Friday Group Ride #313

Friday Group Ride #313

We have gotten away from doing race prediction Group Rides, mainly because many of us have gotten away from watching races. And normally when we do a race prediction post, we do it before the race begins. That opens the conversation up wider than doing it, say, before the final weekend of a grand tour. However, if you’ve been following our latest live coverage  of the Giro d’ Italia, you’ll know that (almost) anything is still possible.

Big thanks, as always, to the erstwhile Charles Pelkey for doing what he does with Live Update Guy (tip jar here).

Pre-race favorites, like Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde, were written off as they each endured a jour sans in the mountains. Surprise packages like Steven Kruijswijk and Esteban Chaves came to the fore, and then Kruijswijk crashed (probably out), while Chaves, currently in pink, looks decidedly vulnerable, and there is another day in the mountains on Saturday.

Of course Sunday should be a promenade into Torino, with a final sprint for the muscle men. The course ends two blocks from my friend Felipe’s apartment, so there will be at least one crazy Colombian waving a flag for Chaves there. If you’re in the neighborhood, shake his hand.

All of this is a long way of saying that, if you haven’t been watching, tomorrow might be a good time to tune in, because there will be everything to ride for, with four riders capable of winning the GC, although Kruijswijk, the Dutchman, may not start. Saturday features three Category 1 climbs, and a steep ramp to the finish atop a Cat 3. Expect early attacks from Valverde and his team, as they try to force a separation early, while Chaves will be playing defense. Could Nibali’s descending skills make the difference?

This week’s Group Ride asks, have you been watching? What have you seen that impressed you? Who disappointed? And who will win, Chaves, Nibali or Valverde?

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6 comments

  1. Shawn

    Could Nibali’s descending skills make the difference? Nope. Chaves has had no problems following him downhill. He will have to drop Chaves on the way up and the try to expand the gap descending but I doubt he will be able to.

  2. Jay

    Orica-GreenEdge is a team that is not well equipped to defend the leader’s jersey in the high mountains. Nibali and Valverde should have better support, but anything can happen. Just look at yesterday’s results…

  3. miles archer

    Did not watch. Spent a week watching the Tour of California instead.

    Sounds like a good race though.

  4. Michael Hotten

    Watched all but the days the Tour of California was going. Kept up with highlights and clippings. I really enjoyed the call by Ned Boulting, who does the English-International feed.

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