Ladies and gentlemen, Denis Menchov is now on vacation. After beating Di Luca and Lovkvist up the Alpe di Siusi he promptly announced he was taking the next six stages off. “My interest is to stay in the bunch until the (stage 12) time trial,” said the rider from Siberia.
It should be noted that Liepheimer, Sastre, Di Luca, Basso and rising Swedish star Lovkvist will also be taking their vacations at the same time. Really, they could get a group rate, a mini-sabbatical on wheels, Club Med Giro-style. All six are now an elite group, the men who might win the Giro. As such, there’s nothing for them to do but relax until the next defining stage, number 12, the brutal 60k time trail.
Yes, we’re talking “tranquillo,” riding at a pace the Italians describe as “piano,” nice and easy. Don’t expect any sudden accelerations or attacks from any of these guys. They won’t be “turning a pedal in anger,” as Phil Legget would say. Nope, they’ll be chatting, sharing snacks, taking long nature breaks and making cell phone calls to old friends. If they could mount a video ipod on the handlebards, they’d be catching up with CSI and Dancing with the Stars.
For the next few stages we’ll have breakaways and sprints and all sorts of little tactical games but basically these guys are on holiday. And as anyone who’s ever been to Italy knows, it’s a beautiful place for a bike vacation. Enjoy it fellas. we’ll see you back at work on stage 12.
P.S. Watch out for Lance Armstrong. Stage number 12 is his lucky number.