Danilo di Luca won, Basso relaxed and Armstrong trained. That was stage 4 to San Martino di Castrozza.
“The Killer,” looking very lean and hollow-cheeked, put in a powerful acceleration to rip past Mauricio Soler in the last 100 meters. His timing was perfect and the slow motion camera caught the cold-hearted look in his eyes as he crossed the line. This is no doubt the look he gives his wife when he discovers his cycling shorts have not been washed. Or when she has failed to wax his bike correctly. This is not the kind of guy you want to play beach volleyball or scrabble with–he really needs to win.
Meanwhile Ivan Basso spent the 162 kilometers looking extremely relaxed, riding up front with his Liquigas buddies. In conrtast to Di Luca, Basso’s facial expression was one of calm and serenity. Like a man who knows a stage win ain’t nothing compared to winning the Giro. Yes, Di Luca sent a message on the final climb but perhaps it really said “I’m impatient and wasting my energy.”
For Lance Armstrong of team Lancetana is was training, pure and simple. A solid day at the office, riding with the leaders until the final kilometer. Lance fans should feel pleased and confident that he’s not over-extrending himself, just building form for a good time trial later. Levi road a smart race and stayed within himself. He’s not a passionate Italian so there was no need to make a big display for the tifosi so early in the race. Levi will hit the gas hard when it counts. Real killers like Basso, Armstrong and Leipheimer wait for the right time and place.