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Official thread: Giro d'Italia

Page 23 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Mar 18, 2009
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Judging by every year of Sastre's career in which he tried to do it: no, he's not capable of doing 2 GTs in top shape.
If he does it, fair play to him. But he's never done it before, and to be fair, the last time someone did it was a long long time ago.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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Last year, Sastre won the TdF and finished third in the Vuelta two months later. You might argue he wasn't in top shape in the Vuelta - but do we know he is top shape now?

And by the way, Menchov was fifth and third (if you remove Kohl) in the Giro and TdF last year, so it's not that long ago someone did well in two GT's in two months.

Contador also did quite well in a couple of GT's last season, even though they were a bit further apart.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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kjetilraknerud said:
Last year, Sastre won the TdF and finished third in the Vuelta two months later. You might argue he wasn't in top shape in the Vuelta - but do we know he is top shape now?

So far in this Giro, his climbing power on long (over 20 minute) mountain passes is right around 380-385 watts, his threshold from his top performances ever (2006 Tour, 2007 Vuelta, 2008 Tour). So, unless he's improved tremendously since last year, yes, he's in top form :)

kjetilraknerud said:
And by the way, Menchov was fifth and third (if you remove Kohl) in the Giro and TdF last year, so it's not that long ago someone did well in two GT's in two months.

I didn't argue no one did well. I argued it's been a while since someone's been in top shape at both :)

I should've been clearer, though. I'm talking solely Giro-Tour.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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kjetilraknerud said:
Last year, Sastre won the TdF and finished third in the Vuelta two months later. You might argue he wasn't in top shape in the Vuelta - but do we know he is top shape now?

And by the way, Menchov was fifth and third (if you remove Kohl) in the Giro and TdF last year, so it's not that long ago someone did well in two GT's in two months.

Contador also did quite well in a couple of GT's last season, even though they were a bit further apart.

Cadel Evans in '07 - 2nd TDF, 4th Vuelta - so not uncommon at all really.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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issoisso said:
Really? You're arguing Evans was in top form at that Vuelta? :eek:

Not top form, his cycling life revolves around July, but come on - you don't finish top 5 in any of the 3 GT's without being in good shape.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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lookkg386 said:
Not top form, his cycling life revolves around July, but come on - you don't finish top 5 in any of the 3 GT's without being in good shape.

But the question we were talking about was: is it possible for a GC contender to be in top (not good. top) shape for both the Giro and the Tour in the same season :)

I'm arguing no, and I really don't see any recent examples to support the opposite view.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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issoisso said:
But the question we were talking about was: is it possible for a GC contender to be in top (not good. top) shape for both the Giro and the Tour in the same season :)

I'm arguing no, and I really don't see any recent examples to support the opposite view.

Sorry I clearly wasn't responding to your post( feel free to read back thread), I was just adding to the fact that posting two good GT results in a couple of months is not that uncommon.

Now to your post - yes, it seems that being in TOP form for two consecutive Grand Tours seems unlikely.
 
issoisso said:
But the question we were talking about was: is it possible for a GC contender to be in top (not good. top) shape for both the Giro and the Tour in the same season :)

I'm arguing no, and I really don't see any recent examples to support the opposite view.

I think the above counter-examples are a pretty good argument that a rider can be in top shape for two GTs. I tend to think that with blood transfusions can ride at a very high level as long as they have blood available in storage.

It is hard to compare the placings in the TdF with other GTs because the TdF generally favors a good time trialist more than the other two GTs.
 
Apr 3, 2009
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issoisso said:
So far in this Giro, his climbing power on long (over 20 minute) mountain passes is right around 380-385 watts, his threshold from his top performances ever (2006 Tour, 2007 Vuelta, 2008 Tour).
Really, I see a lot of people here whipping up riders' personal numbers, values and ratios, as if they were right up there with them on the bike, looking down at their bike computers. Where do these numbers come from? Are they shared on teams' website or some other source? Or can they easily be calculated?
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Jasper said:
Really, I see a lot of people here whipping up riders' personal numbers, values and ratios, as if they were right up there with them on the bike, looking down at their bike computers. Where do these numbers come from? Are they shared on teams' website or some other source? Or can they easily be calculated?

Climbing powers are relatively easy to calculate. There's little data that is needed for that.

