Official thread: Giro d'Italia

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Mar 17, 2009
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ingsve said:
I'm very interested in seeing what Thomas Lövkvist can do. Is this perhaps his chance to show he can last an entire 3 week tour? Last year Gustav Larsson finished 14th in the Giro and throughout their careers lövkvist has been the bigger talent in my mind. He just need to grow into the role and perhaps that is now.

Gustav Larsson really surprised me last year as he managed to do so well in the mountains.14th place was really good.

Lövkvist ofc had the white jersey in TDF for some days but he hasnt been placed as high up in the TDF though.However,I think spring is the time for Lövkvist,more than summer so maybe... :)
 
Apr 8, 2009
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I have NO IDEA!!

;-)

I'll wait until stage 4 to form any sort of opinion, but for now I can dream at least...


1. Killer


-Bob
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
My vote goes to Leipheimer, because he finally needs to establish himself as a GT rider/winner. His program leading up to the Giro seems to be perfect. He will probably be surrounded with a very strong team.

This is contrary to Cunego's program, who might have used too much energy in the recent hilly classics. Leipy is also a better TT than Cunego. (a 15 and a 61 ITT(!) and a 20 TTT)

Menchov is only there in preparation to the TdF, so I expect him to pass when it really gets tough (despite his very good performance last yr). On the other hand, if he really feels like he/the team could take a win, I don't think they'll let it pass. On the other other hand, RAB is famous for it's wild decision making at important moments, so, they might remain dedicated to the Menchov/TdF combo while a Giro win is within reach...

The dark horse is Basso. He has been keeping a low profile, he hasn't wasted a lot ot energy showing himself. He has been away for a long time, but really eager to elevate himself to former glory.

Di Luca, Garzelli, Sastre...I think they will lose too much time in the TTs.

I most say that I agree to 99% :)

What I wonder about is Basso actually.How good is he at ITT?

The only TT I have found with Basso this year is from Tirreno-Adriatico where he was 1.14 behind Klöden,on a 30 km stage!
 
Bala Verde said:
...stage 12 is the 60K ITT, 13 is as level as a pool table and 14 is hilly/mountaineous with a ascent finish in Bologna?

Sorry. My mistake for not checking the numbers. Stages 14-16, so even later in the race.
I think I have stage 12 embedded on the brain!:eek:

...and yes, stage 19.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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I've not been paying so much attention, which sprinters will be starting the giro? I see bennati and Hushovd are not, I guess Boonen isn't, is friere going to be there? If he is I think he has a good chance of winning the sprinters jersey if he is in good condition, I like him good in the hills and is always consistent in all sprints every stage, how far ahead of cavendish, before he withdrew, was he in last years tdf? I think it was quite a lot...... Anyway ehhh yes sprinters in the giro, who are the main guys cavendish, petacchi and who else ?

ps

I think this is just an I love oscar friere post :S
 
Basso, Sastre, and Menchov seem like good bets for the top 5. Basso and Sastre appear to be getting some form at the right time, though I expect both to be strongest in the last week, particularly Carlos.

I'll be interested to see how Pellizotti and Bruseghin go go this year. Both have been really anonymous so far, but I expect them to still be strong, particularly Bruseghin.

Di Luca and Cunego are for me solid top 10 bets, but I don't give either one of them any chance of actually winning despite being former champs. Could see them finishing anywhere from 4-15, but I don't see a podium coming.

If Leipheimer goes all out for the win, which I think is increasingly possible given Lance's lack of prep, I think he's the favorite. I'd want to hear him say he's going for the win, though. Last I heard Levi talk about the Giro, it sounded like it was simply prep for the Giro and/or to support LA. Astana as been strangely silent recently regarding it's Giro aspirations.

I just don't see Armstrong up there with the best. Simply not enough preparation, and to this point we've not yet seen how far back he can get to his old level. End of the top 10 is possible, but a stretch.

Gibo and Garzelli put on good performances and go for a stage win or two, but finish out of the top 10.

Rogers and Vande Velde are unknowns as their fitness/motivation is in a bit of question. Wouldn't be too surprised to see Mick up there. I think CVV is probably waiting for the Tour, but who knows?

Soler will be interesting to watch. Will he have the form from a couple of years ago at the Tour? I doubt it, but with Barloworld being left out of the Tour, he's had to have peaked for this one.

Darkhorses or semi-darkhorses? Rodriguez is gunning for a good performance and should be strong. Lovkvist as well. I think Cobo could have been strong had he known Fuji would get in - as it is I don't think he's on great form right now. Arroyo has gone well in GTs in the past. Pozzovivo will probably be up there again. I'd put Serpa in the mix as well.

