Friday, May 10, 2013

STAGE 8 Preview 2013 Giro d'Italia


Adam Hansen
Congratulations to Adam Hansen for a spectacular ride today on some treacherous roads! The Lotto-Belisol rider claimed his first career Grand Tour stage win. And that was one helluva course to win on. You might recall Hansen's uncommon feat of riding all three Grand Tours last year. Today's result however is a new plateau for the Australian, who turns 32 tomorrow.

The long Time Trial tomorrow should give Bradley Wiggins his best opportunity to recover the time he lost over the first week to the other GC favorites. Now 1:32 off the lead, he will have to put in as dominant a TT as he can muster if he wants to claim an advantage—or even the lead—before the second half of the race as it heads into the mountains. New race leader Beñat Intxausti is no slouch at the TT so everyone will have their work cut out for them.

The climbing kilometers, particularly the steep kick at the end of the stage, will make a high finish difficult for some of the pure Time Trialists, like Sven Tuft, Luke Durbridge, Jesse Sergent or Patrick Gretsch. The pure climbers will struggle with maintaining power over the 50 kms that precede the finishing climb. That last hill starts out easy but kicks up to 13% in the last km.


LIKELY PICKS: Wiggins, Phinney, Durbridge
DARK-HORSE PICK: Tiago Machado
MY PICK: Not that I’m doubting Wiggins’ fitness based on the last few stages, but I just want to go with someone more interesting: Wilco Kelderman

Update: Thundershowers are expected again tomorrow, though maybe not until afternoon. Advantage to any early starters who might happen to get dry roads. It could be wet all day however, so only the GC guys and stage hopefuls will be interested in taking any risks.

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