Giro d’Italia 2013, Stage 9: Stage Analysed

Tom and Jerry have surfaced at the Giro as the game of cat and mouse through the Italian countryside has finally begun.

Taking this comparison a step or ten too far was Pirazzi and Chalapud fighting for the second KOM. Chalapud seemed to have his cartoons a little mixed up as I’m sure I saw a bird coming from him. No Robinson, Tweety is another cartoon and Pirazzi is no Sylvester because Sylvester never wins.

Perhaps wishing being scared of descending on a wet mountain was a figment of his imagination, was Bradley Wiggins, who admitted that during stage eight he, ‘descended like bit of a girl’. Yesterday, the ModMan spent the day soaking wet and dreading the long, wet, slippery downhills of the Tuscan countryside. If he descended like a girl on Saturday, he spent yesterday riding down the wet medium mountains like my 91 year old grandmother.

As Wiggins reminded us after the Individual Time Trial, there’s still a long way to go and Nibali may be unable to hold onto a 29 second lead over the likes of Evans.

Yes, Sir Wiggo, you are absolutely right about that, but unless you grow a set similar to Nibali’s, and Evans’ for that matter, when going down a slippery mountain, I don’t think Nibali has much to worry about from you.

And what does frantically trying to get back in touch with the Maglia Rosa do to your legs? Has them screaming for tomorrows much desired rest day is what it does to your legs.

On a dark and dreary day, the rain draped itself over the Tuscan countryside, enveloping the riders in the mist. The helicopter panned high above the low lying clouds, creating an atmospheric image of the sort you could expect from a 1970s concept album.

The weather conditions were truly awful.

Wet, cold and dark.

Who could blame the Maglia Rosa for not wanting to be seen?

The Maglia Rosa proved her shyness in the inclement weather, requiring protection from her Italian wearer. Barely visible all day, hiding under the black raincoat of Nibali, she is demure and shy and refused to come out and light up the darkness of the day.

Nibali is granted another day to try and convince the pink enigma that he is the man to stick by for the next two weeks.

Speaking of not wanting to be seen, Hesjedal decided to eject himself from the rear of the peloton with about 12 kilometres to go.

As a couple of riders yesterday didn’t get the memo that they were at a bicycle race and punctuality is paramount, Hesjedal thought he was at a one day classic earlier in the week and is now somewhat surprised that he still has two weeks of racing to go.

Was Maxim Belkov’s solo breakaway an attempt to win the race, or was he really using the stage as some sort of early practice for this year’s World Championships?

Either way, his efforts were well rewarded.

Breakaways in cycling are the ultimate affirmation of the underdog and there is nothing better than seeing one succeed.

Tomorrow’s rest day will leave the riders, well their legs at least, in no doubt as to the existence of God, with their prayers of a day off answered.

Here are some thoughts on just how riders may be spending tomorrow.

Vincenzo Nibali will be coaxing the Maglia Rosa out of her prickly shell and using every ounce of flattery he can muster to convince her to stay with him.

Cadel Evans will be celebrating his return from the dead.

That Canadian Guy will undoubtedly spend it considering the fine line between playing it low key and being MIA.

Bradley Wiggins will be preparing some girls clothing to match his own description of his descending abilities in this year’s Giro.

I’m never really sure who needs the rest more: the riders or us long suffering viewers on the other side of the world?

Monday is a well deserved rest day.



Published on The Roar 13th May, 2013








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