The Gossip begins today with a bit of trivia. Contador, currently living it up in Pink, has yet to win a stage in this Giro, and could well reach Milano with the jersey, but no daily win. Who else has accomplished this feat? The Gossip is here to help. Gino Bartoli did it in 1949, Franco Balmamion did it twice in 1962 and 1963, and Felice Gimondi did in 1969. Anyone else? You tell me.
Meanwhile, though he hasn't won a stage, Contador is having so much fun at this Giro, that he's decided that anything else would just be a total let-down. So, he will not ride the Daffy in June. Instead, Levi L will ride as team leader in France, while Klodie has a go at the Tour de Suisse. Besides, Contador does have that beach vacation to finish.
How 'bout a little Green Day with your Giro? Does anyone walk alone in the final kilometer? Plainly, mine is not to question.
Savoldelli, the Bergamasco local, paid a visit to the processo today. He says the roads of Friday's finish just beg for a breakaway and could well see the team leaders isolated from their gregarii. Grazie à youtube, here's a sneak peak at the descent off the Vivione. Made for Savoldelli, for sure. The only question is whether one of the other GC riders sneaks along for the ride. Diluca has said he will certainly try. Anyone else want to play?
Tomorrow's stage finishing along the roads of the Varese Mondiali is, meanwhile, made for Bettini. The world champion has yet to win a stage, and would no doubt like to win tomorrow. Sadly, he says today, he is not going well. He was apparently in all sorts of difficulty today's climb, and may well lack the legs for the finale tomorrow. With 20 seconds of time bonus at the line, Ricco or Diluca might want to have a go. Stage wins are nice, kids, but you'll need more than 20 seconds if you want to win this Giro.
Want more than 20 seconds? Giorgio Squinzi, the dude behind Mapei, knows just where to find them. In his view, this Giro will detonate on the slopes of the Mortirolo, and the gaps will be measured in many, many, minutes. Squinzi expects Ricco and Simoni to be protagonists on the Gavia and Mortirolo, though he did not venture to predict their success. He is also pleased to find a new cycling in this Giro, with more equilibrium among the contenders, and gives credit to the ethical agreements for this improvement. Care to sponsor a new team Signor Squinzi? I can think of several DS's who would be very pleased to have a chat with you.
For his part, Ricco wants to do the Mortirolo with Simoni. Simoni has said he'll be making alliances on the road, depending on how the game plays out. Crafty, that Simoni. Just don't be cutting any deals for stage wins, 'kay there Gibo? We all remember how that worked out last time.
What can we expect from il Vecchio? A quick review: 2005: Attacked on the Col de Finestre with Diluca and Rujano. 2006: Attacked on the Mortirolo with Birillo. 2007: Attacked on the Zoncolon with Peeps. Pattern? What pattern? I don't see no stinkin' pattern.
What grand tour is complete without a few sick notes? Ricco claims to have a bit of the flu, which has kept him up at night coughing. Meanwhile, Menchov's profound suffering on the Plan de Corones resulted not only from the 24% gradient, but also from a bit of bronchitis.
From the glass so totally empty department: Capodacqua has Puerto on the brain, and sees trouble ahead for the Spanish Pink jersey should the Procura of Rome actually decide to act against the Puerto riders. This little story, about a possible Italian criminal investigation into Puerto, has been making the rounds for a while, and hasn't really gotten too far. It only took until stage 17 for Capo to start beating the Puerto drum, so really, he must be hurting just a tad for material. Overall, the press has been remarkably quiet about Puerto. But Contador has never come in for the kind of criticism in Italy over Puerto that Valverde did. If Valverde tried to ride the Giro? He'd probably find spiders in his bed.
We cannot end on such an unhappy note as this, however. So how 'bout that Save Ferris! The crown and the hair, maybe a little over top, yes? And can you go wrong with a podium girl interview? No, really, I don't think you can. Lastly, we have this from the only in Italy file.