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10 May 16 17:35
Date Joined: 11 Jul 11
| Topic/replies: 5,589 | Blogger: SwingingPick's blog
Dumoulin    Virtual GC Leader
Kruijswijk    + 24 secs           
Nibali          + 26                    Group VGCL
Valverde      + 31                    + 5 secs     
Chaves        + 37                    + 11           
Zakarin        + 39                    + 13           
Uran            + 40                    + 14           
Majka          + 45                    + 19           
Landa          + 47                    + 21           
Pozzovivio    + 54                   
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Report SwingingPick May 10, 2016 5:39 PM BST
Not so virtual since that is the actual GC, but have excluded Ulissi since after this stage 4 it is safe to conclude he is not targeting GC honours but rather stage wins. Perhaps then Group Virtual GC Leader (VGCL) box is of interest, nevertheless. Will fine-tune it as things progress. SP
Report bb66 May 11, 2016 1:32 PM BST
are you sure to rule out Dumoulin for GC?
Report SwingingPick May 11, 2016 1:42 PM BST
BB, have raised this on MC's Giro thread mate, would really appreciate your input on the matter, actually.
Report bb66 May 11, 2016 2:03 PM BST
I've read that afterwards, imo he should be included, even if he's no candidate for the win, he seriously could be for a podium finish.
Report SwingingPick May 11, 2016 2:53 PM BST
I agree, you're right.
Report SwingingPick May 11, 2016 6:06 PM BST
Stage 5:
Dumoulin    GC Leader
Kruijswijk    + 24 secs 
Nibali          + 26         
Valverde      + 27         
Zakarin        + 35         
Chaves          + 37         
Uran              + 40         
Majka            + 45         
Landa            + 47         
Pozzovivio    + 54         
Report SwingingPick May 14, 2016 5:02 PM BST
Stage 8:
Brambilla    GCL         
Zakarin      + 23 secs
Kruijswijk  + 33         
Valverde    + 36         
Nibali        + 45         
Chaves      + 48         
Uran          + 49         
Majka        + 54         
Pozzovivo  + 54         
Landa        + 63         
Dumoulin  + 65         

Worth putting this up because it's going to look vastly different by about this time tomorrow. I'd like to do a predicted GC board for the conclusion of tomorrow, but it may be too funny if I get some things wrong because some things don't work out for the riders.
Report bb66 May 14, 2016 5:06 PM BST
Dumoulin or Zakarin in rosa tomorrow, followed by Nibali and Valverde
Report SwingingPick May 14, 2016 5:12 PM BST
Fair call, the only thing about Dumoulin is whether the big loss today is part of a wider issue in terms of a losing of condition because of not having been to altitude or an isolated hunger loss?
Report bb66 May 14, 2016 6:53 PM BST
I mainly blame the white roads for his loss today.
Report SwingingPick May 14, 2016 7:02 PM BST
I don't, I think he is done one way or the other. I've never seen him crack like that, as I stated on the GC thread I was under the impression he doesn't crack but rather just throttles back and finds his own rhythm and pace and limits losses. This was only a small climb, he has been over the whites roads of SB and done fairly well, so that shouldn't be an excuse, at all. He just couldn't afford a big loss prior to the Dolomites, and he has had it here on a nothing climb. Even if it is just the white roads, or even if it was a minor hunger loss since as he has said from the team bus post race that he had no energy, and he comes back tomorrow with a superb TT ride to regain the LJ, I think he will get blown away in the Dolomites.
Report bb66 May 14, 2016 7:16 PM BST
Even if his form is dropping, it will matter in the big mountains, but not tomorrow
Report SwingingPick May 14, 2016 7:58 PM BST
I believe MC has stated that he would have Valverde slightly ahead of Nibali in a TT at this distance, and I admit I didn't agree with that, however it is highly probable that taking into account Valverde's podium in the TdF last year, his good showing on the white roads today, that he will be in the LJ tomorrow, or narrowly behind Dumoulin or Zakarin. If Dumoulin doesn't recover losses tomorrow it's over, I believe.
Report marychain1 May 14, 2016 8:20 PM BST
I definitely wouldn't have Valverde ahead of Nibali in a TT of this distance. Certainly not tomorrow.
Report SwingingPick May 14, 2016 8:40 PM BST
Thanks for clearing that up MC, I can't find it now, but someone suggested this and I've come back to it. Who do you think will be in Pink tomorrow?
Report SwingingPick May 15, 2016 5:22 PM BST
Stage 9 (ITT):
Brambilla    GCL         
Jungels      + 01 sec 
Amador      + 32 secs Group VGCL
Kruijswijk  + 51          + 19 secs   
Nibali        + 53          + 21 secs    Group 2 VGCL
Valverde    + 55          + 23            + 02 secs       
Dumoulin    + 58        + 26            + 05               
Landa          + 78        + 46            + 25               
Majka          + 105      + 73            + 52               
Fuglsang    + 111      + 79           
Zakarin        + 129      + 97           
Pozzovivio  + 148      + 116         
Chaves        + 151      + 119         
Ulissi          + 174     
Uran            + 176     
Report SwingingPick May 15, 2016 6:50 PM BST
So, I think even though I've put Dumoulin into the Group 2 Virtual GC Leader box I think it's over for him as a genuine contender for the win.

