Excuse me, instead of doing that, I’m going to play the role of sports analyst and offer my take on the current state of the Giro.
Barring any stupid moves like trying to control the front for the next three stages or something, Basso’s got victory wrapped up in a silver package. Why? He may not be the best breakaway climber in the pro ranks, but he’s really tough to shake on a climb, just ask Lance Armstrong. Basso was like Lance’s own personal barnacle in the Pyrenees and the Alps in 2004, and I think Ivan learned his lesson about staying in shape from ’05, never mind the fact that DZ has really taught him how to time trial. That said, here’s a summation of why I doubt the other guys will take him down:
Di Luca? Should’ve stuck with the classics.
Salvodelli? Still within striking distance, but the question is whether he can pull it off in the mountains. He’s been a decent climber in the past, but it’s not his main strength like descending and TT’ing, so I’m going to predict that victory has slipped from his talons.
Tom Danielson? You never know. The guy has climbing prowess, and he didn’t lose too much time on that TT, but he seems pretty determined to play domestique to Paolini. If he were thinking GC at all, Tom would’ve cranked a little higher on GC chart at the Maielletta.
Rujano? Not a contender for the overall, I don’t care what the commentators say. I guess we’ll see his form when the gradient changes.
Cunego & Simoni? They can only win by taking serious risks now, and they don’t seem like big risk-takers to me, though Simoni has been known to stick his neck out on a breakaway here and there. But I think Gibo’s just along for the ride this year. He seems like he’s still getting things sorted out now that he’s no longer riding a Cannondale. Same with Cunego. Does anyone else get the impression these guys think they just have to race each other? Too much politicking in the off-season and not enough riding in the mountains to get in shape.
I think that about covers the basics. Did I miss anyone?