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Sacchetto del Giorno

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Giro_mediumThe Virtual Directeur Sportif has been updated for the Giro-only competition, and Vamos Alejandro continues to kick ass. However, the standings right now are pretty misleading, since the top score is 1192 points, and the final day will see points awarded by the thousands. Vamos is riding the stage wave of Sella and Bennati, with assistance from Pellizotti... but only Save Ferris! has a chance of a lucrative GC placing. So it's not over, by a longshot.

VDS MVP... gonna be a tough one. Usually it defaults to the winner, and the points have been set up that way. But if Contador hangs on with no stage wins and only a few days' worth of minor points, he may not be the best guy to have. A better bet (not to toot my own horn, but...) may be Riccardo Riccò: he's got the white jersey sewn up; will finish anywhere from first to third on points, and might steal the maglia rosa or at least a podium in the process as well. My guess is he'll fall just short on the latter score, but with stage wins and other jerseys, he'll be as valuable as the overall winner. Sella, of course, has a lock on MVP on a cost-benefit basis.

Cycling Weekly writes a Podium Cafe-style list of predictions column... so I don't have to. Personally I love it when big media types put their forecasts into print... and re-run the old ones to show how off they were. Chapeau!

Don't miss maglia nera Markus Eichler's Diary over at CN. He's pretty funny and interesting.

Interesting interview over at VN: Slipstream Chairman Doug Ellis. Not often you hear from management.

Usual fun coverage over at the Gazzetta roundup (English page), including DiLuca identifying the location of his next attack, and Alberto Contador getting drunk: Contador_medium

Pez bums around the Dolomites, so you don't have to.

Ricco, meanwhile, is asking the media to ask Simoni for help in the climbing stages. Former teammates doesn't always equate to allliances on the road. Message to DiLuca: Pellizotti won't help you for free either.

If I could wave my hand and arrange the GC top 10 heading into the final-day's time trial to Milan, here's how it would go:

1. Riccardo Riccò
2. Emanuele Sella, at 0.10
3. Danilo DiLuca, at 0.15
4. Domenico Pozzovivo, at 0.16
5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, at 0.20
6. Franco Pellizotti, at 0.22
7. Gilberto Simoni, at 0.26
8. Denis Menchov, at 0.45
9. Alberto Contador, at 0.52
10. Marzio Bruseghin, at 1.01

Now that would make for a fantastic finish. Remember, in the Giro, ties go to the most popular Italian.