The Savage Monte Zoncolan

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The crowds looked nuts on Monte Zoncolan in yesterday’s stage. The only two Giro stages ever held up Monte Zoncolan (which includes a 22% max gradient) was won by Gilberto Simoni in 2002 & 2007.  Simoni’s average speed for the ascent in 2007 was just 15 km/hr.

You can see the race further taking shape with the riders who are rising to the top, and those who have cracked.  Sure enough I picked Tondo in my tipping competition yesterday and he mucked it up rather nicely.   Aussie sprinters McEwen and Goss didn’t start today and Graeme Brown finished last.  Tomorrow is a rest day and I’m kinda looking forward to talking about something other than the Giro for a change.

Thanks to Matt Conn for sending in this pic of Richie and Lloydie from the race start.  Matt is an Aussie living in Italy who writes for PezCyclingNews.

Matt Conn embedded in the crowds of Monte Zoncolan (photo by Matt).

Richie comes in 18th on the stage (only 5:46 down) and manages to keep second overall.  Go Richie!

Notice the human fences lining the road in alternating blue and camouflage.  Check out the guy in the yellow afro joining in…

Basso dropped Evans with 2k to go

“It’s been a marvelous day for me, the most beautiful since my return to the peloton.”

Are we as outraged at Basso’s first victory back as we were with Vino’s?

Do you think Cadel still has a chance at winning the Giro?    Stage 16 in a short uphill TT on unsealed roads.   Stage 17 is a mountaintop finish but isn’t challenging enough to favor Cadel and split the group.   Stage 18 is flat and has no place to make up time.   Stage 19 and Stage 20 will be Cadel’s best bet but he’ll have to attack and put some serious time into his rivals.  It’ll be hard to beat Basso since he has Nibali by his side and BMC has been decimated.

You never know…stranger things have happened in this race so far.

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