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2017 Giro d'Italia, Stage 1: Alghero - Olbia 206 km

Only one day to go, people! :D

Start List: http://static2.giroditalia.it/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/GIT-17_Riepilogo-partenti_NO-UCI-ID.pdf

Eshnar said:
STAGE 1: Alghero – Olbia 206 km

START TIME: 12.10 CEST

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Technical Overview:
The 100th Giro starts in Sardinia, where it's been only 4 times in its history, the first time only in 1961, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Italian unity. Three out of the 88 times the Giro started in Italy, it did in Sardinia. the previous two being in 1991 and 2007. For only the third time in the 3rd millennium, the Giro starts with a road stage. From the town of Alghero, on the north-west, the riders will go to Olbia, on the north-east coast, on a stage almost entirely along the coast, the famous Costa Smeralda (“Emerald Coast”). Here, the main difficulties will be wind and twisty roads. There are also three categorized climbs: the first two come fairly early and are very easy. Multeddu (GPM4, 4.6 km at 3.3%) and Trinità d’Agultu (GPM4, 6.1 km at 4.4%) will probably decide the first blue jersey, but the peloton will barely notice them. The last categorized climb instead might have a much bigger effect. S.Pantaleo (GPM4, 3.3 km at 5.6%) is at 21 km to go, which is a lot, but it wouldn't be impossible for a group of attackers to stay clear if they break away there, considering that the peloton should be tired enough by that time, because of the rough terrain they'll be riding on the whole day. Those last 20 kms however are easy, on much simpler roads than the rest of the stage, and the final kms in the town of Olbia don't present particularly dangerous spots.

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The Climbs:
Multeddu GPM4
Easy. Very easy. No profile provided.

Trinità d’Agultu GPM4
As above. A bit harder than the first climb, though.

San Pantaleo GPM4
Short and easy overall, but with a solid first km and a steep ramp in the middle. Might give trouble to some riders if the pace is high.
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What to expect:
It's very hard to call. Echelons might occur, crashes almost certainly will and the little bump might be enough to break the mass sprint, which in any case is still likely. I'll go for a reduced bunch sprint (~80 units).

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Story Time:
It was 1931 when Armando Cougnet, the director of the Giro since the first edition, decided to introduce a jersey for the leader of the GC. He chose pink, as the color of the pages of Gazzetta dello Sport since 1899. The first Maglia Rosa was given to the winner of the first stage of 1931, from Milano to Mantova. The winner was the local hero Learco Guerra, who would not win the Giro that time (that one would be won by Francesco Camusso), but would get a pretty good consolation prize by winning the World Championship that same year. He then managed to win the Giro in 1934.
The pink jersey quickly became a symbol of the Giro, and a cycling icon. The rider who wore it most times is, unsurprisingly, Eddy Merckx (78 times), followed by Francesco Moser (57) and Gino Bartali (50).
From its inception, only a few stages had no Maglia Rosa at the start. Only one day, however, there were multiple pink jerseys. It was on stage 2 of the Giro 1971, when the whole team Salvarani, winner of the team relay race on stage 1, got to wear the precious jersey.

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Wind predicted to be 24-26kmh average with gusts of around 33-36kmh coming from the east, so cross-headwind as we enter Santa Teresa di Gallura, then just a headwind on the way to Palau, then a crosswind for the last 40. However, the wind is weaker in Palau than Santa Teresa, by about 6kmh and is 20/26. So echelons possible but unlikely.

All of this is according to accuweather.
 
Would be kind of cool for the race if Quintana lost two minutes on a few other GC contenders, due to getting caught out behind a split in one of these Sardinian stages. He's such an overwhelming favourite at the moment, but that would level the field nicely and make it anybody's race.
 
Re:

DFA123 said:
Would be kind of cool for the race if Quintana lost two minutes on a few other GC contenders, due to getting caught out behind a split in one of these Sardinian stages. He's such an overwhelming favourite at the moment, but that would level the field nicely and make it anybody's race.

An overwhelming favorite for sure, if you ignore the real possibility that he has been training and will be racing with one foot towards the Tour. He may not be in 100% form, or may not reach full strength until the very end. He may pass up opportunities to pile on his advantage late in the race, and get caught up in Giro chaos like Kruijswijk.
 
Re: Re:

More Strides than Rides said:
DFA123 said:
Would be kind of cool for the race if Quintana lost two minutes on a few other GC contenders, due to getting caught out behind a split in one of these Sardinian stages. He's such an overwhelming favourite at the moment, but that would level the field nicely and make it anybody's race.

An overwhelming favorite for sure, if you ignore the real possibility that he has been training and will be racing with one foot towards the Tour. He may not be in 100% form, or may not reach full strength until the very end. He may pass up opportunities to pile on his advantage late in the race, and get caught up in Giro chaos like Kruijswijk[/b].
He may well be below 100% and may well make tactical errors; and he may well still win in spite of it all - because he's that much better than everyone else on the startlist. He's currently odds on to win the race; in a three week tour where so much can happen, that's about as overwhelming favourite as it gets. Pretty much the same odds as Froome is to win the Tour.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
More Strides than Rides said:
DFA123 said:
Would be kind of cool for the race if Quintana lost two minutes on a few other GC contenders, due to getting caught out behind a split in one of these Sardinian stages. He's such an overwhelming favourite at the moment, but that would level the field nicely and make it anybody's race.