Valverde didn't get into the LJ, but he had a win in a way, in so far as now MOV have Amador as the perfect counter for Valverde. And Amador actually gets to stake his own claim now since MOV will use him to attack the GC principals. If he holds them off when he attacks in such a fashion, then he can lift his profile in much the same way as Landa did last year, whilst Valverde stays relatively fresh just following with absolutely no pressure.

Nibali looks solid. AST is still strong.

Majka is building form into the third week, but he is getting into slight trouble with that gap. He will need to do something unexpected prior to stage 14 or risk just fizzling out.

Kruijswijk is making claims for the podium in a workmanlike fashion.

Landa is holding confidence through the SKY connection as their next GT whiz-kid performance here, but there's a heap of riding remaining, he is behind by 20-25secs on the two Group 2 VGCL favourites, and I think he would have to ride away from the GC favourites at least twice in the big mountains to gain a strong lead, or once if he has the strong TT ride HB suggested he might earlier in the GC discussion.

Zakarin will struggle for a podium place.

Chaves is riding very well and he may be quite good in the big mountains, but perhaps more from the perspective of staying with the GC favourites more than attacking and gaining time on them.

Report SwingingPick May 17, 2016 7:35 PM BST
Stage 10:
Jungels      GCL         
Amador      + 26 secs Group VGCL
Valverde    + 50          + 24 secs    Group 2 VGCL
Kruijswijk  + 50          + 24            Group 2 VGCL
Nibali        + 52          + 26            + 02 secs       
Brambilla  + 71         
Majka        + 104        + 78            + 54               
Fuglsang    + 106       
Zakarin      + 128      + 102           
Chaves      + 146        + 120         
Report SwingingPick May 20, 2016 4:49 PM BST
Stage 13:
Amador      GCL         
Jungels      + 26 secs
Nibali        + 41          Group VGCL
Valverde    + 43        + 02 secs     
Kruisjwijk  + 43        + 02             
Majka        + 97        + 56             
Zakarin      + 121      + 80             
Chaves      + 139      + 98             
Uran          + 168      + 127           
Fuglsang    + 195     
Report SwingingPick May 22, 2016 10:01 AM BST
Stage 14:
1.) Kruijswijk GC Leader
2.) Nibali        + 41 secs 
3.) Chaves      + 92         
4.) Valverde    + 186       
5.) Amador    + 195       
6.) Majka        + 209       
7.) Zakarin    + 233       
8.) Uran        + 301       

Nice lead by Kruijswijk, however he did have Chaves there for assistance. My only concern with him is that his last win was in the 2014 PCR Arctic Race of Norway from Kristoff by 4secs. Before that all he has is a win on stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse over 158kms from Leipheimer, where he ended-up finishing 3rd on GC by 62secs. Last year at the Giro, he finished 7th on GC at nearly 11mins  (had two 2nd-place finishes and four top-5 placings) but what that uncovers is that -- whilst as MC previously stated he finished off the race well -- he did lose a large chunk of time on the GC riders, primarily Aru. So he is certainly susceptible to that, and the question is whether with the added pressure of riding in the LJ, he is likely to unravel? 

