Races of the week:
Really there was only one race:
- Giro d’Italia, stages 16-21
- Tour des Fjords
- Hammer Stavanger
- Tour of Belgium
- GP de Plumelec -Morhiban
- Boucles de l’Aulne - Chateaulin
Team of the week:
First named rider is the rider of the week and if a rider has a number in parentheses after their name it means the number of times they have made the select Team of the Week here.
1. Chris Froome (2). Won the God damned Giro. You might have noticed. Only Nibali’s win here in 2016 when he came back from being 4:43 down after stage 18 and in 4th place can we find a recent Grand Tour that equals or tops the deficit that Froome had to overcome. After stage 15 Froome was left for dead, 4:52 off the lead and in 7th place. Stage 16’s time trial saw him move up to 4th and 3:50 off the pace a place he maintained after stage 17. The aftermath of stage 18 saw him still in 4th but edging a bit closer: 3:22 down. Then, as we know, Froome rained all sorts of hell on his competitors finishing stage 19 with a 40 second lead in the GC over Dumoulin as Yates cratered, a margin he held through to Rome and the win. Amazing.
2. Tom Dumoulin (4). With Yates falling apart, Doom did what would normally be enough to win his second consecutive Giro. Tough as nails.
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (4). Young Rider competition winner. Now Grand Tour podium finisher. Crossed the 1000 point mark in VDS and is currently in 8th place. He’s now raced two Grand Tours, last year’s Vuelta where he won two stages and finished 8th overall, and this Giro where he will finish on the podium. I’d say he’s on course for winning one of these and probably several. Just need to polish up that TT.
4. Richard Carapaz (2). The revelation of this Grand Tour, he fought tooth and nail against Superman for that young rider jersey. I for one would love to know the interplay between these two cause it sure looked like they just didn't like each other. We could be in store of many fun Grand Tours with these two facing off against each other.
5. Domenicco Pozzovivo (3). 5th place must be a disappointing to the little fella after holding 3rd for so long but unlike so many of his GC peers (Yates, Chaves, Pinot) he recovered from his bad day on stage 19 to climb back to 5th. He’s having a career year.
6. Elia Viviani (3). Mission Accomplished. Won the points jersey which was always his most important goal of the year. Bit of a downer with losing the final stage after his team handed it to him on a platter.
7. Mikel Nieve. h/t wannabe. Super domestique/BC man, Nieve’s last real stage solo win-when there’s been like none of those this this Giro-was n
8. Sam Bennett. That last stage win over Viviani secures Sam’s place on this coveted team. 2nd on Points. Well done. Sam
9. Michael Albasini. Dominated the Tour des Fjords and backed that up by being a major part of MTS’s Hammer Stavanger winning team. The old guy (he’s 37) has had a very quiet spring, making me wonder if this is to be his last as he fades away. All of a sudden though he’s on fire- but is that fire because of his form or because he’s racing against riders just coming back into racing after taking a break from the cobbles season? The truth will out.
Team of the Week- Team Sky
They did what Froome needed them to do, especially in launching him on the Finestre.
HONORABLE MENTION- Not many here saw it but Mitchelton-Scott played a great strategic game in winning the Hammer Stavanger race. The way each rider was assigned to certain races and certain parts of each race was a whole other level than the other teams (with Sunweb showing some abilities in doing the same.) What’s more fun here is since we have another Hammer race next weekend we’ll see if other teams adjust their strategy.
I’m talking Mitchelton-Scott here. They have a rest day then Chaves is totally pants. Okay. Then another rest day and after a flat stage Yates and Haig are toast. So what happened? They all rode to Rome though Chaves was certainly in bad shape. Did Chaves get sick and after a week brought down the other two? Why was Chaves still in the race when clearly he couldn't contribute to the team-except for maybe giving Haig and Yates his virus, if it was an illness?
Matt White has got a lot of figuring out to do.
Where do they go now?