An overwhelming favorite for sure, if you ignore the real possibility that he has been training and will be racing with one foot towards the Tour. He may not be in 100% form, or may not reach full strength until the very end. He may pass up opportunities to pile on his advantage late in the race, and get caught up in Giro chaos like Kruijswijk[/b].
He may well be below 100% and may well make tactical errors; and he may well still win in spite of it all - because he's that much better than everyone else on the startlist. He's currently odds on to win the race; in a three week tour where so much can happen, that's about as overwhelming favourite as it gets. Pretty much the same odds as Froome is to win the Tour.
If Quintana turns up in last year's Tour form, then he will not win. He will struggle to podium, even.
 
Re: Re:

Brullnux said:
DFA123 said:
More Strides than Rides said:
DFA123 said:
Would be kind of cool for the race if Quintana lost two minutes on a few other GC contenders, due to getting caught out behind a split in one of these Sardinian stages. He's such an overwhelming favourite at the moment, but that would level the field nicely and make it anybody's race.

An overwhelming favorite for sure, if you ignore the real possibility that he has been training and will be racing with one foot towards the Tour. He may not be in 100% form, or may not reach full strength until the very end. He may pass up opportunities to pile on his advantage late in the race, and get caught up in Giro chaos like Kruijswijk[/b].
He may well be below 100% and may well make tactical errors; and he may well still win in spite of it all - because he's that much better than everyone else on the startlist. He's currently odds on to win the race; in a three week tour where so much can happen, that's about as overwhelming favourite as it gets. Pretty much the same odds as Froome is to win the Tour.
If Quintana turns up in last year's Tour form, then he will not win. He will struggle to podium, even.
Not sure what the relevance of that is to being the overwhelming favourite. He wouldn't struggle to podium in TdF form anyway, I'd still make him joint favourite with Nibali. He still finished 3rd in the Tour with way fewer tough mountain stages, and with Sky doing everything to mark him out of the race. That won't happen here. The mountain stages are too hard and there is no team strong enough to make him suffer.
 
Re: Re:

Vroome.exe said:
Squire said:
gospina said:
Jungle Cycle said:
Gaviria in pink..
Will that be crazy? GT debut, 1st stage and gets the leader jersey? has that happened before?
If he does get it, how long will he realistically keep it for?
Hruska and Millar in 2000, the Canc in 2004, Gasparotto in 2007, Castroviejo in 2012. :)

How many of them in a normal road stage?

None obviously, but you probably knew that.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Brullnux said:
DFA123 said:
More Strides than Rides said:
DFA123 said:
Would be kind of cool for the race if Quintana lost two minutes on a few other GC contenders, due to getting caught out behind a split in one of these Sardinian stages. He's such an overwhelming favourite at the moment, but that would level the field nicely and make it anybody's race.

An overwhelming favorite for sure, if you ignore the real possibility that he has been training and will be racing with one foot towards the Tour. He may not be in 100% form, or may not reach full strength until the very end. He may pass up opportunities to pile on his advantage late in the race, and get caught up in Giro chaos like Kruijswijk[/b].
He may well be below 100% and may well make tactical errors; and he may well still win in spite of it all - because he's that much better than everyone else on the startlist. He's currently odds on to win the race; in a three week tour where so much can happen, that's about as overwhelming favourite as it gets. Pretty much the same odds as Froome is to win the Tour.
If Quintana turns up in last year's Tour form, then he will not win. He will struggle to podium, even.
Not sure what the relevance of that is to being the overwhelming favourite. He wouldn't struggle to podium in TdF form anyway, I'd still make him joint favourite with Nibali. He still finished 3rd in the Tour with way fewer tough mountain stages, and with Sky doing everything to mark him out of the race. That won't happen here. The mountain stages are too hard and there is no team strong enough to make him suffer.

You said even if he doesn't turn up 100%, he is still overwhelming favourite. But, last year he finished very marginally ahead of Adam Yates in the Tour - someone who very few people, wrongly or rightly, are considering a podium threat. He is not that far ahead of everyone else. Last year at the Vuelta, seemingly in much better shape than at the Tour, he finished just 4 minutes ahead of Chaves, who was worse than he was at the Giro. I agree that Quintana is the strong favourite, but he is not streats ahead of the rest of the field.
 
Re: Re:

Hugo Koblet said:
gospina said:
Jungle Cycle said:
Gaviria in pink..
Will that be crazy? GT debut, 1st stage and gets the leader jersey? has that happened before?
If he does get it, how long will he realistically keep it for?
He'll lose it on stage 4 (obviously :D)
He would probably already lose it on stage 2. Only if the stage ends in a bunch sprint or if the winner of stage 2 had already lost time on stage 1, Gaviria could keep the jersey.
 
Re: Re:

Brullnux said:
You said even if he doesn't turn up 100%, he is still overwhelming favourite. But, last year he finished very marginally ahead of Adam Yates in the Tour - someone who very few people, wrongly or rightly, are considering a podium threat. He is not that far ahead of everyone else. Last year at the Vuelta, seemingly in much better shape than at the Tour, he finished just 4 minutes ahead of Chaves, who was worse than he was at the Giro. I agree that Quintana is the strong favourite, but he is not streats ahead of the rest of the field.
Sure, it's quite fine margins at this level, and he can't afford to be too far below his best imo. But I think, in the context of a GC battle, he is streets ahead of everyone else in the field on a course with so much climbing in high mountains. I think he could win without being at 100%. I doubt he was 100% top form in the Vuelta last year, given how he wasn't aiming to peak for it - but he won that at a canter. Only a top form Froome comes close as a competitor imo.