Can't wait! I'm either going to have to get up really early to watch or stay away from the internet and watch the stage replays in the evening. I'm guessing I'll be getting up early.
 
palmerq said:
I've not been paying so much attention, which sprinters will be starting the giro? I see bennati and Hushovd are not, I guess Boonen isn't, is friere going to be there? If he is I think he has a good chance of winning the sprinters jersey if he is in good condition, I like him good in the hills and is always consistent in all sprints every stage, how far ahead of cavendish, before he withdrew, was he in last years tdf? I think it was quite a lot...... Anyway ehhh yes sprinters in the giro, who are the main guys cavendish, petacchi and who else ?

ps

I think this is just an I love oscar friere post :S

Other than those? Robbie Hunter, McEwen, Forster, Haedo...not sure who else
 
Apr 18, 2009
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Il Podio: Basso, Leipheimer, Sastre

Here's my wild guess:

This is Basso's big race for the year: no Tour for him to fall back on, so it's all on the line here. He's racing at home and racing for the win. Leipheimer is a class act, but perhaps has been riding support for too long to really nail the win, although he's certainly strong enough. We'll say Sastre for third... maybe with a mountain stage victory somewhere, but also an off day.
 
davidw said:
Here's my wild guess:

This is Basso's big race for the year: no Tour for him to fall back on, so it's all on the line here.

Do we know that for sure? Is there any reason he couldn't decide to race the Tour? Seems like public sentiment has changed towards him. Is there any reason he couldn't race?

What do you guys think?
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Giro Chances

Now Folks, bear in mind that non of the European aces rode the Tour Of The Gila and so it is they who are lacking in preparation, I really think it will be a Coupe by the Astana Team , probably Armstrong will take it from Levi and once again prove who is the Greatest Rider on the planet.
 
Armstrong just got completely demolished in the 16-mile time trial at Gila today, finishing 2:49 behind Levi's winning time (31:33). Losing 2:49 over only 16 miles?! He is going to get eaten alive at the Giro.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iV4ps6VJZDFT2vLAYHOW5uNECPrA

I also am going with Leipheimer for the overall at the Giro. Yes Lance was incredible on the bike, drugs or not, but you simply cannot take 4 years away from racing and come back to be competitive at this level. In that regard, it should be interesting to see what Basso can do. I remember back in 2003 when Garzelli had to take a year off the year before after being + for Probenecid - Gibo Simoni won that year. Garzelli was extremely competitive in the first week and a half of the race then faded badly as the year away took its toll and Simoni rode away from him easily in the later climbs of the race.

I would pick Menchov if he had not declared focus on the Tour. Sastre should be competitive as well, and I expect to see Lovkvist appear on the podium for the first time. He won the Eroica early season and could be poised for his break-out year.
 
Apr 3, 2009
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jaylew said:
Other than those? Robbie Hunter, McEwen, Forster, Haedo...not sure who else
That's pretty much it yeah. Maybe add Brown for Rabo (no Freire), and I bet Mattia Gavazzi will be in for Diquigiovanni and Paolini for Aqua & Sapone. Farrar, Gatto and Davis can ride the occasional top 5 as well, but I think most sprint duels will be fought between Cavendish, Petacchi and McEwen.
 
Jasper said:
That's pretty much it yeah. Maybe add Brown for Rabo (no Freire), and I bet Mattia Gavazzi will be in for Diquigiovanni and Paolini for Aqua & Sapone. Farrar, Gatto and Davis can ride the occasional top 5 as well, but I think most sprint duels will be fought between Cavendish, Petacchi and McEwen.

Benatti can be quit good too when he's not hurt which is rarely.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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BikeCentric said:
Armstrong just got completely demolished in the 16-mile time trial at Gila today, finishing 2:49 behind Levi's winning time (31:33). Losing 2:49 over only 16 miles?! He is going to get eaten alive at the Giro.

While I don't think that LA will be winning the Giro, his time in the ITT is certainly nothing to scoff at. He actually finished 1.23 behind Levi on a 29K course, which is impressive since he is still recovering from the setbacks caused by his collarbone injury. (http://cyclingnews.com/road.php?id=road/2009/apr09/gila09/gila093)

Regardless, I think anything in the top 5 should be considered a success by LA at this point, but who knows whether he'll even finish the race (in order to focus on the TDF)?

I'm still taking Levi for the overall, but there are also many unknown factors. I agree with the person who said earlier that Basso has been keeping fairly quiet so far. It will be interesting to see how he does, considering it's his first GT back (and at home too), and is his main objective for the year..
 
