A weary Italian Shack too exhausted to bite.
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) had hoped to knock countrymen Michele Scarponi out of second place and win the Not Contador competition in this year’s Giro d’Italia. You get a special jersey with an empty pistol on the front.
He was 56 seconds behind when he blasted down the ramp for the shortened 26k race around Milan. After 6k things he had gained back 13 seconds and there was a moment of optimism for the Sicilian but after that the legs shut down.
Meanwhile Scarponi proved that he had the most gas in the tank — both yesterday in the final mountain stage and today against the clock. He finished in Milan’s Piazza del Duomo only 10 seconds slower than Nibali. Second place secured and Nibali finishes this Giro in the same position as last year, third place. That’s sure a lot of pain and agony for a deja vu feeling.
The surprise was how well Scarponi hrecovered from his daily efforts in this Giro. The Lampre-ISD rider launched attack after desperate attack against Contador while Nibali was far more careful with his resources. Nibali calculated his efforts while Scarponi seems to throw himself up the road without caution or thinking of the consequences for the stages to come.
Thanks to those aggressive moves, Twisted Spoke fully expected Scarponi to fade in the final week. Instead he got stronger and stronger and we’re hoping that’s not thanks to some of Dr Michele Ferrari’s secret sauce.
For now we congratulate the little 5′ 8 1/2″ climber. It was the hardest Giro in ages and taking second to a dominate Alberto Contador is an impressive achievement all its own.
For Vincenzo Nibali, well, it’s back to the Mount Etna drawing board.