Friday, May 21, 2010
In this Rouleur Derby Report:
1. The Giro!
2. The Tour of California!
1. THE GIRO!
What a race! I'd say that this has been the best grand tour ever, but I realize that I'm naive and inexperienced, and I say that every grand tour. Nonetheless, it's been pretty outstanding.
The biggest development was Wednesday's long, rainy stage into L'Aquila. After more than 50 riders formed a group off the front, the heads of state played a giant game of chicken in their wake. Liquigas said to Astana, "You chase!" Astana said to Liquigas, "Get bent. You chase." And Evans said to them all: "Don't look at me, mates. I'm all out of teammates."
As a result, the "break" got more than 10 minutes and the general classification is now all kaka-cuckoo.
Right now "Other" is looking pretty good, but Sastre (5.0:1) got a new lease on life, and Davide Arroyo is in 2nd -- although nobody picked him at all. Could this be the first proposition without a winner?
Sunday's stage up Monte Zoncolan will no doubt be full of even more surprises and shake things up once again.
Stay tuned Monday for a "second chance" Giro proposition. We'll take the top 10 or so at that point and you'll have the rest day to predict who will win.
The other big news this week is of course L'Affaire L'Andis. As far as I can tell, Michael Barry is the only Giro rider he has implicated, but Barry continues to race, so the Giro doping proposition is still a "No."
2. THE TOUR OF CALIFORNIA!
What a year for young Peter Sagan. God I hope he's clean.
(And God I hate that whenever someone bursts on the scene, our first instinct is to wonder if he's dirty.)
Sagan is one of four riders with a shot to win the tour, along with leader Mick Rogers, David Zabriskie and three-time winner Levi Leipheimer. No doubt it will come down to tomorrow's time trial. All four should be extremely motivated. But Fabian Cancellara appears to have been resting his legs all week -- he finished in the sprinters gruppetto yesterday -- so he should be fresh.
Betting on the time trial is open until midnight.
After the Giro, things will be a little quiet until the Tour starts July 3. I expect I'll have wagers available to the Philly International Championship in the states and the Douphine Libere and/or the Tour of Switzerland. But I still have a long list of improvements and features to write, so hopefully this will give me that chance.
Play well, have fun, tell a friend,