A quick rundown of when we will see the Giro’s major players again:
- Froome has the Tour of course and then there’s his doping case.
- Doom. Is he going to the Tour? it seems like he’s ambivalent. Let’s say he will. He’s also listed for the next Hammer series race in Limburg. We’ll see about that.
- Superman and Bennett have the Vuelta to look froward to with presumably a warm up race or two.
- No idea what Carapaz is up to next. So many stage racers on that team.
- Pozzo is working for Nibali at the Tour. Poels is working for Froome.
- Bilbao won't be seen at the Dauphine.
- Konrad, Formolo, and Bennett: not sure where they will be next. Majka and Sagan will be their team’s Tour leaders.
- Oomen is scheduled for the Hammer Limburg race and Poland.
- Viviani is scheduled for a vacation. Gaviria will be at the Tour.
- S Yates and Chaves are both scheduled for the Vuelta. Hopefully they can find their mojos.
So who again is starting the Tour with fresh legs?
Those riders without the Giro in their legs include:
- Quintana, Landa, and Valverde for Movistar
- Majka and Sagan for Bora
- Bardet for AG2R
- Porte and GVA for BMC
- Zakarin and Kittel for Katusha
- Roglic and Groenewegen for Lotto Jumbo
- Jungels, Alaphilippe, and Gaviria for Quickstep
- Nibali for Bahrain
- Uran for EF
- A Yates and Ewan for MTS
- Mollema for Trek
- And well there’s a bunch more....
FSA DS Team of the week
here be dragons, again ds’ed by UMWOLVERINE! Um just totally blitzed the competition (meaning: YOU) with a scoring lineup of Superman, Carapaz, Dumoulin, Pasqualon, Keukeliere, SKA, Brambilla, G Martin, Consonni, and Ruben Guerreiro. For those keeping track at home, that’s
nine ten riders scoring over five races.
Riders born 1994 or later, ranked
Yeah this ranking will be totally different by year’s end. Also I am trying to to factor in potential here: that would be too much guesswork and bias.
- Egan Bernal- birthdate 1/13/97
- Miguel Angel Lopez- 2/4/94
- Fernando Gaviria- 8/19/94
- Caleb Ewan- 7/11/94
- Sam Oomen- 8/15/95
- Tiesj Benoot- 3/11/94
- Max Schachmann- 1/9/94
- Ben O’Conner- 11/25/95
- Matej Mohoric- 10/19/94
- Danny Martinez- 4/25/96
- Mads Petersen- 12/18/95
- Robert Power- 5/11/95
- Fabio Jakobsen- 8/31/96
- Enric Mas- 1/7/95
- Lucas Hamilton- 2/12/96
Honorable mention: Ciccone, Gaudu, Hofstetter, Ackerman, Hodeg, Cavagna, De Plus, Lawless, Tolhoek, Eg, Carthy, Muhlberger, SKA, Bauhaus, Kamna, Bagioli, Bjerg, McNulty, Boudat
Previewing the week to come-
Quiet week before we get into serious Tour prep:
- Boucles de la Mayenne. French SSR Stage race
- Hammer Sportzone Limburg More team fun!
- GP Città di Lugano Last Italian...ish SSR before their summer/fall races commence. (Yeah, technically its a Swiss race but look at the startlist and tell me its not Italian.
- Critérium du Dauphiné, 6.6 km prologue Van Emden, Bevin, Impey, Cam Meyer, G Thomas, Jungels, Ala, Castroviejo, Kwiat all have TT chops. GC guys here are Bardet, Bilbao, Nibali, Gaudu, Right Yates, Soler/Roson, Alaphillippe/Jungels, Barguil, Zakarin, Kwiatkowski/Thomas, Ulissi, G Martin, and the J Heradas. The sprinter field looks like one from a Spanish stage race: Bauhaus, Ackermann, Impey, Jakobsen, EBH, Rowe, Coquard, O Naesen