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  • Winky

    Simon Clark would have endeared himself more to me if he’d been honest…”Yeah, that’s a bit embarrassing, isn’t it? I really thought I had the win. I didn’t realise Formolo was still up the road until Visconti told me! But still, it gives everyone something to laugh about. Great ride by Formolo today”.

    Instead he was unconvincing with “…of course I knew he was up the road. I was celebrating the pink jersey”.

    I mean, why lie?

    • Looking at the body language tells all…

      • alexroseinnes

        yip, he should have owned it

        • Whippet

          I agree that he should have owned it. Also, it would be nice to get back to the old school notion of not claiming it. Victories are best celebrated with the teammates that helped put you across the line first.

    • Nath

      So winning the leader’s jersey isn’t worth celebrating? I don’t know if he is lying or not, and neither do you, but given Formolo was going solo for some time it seems quite unlikely that Clarke’s DS wasn’t in his ear letting him know the race situation, or that Chavez didn’t tell him. I love how people think they know everything based on some television footage. Just be happy for the guy and enjoy the race.

      • Winky

        I enjoyed the race very much. Sure, I should/could have prefaced my comment with “If he really didn’t know Formolo was in front……”.

        But I’m also of the view that as I effectively pay Clark’s salary when I buy the sponsors’ products, and that he gets paid to ride a bike precisely because people like me want to watch him do it, I get to call this stuff out. If he wants unquestioning adulation, he’s in the wrong game as a professional sportsman. If he takes this stuff seriously, or if I’ve hurt his feelings, he should perhaps consider another career.

    • The body language tells all…

      • Winky

        Agreed. I watched it a few times, and that sure looks like disappointment to me after Visconti’s comment and gesture.

      • Dave

        Pretty clear.

        When he looks back on it later, he’ll definitely be more embarrassed by his inability to have a laugh at himself than the act of celebrating a stage win.

        Besides, everyone loves laughing at a good second place celebration – it’s the best reason that two-way radio should be banned from racing!

      • Dave

        And it turns out it wasn’t even the first time for Orica – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV3pD3wssJQ

      • Jessy Vee

        When he bridged back across to the chasing group, his shoulders were slumped in relief, and then he held it together until the end. If someone tapped me on the back and spoke to me, I’d turn and listen… But maybe his hands on his head could also be read as ‘I can’t believe I did it. I can’t believe the stage is over’, and the head turn to find Chavez and celebrate together. He could barely hold in the emotion in his post-race interview – his voice wavering with every word. I guess we’ll never know the truth ;)

    • a different ben

      I’d be surprised he didn’t know — they were in the same finishing straight, he would have had sight of Formolo. Look at the top photo.

      • Dave

        Lots of cars and motos in the gap though.

      • Those TV camera lenses at the finish line can hugely compress the image to make it look like riders are very close behind.

        • a different ben

          Fair point, the time gap was 22s, and at full pace that’s about 350m.

          • Dave

            And Clarke was also in the group and almost getting boxed in until the last few moments, not leading it with a view ahead.

            He wouldn’t have been getting a play-by-play over the radio, even if they did have a live video stream in the team car they would hopefully avoid yakking in the riders’ ears during a sprint.

  • SLH

    If I was Simon Clarke, I’d have celebrated in an even bigger way than he did. No one deserves the success more than him. Most under recognised talent in Australian cycling and has been for years. The ultimate all rounder and the ultimate professional.

    • Paolo

      ?? What are Evans or Gerrans in you book if Clarke is the ultimate alrounder? Good rider, yes, but ….made himself look silly with the “i knew he was in front” comment.

      • SLH

        I think you’re missing my point Paolo. I’m not saying that Gerrans/Evans etc aren’t – they don’t execute that role as team leaders. Clarke is the ultimate team man, and can do whatever it takes to get the job done. He’s excelled on the track, KOM at the Vuelta, can sprint and can TT. He’s more than good. It’s a shame that his raw emotion displayed on the line seems to be overshadowing the achievement of the day

      • Michele

        Clarke is the ultimate professional.

        The effort he put in for Matthews at this year’s Amstel Gold is a perfect example [one of just many]. He’s ordered to follow a late attack in the race; that attack fizzles out [Nibbles got the sooks], and so Clarke attacks solo, giving the peloton something to chase.

