Psychological blow? Contador jumps, everyone freaks in Giro.

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Psychological blow? Contador jumps, everyone freaks in Giro.

COntador uses pedals. Instant panic.

Psychological blow or not?

In stage eight of the Giro, that last uphill ramp to the finish in Tropea, Alberto Contador, El Pistolero, world’s best stage racer, favorite son of the Spanish Cycling Federation, opened up the after-burners. Just making sure there was no dust on the thrusters. A pre-eruption before Etna.

The effect was instantaneous separation, Scarponi and Nibali left behind the same way he left Andy Schleck behind on the climb to Mende in last year’s Tour de France. It wasn’t a death blow and Saxo team manager Bjarne Riis said it wasn’t planned but it was a a scary reminder to everyone in the race. A peloton-wide panic attack.

The short but powerful message was, “Don’t forget who I am and what I can do to everyone, whenever I want.” Alberto dropped everyone and nearly caught the cat Mr. Gatto who threw out his own surprise in the final k, blasting off the front, a sprinter who likes uphill finishes. Only Contador and Alessandro Petacchi made an attempt to chase him down.

Gatto took the biggest win of his career and Contador put on a little demonstration, a painful reminder of what he does when hills go up, and mountains climb. He only gained five seconds on the chasers but the point was made and when he added the 12 time bonus for second, he had himself a tidy 17 second gain, which kicked him into 5th.

Tomorrow Etna looms and the Nibali and Scarponi get to show the rewards of all that training on the volcano. Expect Alberto Contador to be up front, ready to send his own message.

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  1. Henkio May 15, 2011 at 3:12 am - Reply

    “Don’t forget who I am and what I can do to everyone, whenever I want.”

    Nailed it.

    • TwistedSpoke May 16, 2011 at 9:51 am - Reply

      Yup, and he really nailed it on Etna. Bye bye Nabali. Matt

  2. Brad May 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    5 seconds at the line plus 12 bonus seconds. Now that you're getting invites to big races, you may as well get the facts straight.

    • TwistedSpoke May 16, 2011 at 9:48 am - Reply

      Brad, all great story tellers know the facts are secondary. We make mistakes and new never claim to be the New York Times of cycling. We do claim to be amusing and unexpected. Judge us on that. Cyclingnews has the facts if you need them and their grammar is top notch. Matt

      • Brad May 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

        If it's a story you're trying to tell, why include numbers that no one will remember anyway?

      • Kristopher LaGreca May 16, 2011 at 11:11 am

        Brad, I like to give that veneer of offical journalism. It just makes everybody relax and focus on the bigger story. If I was really into numbers, I\’d be an accountant. It\’s the Giro, Baby, think like an Italian, do a few seconds here or there really matter? Have two glasses of Chianti and keep reading. Matt.

  3. michael July 2, 2011 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Matt, I officially declare you funny. Keep making mistakes.

    • TwistedSpoke July 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      FUnny is what we're about. Thanks for the compliment. Matt

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