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Giro Stage 11: Marostica - Zoldo Alto

I've never posted about the Giro like I have the Tour de France or Vuelta a Espana. It usually isn't that much fun to watch Petacchi win stage after stage (nearly half the stages in 2004), but I paid the $5.95 for OLN's streaming Internet broadcast subscription and gave it a shot.

Half-way in, it's been well worth it. Nine different riders have worn the leader's jersey, the sprint finishes have been too difficult for Petacchi's team to control, and Di Luca and Bettini have been duking out a great mini-battle that ended finally with Stage 11's entrance into mighty Italian Dolomites.

stage profile

Stage 11 was the first mountain stage of the Giro and had two major climbs at the end that set the tone for the battle. The Stage 8 time trial had shown that Ivan Basso and Paolo Savoldelli were in good form, but Stage 11 really set them apart.

photoBasso repeatedly attacked on the second-to-last climb, winnowing down the group from twenty down to down to four. Savoldelli then attacked on the descent and managed to get a 20 second lead heading into the last climb. Basso hit the bottom of the final climb and quickly cut that lead to nothing, and from there on it was just him and Savoldelli, with Simoni occassionally hanging on. Savoldelli got the stage win by hanging on for dear life and attacking at the very end, but Basso looks the better rider. Last year's winner, Damiano Cunego, was left over 6'02" back.

Basso's strength in the Giro will be interesting come Tour time, as it will either reinforce or hurt conventional wisdom. With Armstrong perenially focusing on just one Grand Tour, a good showing by Basso in both might alter other rider's ambitions.

On a side note: the whole Internet broadcast subscription is rather strange. You're getting a raw feed, essentially, with no commentary. The only real sounds are a helicopter when you're in an overhead shot and motorcycles for the on-road shots. It's a bit eery, though it's nice not to have the constant commentator rambling. However, to compensate for the lack of commentary and low-quality of the stream (can't read rider numbers), I have to pull up a cyclingnews live report to supplement the video.

Stage 11 Summary (cycling news)

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on May 20, 2005 6:12 PM.

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