The reality of how tough this year’s Giro is beginning to set in. Alberto Contador described Stage 15 as the “hardest day of my career”. He even said that perhaps the amount of climbing in a Grand Tour should be limited. I don’t know about you, but I’m almost have sympathy for these guys.
I’m sure everyone is ready for a rest day tomorrow. This week has three more massive mountain stages. The one I’m most excited about is on Saturday night – the Colle delle Finestre ascending up the unpaved roads. It was last featured in 2005 and SBS will be broadcasting it live.
I’m off to watch 60 Minutes and hear all about what we’ve always known straight from Tyler’s mouth. I had my dad set up a skype session in front of the TV (in Canada) so I don’t miss a word!
Cam’s Giro Diary
Did I say 8 hours. Make that 8 and a half hours on the saddle today. Wow what a day, what a stage. A little ridicules I think as today has been said by nearly everyone in the peleton that it was the hardest race they have ever done on a bike.
We started fast as the break tried to establish itself and it did after 20km with 7 guys going off the front. At the 30km mark into the stage tho we hit a climb that was 13km long at an average gradient of 8%. Unfortunately it was not the slow pace that everyone wanted up it and attacks started again. The peleton split in many groups and by the top of the climb 17 riders were away.
After 4 hours of racing the break away had a 9 minute lead and so the tempo started to lift. We were half way through the stage but the hardest was still to come. Three massive mountain passes in the final 80km was going to send this stage into a war of attrition. How much could our bodies take.
Those final three climbs were brutal. First the Passo Giau which was 16km long at an average gradient of 6.5% and a maximum of 16%. The race split here and basically you found your group that you would ride to the finish with. I was going well on this climb and tried to stay with the front but got dropped 3km from the top.
After the Passo Giau we hit the Passo Fedaia which for me was the hardest climb of this year tour. We had already ridden for over 6 hours when we hit the bottom and this nasty climb boasted an average of 8% for 13km and hit 18% in parts.
I stopped at the top putting on two jackets, arm warmers and eating two full bars before descending down for the next 20km. I hit the final climb empty. I tried to eat and drink as much as I could during the day but this stage took around 7000 calories out of our bodies and this is nearly impossible to keep up with when on the bike.
The final climb was nasty also. 6km at an average of 10% really finished off this hard stage. I crossed the line thanking God it was over only to find out I had another 7km ride to the team bus. Why not. What’s another few km going to do.
A hot shower and a slice of pizza never felt better then it did today. I can’t wait for tomorrows rest day and I won’t be surprised if I don’t wake up until lunch. I’m happy to see the end of this week. The final week is one I have been waiting for. There should be some stages for the break aways to succeed and I hope to be amongst them along with the final time trial in Milan where last year I posted an 8th place. I would love to better that this year.
Massage time for me and a big dinner. I’m sure even your viewing eyes need a break tomorrow as much as my legs so all enjoy your rest day.
From the Giro
courtesy of Veeral Patel, Sirotti, and RCS
Stage 16 Results
1 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 7:27:14
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0:01:41
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:01:51
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:01:57
5 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:28
6 José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli 0:02:35
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:03:34
8 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
9 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:04:01
10 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:04:13
137 Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard 39:59
155 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 41:48
166 Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:44:55
DNF Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo
General Classification after Stage 16
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 62:14:42
2 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:04:20
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:05:11
4 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:08
5 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:07:03
6 José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli 0:08:39
7 Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC 0:08:46
8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:08:58
9 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:09:20
10 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar Team 0:09:30
114 Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard 2:11:54
139 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 2:33:51
166 Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 3:19:22
Stage 16 Preview
Tomorrow is a rest day (thank goodness, I need one!) and Tuesday is a 12.7 ITT – straight up.
Stage 16 3D Tour
courtesy of cyclingthealps.com