cancellara but hardly for the team cap. Their injuries just keep growing, with Julich joining O'Grady and Vandevelde on the cracked ribs squad.
- Thomas Dekker? A 21-year-old kid might outfox them all and take what's left of the T-A. Too bad, it would have been pretty interesting watching the Discos attack him in the big stage. Especially Savoldelli.
- Hoste's second place is inspiring. Maybe he's ready for the cobbles this year. Hincapie is clearly option #1 when the peloton returns to Belgium -- he's supposedly bailing on MSR next weekend to stay focused -- but Hoste will be a solid option #2/wingman/Gent rider.