Kruijswijk is riding well here and a winning result is within his characteristics and ability, however the pressure of defending his lead is not going to help him as he has no team for support whatsoever (much like Dumoulin in the Vuelta) and breakaway assistance like he received from Chaves is not guaranteed on later stages. Having said that he doesn't have to do much and his best tactics is to follow AST and stay on the back of Nibali's wheel, which he can only do with a submissive (non-attacking) ride from Nibali. That's not a big ask, however Nibali will attempt "Shark" mode on appropriate occasions and if he can get his timing right he will gap Kruisjwijk.

I just think that Nibali suffered from the effects of altitude here, and should only improve since he worked away to limit losses riding by himself (which is a psychological achievement) albeit not descending well-enough to cover the attackers. I mean, he has been attacking on various stages of this race, however he hasn't timed those attacks very-well and once he does, he will shut the door on the opposition. But will he? I think he can halve the deficit on the Mountain Climb TT, champions always come back strong, and it's really the result he requires to boost his confidence that this race is still within his grasp, and that he has the class and experience to intimidate Kruijswijk and gap him when required.

Report marychain1 May 22, 2016 11:50 AM BST
Agree with all that.
Report SwingingPick May 23, 2016 6:25 PM BST
Stage 15: Mountain Climb TT
1.) Kruijswijk  GC Leader
2.) Chaves      + 02:12   
3.) Nibali        + 02:51   
4.) Valverde    + 03:29   
5.) Majka        + 04:38   
6.) Zakarin      + 04:40   
7.) Amador      + 05:27   

TD of TLJ Richard Plugge outlined his "manifesto" back in NOV 2015 at the team's team building camp, which was titled the '2018 vision'. This was because their sponsors had signed on till then, and it was important to reinforce the team's professionalism by identifying their primary goals and objectives. Steven Kruijswijk winning the Giro was not mentioned, and when SK was asked about his ambitions for this year's Giro, a race he holds in great regard and where he gained his confidence as a GT rider last year when finishing in 7th-place, he stated that a top-5 result was his main goal.

Unlike Dumoulin who made a strong point on lowering the expectation of his chances for winning in Torino (when riding in the LJ earlier in the race) on the basis on not having gone to altitude for training, SK went to the "Volcano" aka Tenerife for a block of altitude training aimed at his ride here, and based on his improvement in Yorkshire prior to coming here, clearly that was a wise decision on the back of his 2015 Giro confidence boost.

We see it time and again that riders with questions over their condition have nowhere to hide in a tough TT -- as this one was -- and they answer those questions with their resulting ride. SK rode this Mountan Climb TT so smoothly that he has confirmed a very strong condition, however he doesn't have team support and displayed last year that he is susceptible to a bad day climbing where he looses chunks of time.

Moreover, last year the climbing at the Giro topped-out at 2178m for the Colle Delle Finestre, and because it came on stage 20, SK didn't have to back-up for another tough climbing stage the next day. This year, the Dell'Agnello on stage 19, apart from the steep 15% sections rises to an impressive 2700+m, as does the Col del la Bonette of stage 20, and that kind of altitude is serious climbing (for instance stage 14's multiple climbs only rose to 2200+m in comparison) with clear and real affects on a rider's physiology -- especially after a hard day of riding because of the elements -- so someone like Chaves who was born at altitude in COL should come back relatively unscathed in comparison to someone like SK who is more likely to get sick or not recover as effectively as Chaves on account of being born at 16m above sea level. However, what most plays into the hands of Chaves is the likelihood that he is going to be capable of responding well at the end of such difficult stages when SK will be feeling the effects on his breathing and legs, and will be more likely struggling to respond to attacks let alone make attacks of his own, and we saw this on stage 14 when Chaves won without too much problems.

Chaves will respond best to the altitude over the remaining two big mountain climbs, whether he can win will be based on his ability to make an attack stick at a critical moment. Such a move usually requires good team support, experience, and a rider in very good condition. Chaves has a good tactician in the car and he is in good shape, however like SK he has no team support and will be isolated at the business end of racing.