If you're interested, instead of doing it yourself it's easy to check certain sites like cyclismag that regularly post analysis of climbing powers, comparing them to performances of the same rider or other riders at different races and years.
 
issoisso said:
But the question we were talking about was: is it possible for a GC contender to be in top (not good. top) shape for both the Giro and the Tour in the same season :)

It's rarely attempted these days is part of the equasion.

It appeared as though Basso was well on his way to pulling off the Giro-Tour double in 2006 before the floor fell out from under him.

Gilberto Simoni went for it in 2003 after winning the Giro easily. But he wilted in the heat in that year's Tour and later admitted he was exhausted, though he did win a mountain stage over the Peyresourde.

Before that, you really have to go back to 1998 with Pantani. Though it's hard to ignore his doping, he was someone who went for it, and was perhaps on his way to a double again in 1999 when pulled from the Giro.

Indurain twice did the Giro-Tour double, and almost three times.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
It's rarely attempted these days is part of the equasion.

It appeared as though Basso was well on his way to pulling off the Giro-Tour double in 2006 before the floor fell out from under him.

Gilberto Simoni went for it in 2003 after winning the Giro easily. But he wilted in the heat in that year's Tour and later admitted he was exhausted, though he did win a mountain stage over the Peyresourde.

Before that, you really have to go back to 1998 with Pantani. Though it's hard to ignore his doping, he was someone who went for it, and was perhaps on his way to a double again in 1999 when pulled from the Giro.

Indurain twice did the Giro-Tour double, and almost three times.

That's precisely my point: it's been a while since anyone's done it.
Induráin's comment on the 93 Tour is precisely that the Giro was growing harder and harder, and he'd never attempt the double again because it left him flat on the last week of the Tour when Rominger kept pushing him. Since then it's only gotten harder.

Also, I'd be hard pressed to argue Pantani was in top form in the 98 Giro. Hadn't it been for the infamous festina soigneur corticosteroids situation, Zülle looked on his way to winning that Giro.
 
Another factor that makes it less likely to do the double is that it's not only the course that gets thougher but the riding too.

There hasn't been a single slow stage for the favorites this year. No stage with a break that gets their 20 minutes and the peloton just eases through.

Or wait there was one stage...the Milan stage was slighlty like that...

At any rate even on medium though stages there has been attacks and teams riding strongly in some hills and the main group dvindling to only 40-50 riders. That makes the entire race that much harder to recover from as well.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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ingsve said:
Another factor that makes it less likely to do the double is that it's not only the course that gets thougher but the riding too.

There hasn't been a single slow stage for the favorites this year. No stage with a break that gets their 20 minutes and the peloton just eases through.

Or wait there was one stage...the Milan stage was slighlty like that...

At any rate even on medium though stages there has been attacks and teams riding strongly in some hills and the main group dvindling to only 40-50 riders. That makes the entire race that much harder to recover from as well.

Yeah, by "tougher", Induráin was referring to the riding, not the course. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.
 
Apr 11, 2009
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Leipheimer

Don't think the Tour of California helped Levi this year. Who did it help? Ride in freezing rain days on end, get sick, fall off your bike, etc., as many riders did (eg. Cancellara). Wonder how many riders did well there and are now doing well midseason.

Looks like Levi's overcooked, or came into the Giro on declining form (known only after the fact). He is BETTER than he's shown. Can usually fight his way back up to just about anybody, except maybe a Contador.

Been winning a lot, perhaps too much, and maybe digging deeper more consistently than he's done before; hence, the tank empties and his surprise at the Giro. Maybe he's in new territory.

Maybe there's something about these never-ending, short, savage Italian hills (a type of continual Tour of Flanders, eg. that "little" unclassified hill BETWEEN the Nerone and Catria yesterday looked like a leg-breaker in itself) different from more gradual ones on France, etc.? Correct? Continual savage changes of pace, someone said. No wonder di Luca and Contador thrive here.

Also, the Garmin experience (other than TT and Farrar) here is sobering. Right at the back. Maybe says something about recovery. Who knows (Kohl seemed to be saying some more stuff last night about blood transfusions he also did at the Tour).
 
Parrot23 said:
Don't think the Tour of California helped Levi this year. Who did it help? Ride in freezing rain days on end, get sick, fall off your bike, etc., as many riders did (eg. Cancellara). Wonder how many riders did well there and are now doing well midseason.

Looks like Levi's overcooked, or came into the Giro on declining form (known only after the fact). He is BETTER than he's shown. Can usually fight his way back up to just about anybody, except maybe a Contador.