Nice overview, Jaylew. i like reading stuff like that.
One thing: Pozzovivo won't be there, as the Navi's got the Sella boot.
2009 Giro d'Italia teams: Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo (Ita), AG2R - La Mondiale (Fra), Astana (Kaz), BBox Bouygues Telecom (Fra), Caisse d'Epargne (Spa), Cervélo Test Team (Swi), Garmin-Slipstream (USA), ISD (Ita), Katusha (Rus), Lampre-N.G.C. (Ita), Liquigas (Ita), LPR Brakes Farnese Vini (Irl), Team Milram (Ger), Quick Step (Bel), Rabobank (Ned), Saxo Bank - IT Factory (Den), Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli (Ven), Silence-Lotto (Bel) and Team Columbia (USA), Xacobeo Galicia (Spa) Barloworld and Fuji late wildcard additions.

Stefano Garzelli tips Levi to win, but says it will be tough.
Basso? was hardly quiet at Trentino, last week. That was one tough, warm up race, using the famous Alpe di Pampeago. Only beaten by a "freak" performance, there, but won the overall.
Definitely has more in the tank.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Merckx said:
Bennati is quite good, he just isn't listed on the Liquigas Giro starting roster. That's why Jasper left him out (I assume).


Bennati definitely isn't racing the Giro, read it on cycling news the other week. A shame, cos would have been good to see him and Cavendish going at it again.
 
Apr 3, 2009
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Merckx said:
Bennati is quite good, he just isn't listed on the Liquigas Giro starting roster. That's why Jasper left him out (I assume).
Exactly. Bennati won't ride the Giro for sure, he and his team already stated that last week. :)
 
Mellow Velo said:
One thing: Pozzovivo won't be there, as the Navi's got the Sella boot.
Thanks, forgot about that.
Mellow Velo said:
Basso? was hardly quiet at Trentino, last week. That was one tough, warm up race, using the famous Alpe di Pampeago. Only beaten by a "freak" performance, there, but won the overall.
Definitely has more in the tank.
Agreed. When people compare Basso and Armstrong's comebacks, I think they forget the age difference. Basso's comeback is taking place in what should be his peak years.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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jaylew said:
Agreed. When people compare Basso and Armstrong's comebacks, I think they forget the age difference. Basso's comeback is taking place in what should be his peak years.

Just curious, because I also bought into that 'best years are between 29-31' myth. Hasn't that been a defense of riders using doping in their last years before they quit? I mean, in most sports, young athletes are stronger/more agile/more flexible etc than older people, but older athletes have more experience to off set the difference in strenght... Just an idea.
 
What surprises me is that Saxo Bank doesn't have anyone that can be expected to compete with the best in the giro which is surprising since they are said be such a strong team in the tour.

In fact the only real GC riders they have are the Schleck brothers. Other than that the only one that's been close is Gustav Larsson with 14th in the giro.

Shouldn't a team like that have someone that can focus on the giro to then be a domestique in the tour?
 
Merckx said:
While I don't think that LA will be winning the Giro, his time in the ITT is certainly nothing to scoff at. He actually finished 1.23 behind Levi on a 29K course, which is impressive since he is still recovering from the setbacks caused by his collarbone injury. (http://cyclingnews.com/road.php?id=road/2009/apr09/gila09/gila093)

Hmmmm, so the link I provided from that local newspaper was wrong. You're right, 1:23 is not that bad and he should get stronger over the course of the race. I would like to see him lose but I'd also like to see him strong enough to be in contention and mix it up, makes for a better race, not to mention that as much as I dislike LA I'd still had to see a great champion get his **** kicked.
 
ingsve said:
What surprises me is that Saxo Bank doesn't have anyone that can be expected to compete with the best in the giro which is surprising since they are said be such a strong team in the tour.

In fact the only real GC riders they have are the Schleck brothers. Other than that the only one that's been close is Gustav Larsson with 14th in the giro.

Shouldn't a team like that have someone that can focus on the giro to then be a domestique in the tour?

Well, I agree with you to some extent. But when losing the other main sponsor (IT Factory) Saxo Bank didn't have as much money to offer the available GT outsiders, so they decided to stay with the familiar faces. It's simply a monetary matter, where SB has decided to focus on TDF (as they always have).

I don't know if it's caused by his spring accidents/sickness, but the fact that Fabian Cancellara is starting should be very interesting to follow. They've talked about turning Spartacus into a GT contender, and he might very well surprise us at this years giro. Not as a top10 contender, but maybe a slight chance for at top20. Jens Voigt will probably hunt stage victories, but Jürgen Van Goolen will get another chance to race his own chance after finishing a respectable 16th in last years Vuelta.

Obviously Saxo Bank miss the "luxury helper" able to compete for at top5, like Joaquin Rodriguez and Janez Brajkovic, but not many teams can be said to have that besides Astana and Caisse D'Epargne.