It's difficult to discount Nibali at that time gap as he is a champion, and it doesn't help to do so after witnessing SK ride so smoothly and gain time on all GC riders in the race-against-the-clock, however he hasn't been capable of making any of his multiple attacks stick, and he suffered from altitude on stage 14 when he couldn't respond to Chaves/SK, then couldn't hit back in the following Mountain Climb TT, and all those elevations were less intense than what is still to come. So, even if his bad days are behind him, Chaves should be capable of maintaing his wheel when AST are setting the pace and piling on the pressure, meaning that he keeps the gap and comes out on top, should they drop SK.

It's a big ask but I think Chaves can win this race since SK lost a combined (nearly) 2mins to Aru on the last two climbing stages last year. I therefore think even though SK was in Tenerife it won't be enough to live at such high altitudes and since he has a bad day in him and since he is not proven at altitude, I believe he can lose even more time in tough conditions on the road than last year, and therefore he is more unlikely to back-up at altitude on the next following stage, losing the race on stage 20, moreover his price is way too short with these question marks floating around to warrant backing him, and therefore instead I am backing Chaves to win.

Report SwingingPick May 24, 2016 5:52 PM BST
Stage 16:
1.) Kruijswijk GC Leader
2.) Chaves      + 3:00     
3.) Valverde    + 3:23     
4.) Nibali        + 4:43     
5.) Zakarin      + 4:50     
6.) Majka        + 5:34     

The writing was on the wall that Nibali was failing after the stage 15 Mountain Climb TT confirmed it, and it now looks like he is gone. Majka needed to do something here at the latest and since he didn't do it, but in fact did quite the opposite, I think he is gone too.

I still think SK has real potential to crack on stage 20 by being vulnerable to backing-up at altitude, but for that to happen he needs to be put under pressure by Chaves and/or Valverde on both days, or ideally he needs to be given a hard ride on stage 19 and then pressured on stage 20 to crack. Chaves has the characteristics to do that to the rider from sea level, but Chaves is riding very greenly and the expert tactical moves are not coming from the car as expected, so you can't have much faith it will come in the manner it should on stages 19/20.

Every rising GC rider has one bad day in the mountains in a GT, SK hasn't really had his here as yet, and he is still yet to face the toughest of stages back-to-back at the end of three weeks of hard racing. I'm therefore still with Chaves, but it's looking desperate for the COL rider in the OGE jersey, and then there's the snow issue which might force the cancellation of stages and hand the Torino LJ to SK below altitude, which MC inferred might be a live option a while back.
Report nugget May 25, 2016 1:18 AM BST
Zakarin at 20's for a podium before yesterday's stage. Nice.

nugget • May 24, 2016 12:24 PM BST

Or if you think Nibali's form will remain inconsistent or he goes into win-it-or-bin-it mode maybe Majka or Zakarin could get onto the podium at a good price.
Report nugget May 25, 2016 1:19 AM BST
Only seriously bad luck beats Kruijswijk from here.
Report SwingingPick May 25, 2016 8:28 AM BST
I say SK pops on stage 20. Cool
Report SwingingPick May 25, 2016 8:28 AM BST
...and then cracks. Cool
Report SwingingPick May 27, 2016 4:37 PM BST
Stage 19:
1.) Chaves      GC Leader
2.) Nibali        + 0:44     
3.) Kruijswijk + 1:05     
4.) Valverde    + 1:48     
5.) Majka        + 3:59     

Chaves… Love
Report SwingingPick May 29, 2016 2:32 PM BST
Final GC:
1.) Nibali        Winner
2.) Chaves    0:52     
3.) Valverde  1:17     

I think nugget touched on it in a separate thread, but if Nibali is in a GT race where one (or more) of the race contenders abandons than Nibali ends up being the one to win the race. This is the third time with Landa's abandonment after 2013 Giro and 2014 TdF GC wins where Nibali has won in this kind of circumstance.

Great ride to fight like that by Nibali who was tipped at ante-post and reached a consensus on an outright basis on this forum. Conversely, Majka is my big disappointment, I don't know how he can be described as a genuine GT contender now? Chaves would easily be the best rising star, but he still has a long way to go to be rated as a potential top-class GT winner. Just caught an exclusive interview on Aussie broadcast with OGE owner  G. Ryan, and he has confirmed my impression that Chaves' next big aim will be the TdF 2017, even though he will be starting in the Vuelta later in the year, and so I think it'll be interesting to see if he can take another step in the Vuelta to confirm his improvement.

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