Been winning a lot, perhaps too much, and maybe digging deeper more consistently than he's done before; hence, the tank empties and his surprise at the Giro. Maybe he's in new territory.

He burned all his matches beating up on amateurs (and "pros" who make $12K a year) in the states. He should have been resting on a beach.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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issoisso said:
Judging by every year of Sastre's career in which he tried to do it: no, he's not capable of doing 2 GTs in top shape.
If he does it, fair play to him. But he's never done it before, and to be fair, the last time someone did it was a long long time ago.

Well top form, maybe not. but contador won the giro and the tour last year
 
And Sastre did in fact became third in the Vuelta after winning the Tour last year.

And Menchov himself was third in the tour after being fifth in the giro last year.

So it's definitely NOT impossible to be on top form for two GT's in a row, but obviously the fresh legs will have a smaller advantage.
 
Parrot23 said:
Don't think the Tour of California helped Levi this year. Who did it help? Ride in freezing rain days on end, get sick, fall off your bike, etc., as many riders did (eg. Cancellara). Wonder how many riders did well there and are now doing well midseason.

Looks like Levi's overcooked, or came into the Giro on declining form (known only after the fact). He is BETTER than he's shown. Can usually fight his way back up to just about anybody, except maybe a Contador.

err, an Evans, and Menchov, and Di Luca, and Sastre, and Vino and a list of others... Better? By what measure? The fact that he says so? What's he ever won?

Only the American media to the American fans has seriously considered Levi a threat in the Giro. Fact of the matter is that he's a very talented racer, he's just not a GT kind of guy, every time he's the sole captain of a team for a GT, the pressure crushes him. His best performances have always been when he's supposed to be supporting someone else.

Effectively, he's never won a major race in Europe. (Maybe, if you count the Dauphine, I can't think of another significant race he's won) He should focus on 5 and 7-10 day races for what's left of his career. Very similar to Bobby Julich, he ruined the best parts of his career chasing something he's just not built for.
 
Problem for Levi is that his career is likely close to being over. But he probably still has it in him to do as you say.

issoisso said:
Also, I'd be hard pressed to argue Pantani was in top form in the 98 Giro. Hadn't it been for the infamous festina soigneur corticosteroids situation, Zülle looked on his way to winning that Giro.

Yes, good point. Willy Voet pointed out how they over pumped Zulle with Syachten, and he didn't respond that great to doping therapy.

Parrot23 said:
Don't think the Tour of California helped Levi this year. Who did it help? Ride in freezing rain days on end, get sick, fall off your bike, etc., as many riders did (eg. Cancellara). Wonder how many riders did well there and are now doing well midseason.

You bring up a good point. Sastre and Basso both were at the ToC, and both were way, way back (Basso crashed, and DNF), out of sight, and not nearly in form.

Maybe there's something about these never-ending, short, savage Italian hills

I don't know that this is the case. The Giro has always been like this as far as course designs go. I think it's what Indurain, or Andy Hampsten said. In days of old the peloton would roll along at 15 mph or so for the first 3 hours on about half the stages. Now, with UCI rankings (and, yes, doping) that rarely happens. You have guys flying off the front in the first 10k, sometimes in the first 1k, almost every stage.

BroDeal said:
He burned all his matches beating up on amateurs (and "pros" who make $12K a year) in the states. He should have been resting on a beach.

Yes, "preparing" for the Giro by tearing up the road at the Gila wasn't such a brilliant strategy in retrospect, was it?

As far as the "resting" part, you might be right, but the beach part is obviously a joke in reference to Contador's abilities. But it may have been best if Levi needed the rest, but to build up hemoglobin like they were claiming, to go to Leadville, Colorado for a week and just do some spins around there on the bike to keep his legs fresh.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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So, sources seem completely mixed up. Some say the entire blockhaus climb will be used.
Others say the reduction stands so just the Passo Lanciano will be used.

Which is it?

EDIT: Nevermind, just found the official word. It'll be in between. It'll finish at the hotel Mamma Rosa, midway between the top of the Passo Lanciano and the top of Blockhaus.
 
TheMight said:
every time he's the sole captain of a team for a GT, the pressure crushes him. His best performances have always been when he's supposed to be supporting someone else.
Interesting, huh? Three GT podiums, all while riding in support of someone else.

Effectively, he's never won a major race in Europe. (Maybe, if you count the Dauphine, I can't think of another significant race he's won)

Deutschland Tour twice.