Saturday, May 31, 2008

Giro d’Italia Stage 19 and Predictions

Giro d’Italia Stage 19

Stage 19 (Friday) and Stage 20 (Saturday) represent the last chance for the mountain specialists to make their move on taking the overall in this year’s Giro. Stage 19 was run in terrible conditions, with rain for most of the day. Danilo Di Luca (last year’s winner) made the most of the conditions, and at one stage was the virtual leader on the road. Contador fought back, and closed the gap at the end, and now has a 21 second lead over the Italian. Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott) also made his move on Contador, up the final climb of the day, but wasn’t able to do quite enough, and is now only 4 seconds behind.

Vasil Kiryienka ( Tinkoff Credit Systems) took his biggest win to date, attacking the day’s 7-man breakaway group at the base of the Passo della Presolana to finish solo, with 4:36 over Di Luca in second. The big loser of the day was Gilberto Simoni, who battled in the cold, wet conditions, and fell back to 10th on GC at 7:18.

Giro Prediction

Three men are in contention for the overall victory on Sunday. Their current positions on GC are:
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana                      82.29.10
2 Riccardo Riccò (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott 0.04
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes 0.21
Taking the Stage 10 Time Trial over 39.4km, and using those average speeds to predict their times over the shorter (28.5km) Stage 21, the following time gaps can be predicted:


Predicted Stage 21 Time

Stage 21 Predicted Time Difference

Actual Time Differences After Stage 19

Final Predicted Time Differences

Contador

00:41:06

00:00:00

00:00:00

00:00:00

Riccò

00:42:30

00:01:24

00:00:04

00:01:28

Di Luca

00:42:35

00:01:29

00:00:21

00:01:50

A couple of questions remain:
  1. Riccò took 0:37 out of Contador on Stage 19. Can he take more than 1:28 out of Contador on today's Stage 20?
  2. Riccò is not a great Time Trialist. Will he be able to repeat his Stage 10 Time Trial performance on Sunday?
  3. Di Luca took 1:45 out of Contador on Stage 19. Can he do even better than that today?
My answer to the above is simple. No. No, I believe Alberto Contador has this Giro firmly in his grasp. He doesn't have to do anything extra to win it. It's up to the other two to try and do something special to take it away from him.

My Condition


Sadly, not much better this morning. I had a restless night, but did manage to get some sleep. Unfortunately, the closest I'm going to get to a bike this weekend is watching the Giro on TV.

Thanks for reading.