Giro d’Italia 2016 – Stage 9

I think today proves, if proof were needed, that when it comes to cycling predictions I need to go home and rethink my life. Yesterday/this morning post-Eurovision I suggested that Dumoulin was saving himself for the ITT today by way of explanation for the wheels falling off his Giro yesterday. Of course, I did not factor in the weather effect. It rained cats, dogs and locusts on most of the riders, which had a huge impact on the times posted.

Bad news. Lovely Tom Dumoulin tiptoed around today’s course like a giraffe on ice, in complete contrast to his efforts last weekend. Marcel Kittel didn’t even start today’s stage, stayed dry (one can only imagine the horrors that ensue when his hair is exposed to precipitation) and took his magnificent barnet home to Germany to recover and re-bouff before the TdF, presumably. This means that I’ll have 94% less reason to post Top Gun Gifs *sobs*. He seemed so sad in his post-race interview. I just wanted to go and give him a hug.

Unrelated side note: Jakob Fuglsang looks like the love child of Brian O’Driscoll and Mark Durden-Smith. That’s unexpected.

My reflex action when I see Alejandro Valverde is to do a full-on sucky lemon cats bum face, usually followed by an audible tut. I just…..I just can’t. As soon as I hear that someone has what I shall politely refer to as ‘A Past’, I simply cannot bring myself to be warm to them (yet I like Ryder Hesjedal which I suppose makes me a massive hypocrite), particularly if they are unrepentant, or unwilling to admit that they did anything wrong.

Poor Ilnur Zakarin. He had what can only be politely be described as ‘A total mare’ including multiple bike changes, at least two falls and a very holey skinsuit by the time he got to the end. He was a one man Wacky Races.

Primoz Roglic won the stage and teeny tiny Gianluca Brambilla retained the Maglia Rosa and takes it into the rest day. The race resumes on Tuesday and mountains are promised.

Now for the (Amgen) Tour of California. SAGAN!

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Giro d’Italia 2016 -Stage 8

Distractions. Everything stops for Eurovision. I saw the last 50km of yesterday’s stage live (well, on my iPad, in the kitchen, helping the children to make cake pops) so I know that Gianluca Brambilla from Etixx won and took the Maglia Rosa from Tom Dumoulin.

There was A LOT of bellowing on the commentary about Dumoulin blowing up, losing it, fading. I wonder if, when it became apparent that he couldn’t keep the pink jersey without expending considerable effort, he decided to save himself for today’s individual time trial. We’ll find out later this afternoon.

More distractions. Tonight (in the UK), the Tour of California starts. When I looked at the Giro start list I struggled to find a handful of riders to take an interest in. I have no such problems with the ToC: Phinney, Wiggins, Geoghegan Hart, Cavendish, Brammeier, Eisel, Coquard, Boonen, Degenkolb, Kennaugh, Peters, Tennant, Dibben, Doull, Blythe, Sagan. Sagan! He’s a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, but he’s always entertaining. The ToC stages can be a bit variable – watching a bunch of cyclists trundle along a massive freeway for several hours at a time gets a bit dull – but the mountain stages and time trial more than make up for it.

Back to the Giro, I’m looking forward to the ITT although I won’t be able to watch it live. I’ll catch up this evening.

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