Friday Group Ride #119

With four riders jammed within 96 seconds of Joaquim Rodriguez’s maglia rosa, we’re about to witness one of the closet Giro finishes in recent years.

Garmin-Barracuda’s Ryder Hesjedal is Rodriguez’s closest challenger. With two stages in the Dolomites and the final stage’s individual time trial in Milan, can the Canadian overcome the deficit to win his nation’s first grand tour?

And what about Liquigas-Cannondale’s Ivan Basso and Lampre’s Michele Scarponi? The Italians have won the last two editions (although Scarponi took his by virtue of Contador’s disqualification), but sit more than a minute behind Rodriguez. They might have the strongest teams in the race, but do they have the legs to gain back the time they lost to Rodriguez earlier in the three-week event?

No matter what happens, this weekend will likely bring the closest finish in recent memory.

So who’s your pick to take the win and how will he do it?


Image: Photoreporter Sirotti

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  1. Doug Page

    I have no pick, just a few scenarios to propose…Pozzovivo will get a bunch of time and lose it on the TT. Someone will do too much chasing and fade…Scarponi? Nibali will remain cool and win (at least) second. Ryder may pull a Cadel and win..if he keeps his head. But- J/rod has the best team in the mountains, so if he doesn’t burn his matches too soon, he could win. Great Giro this year after all!

  2. Souleur


    its called the Time Trial
    he will buy back at least 3 minutes, so…unless something happens and he gets dropped like a bad smell, Ryder is in position for a win

    PozzoVivo is a great rider, but not sure he will buy up 5 minutes from where he is at to win

    Jrod, looks great, but will hang on in the high mtns

    Basso, can only ride hard and steady and I am not sure he has any attack that Ryder will not hang on for

    So, its Ryders to lose IMHO

  3. Big Mikey

    I’m not going to jinx the Canadian, but after that ride today in the mountains, he is not screwing around. He’s here to win.

    (Spoiler Alert):
    Dropping Basso, Rodriguez and Scarponi in the high mountains, that’s impressive.

  4. Graham I

    Ryder – he looked like he thinks he can win and that is the biggest difference maker for him.

    So not just because I am in Victoria, BC Canada but because he blew up the little climbers today when all he really had to do was hang-in

  5. Jon

    Ryder’s performance today was impressive. 13 seconds of hard won time but more importantly I think a confidence boost for him and a devastating psych blow to his GC rivals.

  6. Paul I.

    Hesjedal, unless he implodes on the Stelvio. I actually think that he will take enough time tomorrow to go into the final day ITT in Pink, and then hold it easily. Big winner on final day, though, could be De Gendt, he is a good enough chronoman to potentially to finish in the top 5.

  7. Jeremy

    Ryder looked super today. Another 500m and he may have even gotten the stage win to boot.

    I think he showed today that he has what it takes to win the overall, and I agree with Paul I., he may enter Sunday already wearing pink.

    Go Ryder!! It’s hard not to root for him, especially because he’s a native from this side of the pond.

  8. gmknobl

    Ryder Hesjedal. Hopefully he’ll do what he’s done so far on the Stelvio. Bad weather seems to bother him so I bet the other favorites are all hoping for rainy and cold tomorrow. I hope the transmission is okay to my home ’cause I’ll be watching on the ‘net for sure!

  9. Eddy

    Hesjedal, will win by gaining about 2 minutes on Rodriguez in the TT. Rodriguez will win the stage to Stelvio, get 25 points and break Cavendishe’s heart by taking away the Red Jersey.

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