collapse



Drummer Boy

  • Classics Winner
  • Country: us
  • Posts: 3234
  • Liked: 3872
  • Awards: Post of the year 2015
Re: Giro 2019 General Discussion
« Reply #61 on: June 03, 2019, 18:14 »
I thought about starting a new thread for thoughts and reflections on this year's race, but this thread will probably suffice.

So...what say you? What are your prime takeaways from the 2019 Giro d'Italia?

To me, it wasn't a great race—and most certainly not "epic—but it was special in its own way, and has left me feeling rather upbeat.

It started off with a bang when Primož Roglič stamped his authority on the opening TT, surpassing even the most optimistic predictions. The day's weather also added to the drama, and that laid the groundwork for what looked to be an exciting three weeks ahead. But alas, the promise of that opening salvo would soon fade as the more mundane stages necessary to traverse the country revealed themselves.

But what of Roglič's promise coming into this race? It seemed that he had the blessings of the Cycling Gods, so what changed?

Losing Robert Gesink prior to the start of the Giro—after he crashed and fractured his pelvis at Liège-Bastogne-Liège—certainly didn't help, as he was to have been one of Roglič's key lieutenants. Gesink's absence opened the door for Sepp Kuss, but Sepp's enthusiasm for the opportunity was not enough to overcome his youth and inexperience. By no fault of his own, he is just not yet a Grand Tour caliber force.

Laurens De Plus was to have been another key support member of the Jumbo-Visma squad, but the early wet weather would take its toll, and he was forced out of the race in the first week due to a sore throat and worsening health.

Without these changes in team dynamics, would the final outcome have been much different? I don't think so.
I believe the tactics may have changed, and the race may have been animated differently, but I have a hard time believing that the final podium would've been much different.

The real story of this Giro turned out to be the emergence of Richard Carapaz (Movistar), and there doesn't seem to be any indication that even with stiffer competition he would've been defeated. Had he been forced to put even more time into his rivals in the mountains, it's hard to imagine that he wouldn't have been able to. Ultimately, I believe the race played out as only it could have.

It's nice to see a new star emerge, and in such dramatic fashion. One of the things that can make cycling hard to sometimes watch is the predictability of its winners. Far too often, in any given race, the favorites do exactly what they're expected to do regardless of their opponents best efforts. The fact the Carapaz was able to shine the light on his home country of Ecuador, and introduce both them to the Giro, and the Giro to them, was an added bonus. It brought a new level of excitement and something fresh to an already-storied sporting event.

Other key moments and memories would have to be Damiano Cima (Nippo-Vini Fantini) holding off, and out foxing, a charging and determined—if slightly confused—peloton to snatch victory on Stage 18. In what, on paper, was to have been a routine snooze-fest, turned out to be one of the more entertaining and exhilarating stages of the entire three weeks.
:win  :D

Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) soloing away the previous day, on Stage 17, after being part of the day's early break, will also leave a lasting impression, as the final climb to Anterselva provided him with the first professional victory of his career—always a moment to remember.

There was, of course, eventual Best Young Rider, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) momentarily becoming the meme master of this Giro after rearranging the headwear of an overly-enthusiastic, yet under-coordinated, roadside fan. What's not to love about that?
 :lol

Not to be outdone for emotional moments and dramatic victories, the piano-playing, mechanical engineer from McKinney, Texas, Chad Haga (Team Sunweb) scorched the final iTT to take stage honors and, in the process, save the day, and the Giro, for his entire team. It was a fitting exclamation mark to a race that would see the emergence of new and unexpected champions. Haga's stage win seemed to perfectly encapsulate the even grander achievements of Richard Carapaz's overall victory.

There were other moments along the way, but those are the ones that linger for me the most. I'll leave the analysis of Nibali, Yates and Landa to others. In the end, it was a fun race to follow, and left me wanting more. It won't go down as legendary, but it proved to be good for the sport and good for the fans, which is more than enough to leave me satisfied.
 :)
  • ReplyReply
  • « Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 18:24 by Drummer Boy »

    search

    • World Champion
    • *
    • Country: de
    • Posts: 12127
    • Liked: 13502
    • Awards: 2019 Tour prediction champMember of the year 2016Post of the year 2016KeithJamesMC 2016Member of the year 20152012 CQ Ranking Tour GameAvatar of the Year 2013
    Re: Giro 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #62 on: June 03, 2019, 20:22 »
    I don't know, really, I'm fine with Carapaz bringing home the jersey, and also with most stage winners, but overall somehow it didn't feel to be in the right balance, neither the parcours, nor the way it was raced.

    I mean, basically nothing happened for two weeks (apart from the odd crash here and there), and then almost every stage went to the breakaway. We basically saw the complete opposite of last year (when Greenedge chased down every move for three weeks), and instead 10 stages were won by escapees, and in most cases without much of a battle between the peloton and attackers taking place.

    Stage 18 was great of course, and that kind of suspense it what everyone loves about cycling I guess - but there were almost no other moments of that. Not for the stages, and even less in the fight for GC.

    Personally I was able to attend some of the early stages at the road side, so that's definitely something that stays in mind of course (especially the Bologna one), but apart from that, there's not too much.
  • ReplyReply
  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    Drummer Boy

    • Classics Winner
    • Country: us
    • Posts: 3234
    • Liked: 3872
    • Awards: Post of the year 2015
    Re: Giro 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #63 on: June 03, 2019, 21:00 »
    I don't know, really, I'm fine with Carapaz bringing home the jersey, and also with most stage winners, but overall somehow it didn't feel to be in the right balance, neither the parcours, nor the way it was raced.

