Now I've finally had the chance to watch a stage as its, well, broadcast, and it's the biggest snore of the Giro. That's not really a complaint, the course didn't lend itself to much attacking, and the GC players were wise to save their legs for another day. The finale was OK, in that Sanchez' attack was a textbook maneuver, something that had to be done with the break approaching the line together. He dashed away at a moment when apparently the others were gassed -- he and Laverde got a quick 8 seconds, and held it to the end. I wasn't rooting for Laverde to catch on, suck wheels and come around at the end, but I'm not overly snobbish about such moves, it's cycling.
I caught the flu on the way home, so I can't handle doing links at the moment, but if I stop shivering in time for the morning's stage, I'm hoping to be live.
A few lingering thoughts from the long flight...
- It might be the upset of the year... Ivan Basso has actually made me think the Tour will be more exciting than the Giro. Seriously, I never thought that would be the case.
- Secondary jersey races are getting interesting. It's been looking more and more like Basso will not only waltz to the GC win, but take the points and mountains titles as well. Basso relinquished the mountains title today in today's uncontested stage, and he obviously isn't going to make intermediate mountain points an objective. But unless Fortunato Baliani is a serious climber, he won't be around to defend the maglia verde on stuff like Plan de Corones.
- Meanwhile, the points race is really shaping up... except that the leader who doesn't figure to win is the only one contesting it. Bettini scored the leftover points to increase his total to 90. But there's only one or two more chances for him in this race. Meanwhile, Savoldelli is next at 79, Basso at 78, and Gutierrez at 76. Stage wins are worth 25-30 points... I had thought Savoldelli could salt it away with the ITT and the La Thuile descent, but since he didn't, he may not score many more points. Basso and Gutierrez, meanwhile, should be duking it out all week.
- Does anyone else think Savoldelli may secretly be holding back for the Tour? I know this is probably a stupid thought, but I have to throw it out there.