Sunday, June 1, 2008

Giro d'Italia Stage 20

Alberto Contador has only one hurdle left to cross to win the 2008 Giro d'Italia. On Saturday he did all that was required of - he marked Riccardo Riccò all the way to the finish, protecting his 4 second lead. Big loser of the day was Danilo Di Luca, who slipped back to 7th overall at 4:18, and out of contention. Gilberto Simoni did everything he could to salvage his last Giro by taking the stage win, but was caught out by the attack from Emanuele Sella, who went on to take his third stage win. Sella has had an unbelievable Giro, and has also almost definitely secured 5th overall, and the Best Young Rider jersey for his efforts.

Final Stage

Today's Stage 21 Time Trial into Milano was an interesting addition by the Giro organisers. It had the potential to leave the final standings up for grabs right to the last day. That is still the case, with only 4 seconds separating the top two riders: Alberto Contador in the lead, and Riccardo Riccò in second place. I believe Riccò is no match for Contador in a Time Trial of this nature. The course is dead flat, and should suit a rider of Contador's abilities, but weather conditions and the efforts of the last 3 weeks could take their toll. The greatest challenge may come from another Italian, Marzio Bruseghin from the Lampre Team, who won the Stage 10 time trial by 8 seconds from Contador, and who now lies in 3rd overall at 2:00. The pressure will also be on Riccò to defend his 2nd place, so whatever happens, it's bound to be a thrilling affair right until the last man crosses the line.

Thanks for reading.