    I would pretty much agree. It didn't quite feel like the Giro. It had some drama and emotion, but it was more like a separate event rather one of the three main GTs.

    Quote
    Personally I was able to attend some of the early stages at the road side, so that's definitely something that stays in mind of course (especially the Bologna one), but apart from that, there's not too much.
    Just be glad you didn't find yourself having to suffer the wrath of an enraged Colombian!
     :P
  • ReplyReply

  • Carlo Algatrensig

    • National Champion
    • Country: gb
    • Posts: 883
    • Liked: 1079
    Re: Giro 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #64 on: June 03, 2019, 21:45 »
    My few thoughts on the race. Carapaz made the most of the slightly strange race situation with Polanc being in pink on Stages 13 and 14 (is Voeckler at the '11 tour the last time a none GC favourite was still leading that far into a GT?). Roglic was the de facto leader of the race but didn't have a strong enough team and Nibali appeared to still think he was the biggest threat to his overall chances. Roglic never appeared to ever have a bad day in that he ever cracked or bonked he was just beaten by a better rider.

    Some good rides from those making their GT debut in Sivakov and Madouas particularly the Frenchman given that he has said for the time being he'll really be concentrating on one day races.

    The italian teams taking some stages will also have been good for the race.
  • ReplyReply

  • Armchair Cyclist

    • Classics Winner
    • *
    • Country: 00
    • Posts: 2745
    • Liked: 3091
    • Awards: 2019 Spring Classics Prediction Champ2018 Tour de France CQ game winner
    Re: Giro 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #65 on: June 03, 2019, 22:31 »
     I doubt there are two WT riders of their experience (4th and 3rd years with Movistar respectively) that I had less awareness of prior to the Giro than Pedrero and Carretero. Although they are young (but all older than Carretero), Bouman, Kuss and Tolhoek have enough on their palmares that they should not have been dominated by the Movistar mountain draggers.  Yes, Gesink and De Plus were originally slated to go, but it looks like serious miscalculation in the preparation of the Jumbo climbing aides.

    And miscalculation defined the race on stage 14.  There was simply no excuse for allowing Carapaz, riding alone, to extend a gap from 19 seconds (halfway down the descent from San Carlo) to 1:54 in Courmayeur, while a group of major GC names allow the likes of Majka, Yates and Dombrowski to catch them on a very shallow incline.  Nibali I consider more culpable, as Roglic was already showing signs of tiring and Nibali knew he had stages and team strength to his advantage in days ahead.  But the hubris of these two in considering only one rider could possibly beat them essentially gave the Giro away.

    I lived in Ecuador for two years, so was delighted to see Carapaz win, but it really does not feel like a deserved victory: it gave the whole Giro the feel of a stage in which the main men were concerned more with where they were in relation to each other than who took the honours.
  • ReplyReply

  • t-72

    • Road Captain
    • Country: no
    • Posts: 1919
    • Liked: 3469
    Re: Giro 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #66 on: June 03, 2019, 22:48 »
    Thanks for starting this post-race discussion, life has been a bit busy for me so I haven´t been able to contribute as much as I hoped to in the final week. My thoughts:

    1. No, I don´t think I will remember this Giro d’Italia as a a great one, but exactly why I feel that way is harder to tell. I think one reason is the high expectations of a strong field that by the end of week one was reduced to a weaker field than what we have seen in many years. There was no #ineos Bernal to front the new generator Sky-Ineos train, no #sunweb Dumoulin and no in-shape #mitchelton Yates. #quickstep Jungels did not succeed to get back in shape in time for the Giro following his good classics season this spring. #jumbo Roglic at this point in the race was perhaps the exception, it was not very apparent in this stage how weak his team would be in the mountains and what it would cost him.  However, both in quantity and quality, the GC contenders group was very much reduced, compared to my expectations and compared to last year. It wasn´t really that bad but it has been better the last few couple of years and the expectations from the early lists of starters were higher.

    2. It was completely opposite with the sprinters, the stage wins in the first part of the race was more contested than what I have become accustomed to. Still not quite the first week of Le Tour, but much closer now  :cool great show!

    3. The weather played a part, and it didn´t really make it better. It is always going to be high-risk to try to run a stage across the highest alpine passes this early in the season, but for what I feel was lacking from this Giro, it is always worth trying. They could do better work on the plan B, though. As much as the Mortirolo is a very hard climb and it is serious sports performance we can witness there, I think it isn´t a very spectacular place and it doesn´t make for good TV. In my opinion, stage 13 towards Col de Nivolet gets the nod as this year´s best stage, with both great racing and great scenery. The last mountain stage, with the Manghen and Passo Rolle, gets honorable mention, but only that because at this point it wasn´t really that exciting anymore with Carapaz very much in control of the situation. Neither of them gets halfway to the top of the Finestre in my eyes.

    Of the Giri that I have watched intensely, this one is one of the least exciting ones, but comparing Movistar victories I will say that Richard Carapaz won his #rosa in much better style than Quintana did, and seems to be a worthy winner, even though the weak field of GC candidates + Nibali´s giant tactical failure of focusing too much on Roglic made it easier for him.


         
  • ReplyReply
  • « Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 17:26 by LukasCPH »

    Drummer Boy

    • Classics Winner
    • Country: us
    • Posts: 3234
    • Liked: 3872
    • Awards: Post of the year 2015
    Re: Giro 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #67 on: June 04, 2019, 01:03 »
    The weather played a part, and it didn´t really make it better.

    Here's a very telling pic that I missed at the time.
    https://twitter.com/TheRaceRadio/status/1132844951618801664

     I guess they made the right decision. :o
  • ReplyReply

  •  



    Top
    Back to top