Giro over, Tour on. Two thoughts.
So much for the Giro di Fioccare, which we think means, the Giro di Snow.
The Italian grand tour was thrilling but the weather conditions were nearly apocalyptic. Unless you’re winner Vincenzo Nibali, most riders probably wish they’d voted for riding Le Tour or the Vuelta.
The penultimate stage up to the summit of Tre Cime di Lavaredo was a reminder of two things that will possibly affect the outcome of the Tour de France.
First, Astana seems to have better mechanics than Sky or BMC. Was it Tirreno Adriatico where Wiggins attempted to mount an attack on Nibali only to have his electronic shifting go haywire? Sir Brad annoyed, dumps bike on side of road.
In the climb of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Cadel Evans of BMC also tried to protect his second place on GC but had his own mechanical trouble in the final two kilometers, eventually losing second to Rigoberto Uran (Sky). Evans visibly disgusted, jumps in team car freezing from the snow, furious with the drivetrain.
Let’s hope BMC and Sky mechanics are ready for the next grand tour on the calendar. Ask Andy Schleck about what a dropped chain can lead to.
The second issue that we’re curious about is Cadel Evan’s condition coming out of this miserable and hors demanding weeks in Italy. The old diesel felt he needed the work to really be ready for France and you have to be impressed with his gutty performance in the Giro.
Still, we wonder if the Giro was good for his legs but bad for everything else. At 36 years of age, two grand tours is a lot to ask of your body. That was a given but the mystery factor is how much of an extra toll the bad weather conditions will take on the veteran Evans.
For the older athlete, the crucial element is recovery. You can still race at a high level but recovering from these efforts over a three week period becomes harder and harder. Now consider that this Giro was one of the hardest on record thanks to the rain, freezing temperatures and snow.
We simply don’t believe that Evans is going to find it very easy to get over the physical and mental demands of this Giro. He’s got five weeks before the Grand Depart in Corsica. He’s the captain at BMC, no arguing that one, but our money is on the young Tejay Van Garderen. There’s no way Evans is going to be fresh enough to take Chris Froome and the Sky Machine.
So the Tour countdown shifts into high gear. BMC and Sky mechanics, get back to work. Cadel Evans, go to bed immediately.