        He buries himself, gets caught with 8 kms to go, catches his breath for all of 5 minutes then goes straight back onto the front of the peloton to keep the pace as high as possible and to ensure Matthews is in pole position for the final drag up the Cauberg.

        A selfless rider if ever there was one.

        And can I add there is no correlation between how good a rider is by how they ‘celebrate’ as they cross a finish line. Need evidence of this? Just go check out Evans himself :)

  • Wuz

    I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about Aru, can anyone help me out here? He’s done bugger-all in the lead-up yet seems strong enough to lead the attack that shook up the GC, plus Astana/Henderson and all that. I guess we just have to wait and see and hope he’s not in the mix in the final weeks so it’s no longer an issue, but I dunno, I feel uneasy.

    • sli1

      I’m with Wuz. He was meant to be sick in the lead up. It would seem there is something so obvious within he peloton that Henderson felt he could tweet openly about it. If Aru is in the mix at the end its great for Italy, however many onlookers (myself included) will be sceptical.

      Agree that Clarke should have fessed up. I’m guessing a couple of hours later he probably thought he could have handled better.

      • Dave

        Hendo didn’t tweet openly about it though, he chickened out and made a “mistake” with Aru’s user name.

        If he ACTUALLY knew, he would have stood by it like a man.

        • When legal repercussions are threatened and he’s got a family to support in his last year in his career, would you think it’s worth it? I certainly would have taken the tweet down. Good on him for making a stand, even if it wasn’t the politically correct thing to do.

    • KAOS

      Not only Aru but the entire Astana team?? Distinct similarities to ‘He who shall not be named’ & Discovery Channel…

  • Chris Andrews

    It seemed like the timing with 2.5km to go was wrong – the TV display fluctuated wildly. Eyeballing it it seems like like Formolo had about 35 secs or so to go (after a GREAT descent) and didn’t start hurting/losing time till around 1.5km to go. What a stunning effort!

    • Here is some background info on how time gaps are calculated for TV: https://cyclingtips.com.au/2012/06/how-time-gaps-are-calculated/

      • Dave

        There’s definitely also the issue that this race is (um, how to put this) *in Italy* as well.

        There is a Fiat dealer down the road from me, and the number of tow trucks I see there definitely goes to show the stereotype is rooted in truth.

        • Michele

          I love Italy; my favourite place to holiday. I’ve also got Italian in my blood.

          It’s the “Italian-ess” of the Giro that endears me to it. It’s not as polished as the TdF; it doesn’t pretend to be. Sometimes it feels like the organisers are making things up as they go along. Sometimes they literally are when it comes to snowcapped mountain climbs.

          My favourite ‘Italian’ moment so far has to the be the ‘fun fact’, or the ‘claim to fame’ regarding the coastal town of Voltri. Sure, the ASO likes to focus on showcasing some 13th century castle as the Tour de France rides past it.

          But not so in Italy ….

          • Dave

            Definitely. If you want TdF levels of order and organisation and precisely coordinated flypasts of old chateaux, you watch the TdF.

            The Giro is better for not being so professionally organised and for honouring racers rather than pedalling machines – but people need to be told that if they have only come into the sport from watching the Tour de France and they’re expecting a slick stage-managed production.

  • Daniel

    1. Must have been shenanigans with the time gaps on the coverage. Flying up and down way to quickly.

    2. Does anybody get the sense that Oleg Tinkoff declared before the race started that they were going to make a show of strength? What other possible explanation could there be for Tinkoff riding their guys into the ground (again) chasing a break with one of their own guys in it? The tactically sensible move would have been to let Astana burn their guys chasing or else risk giving Kreuziger a couple of minutes on GC. Seriously, is there any other rational explanation for Tinkoff trying to reign in the break last night?

    • Dave

      The time gaps are based on the GPS positions of the TV motorbikes.

      Lots of groups on the road, motorbikes switching between them and being marshalled around when gaps are closing means it will always be sloppy at the end of the more interesting stages.

      It will always be this way until they switch to using transponders on the actual race bikes and roadside beacons to update/correct the positioning.


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