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- Cleaning house. Cash only.
Bontrager Race Lite front wheels. It's lite. 700c.
Bontrager SSR 700c front wheel. Straight and true. No cranks, comes with rim tape.
Vintage track wheels, no name Italian hubs from an 80s Bianchi Pista. Hubs a little crunchy, but otherwise good. 700c, with tires and tubes, and a 15t cog with lockring.
Bontrager Race rear wheel. 700c, no rim tape or QR. Some small cracks in the rim. I rode it this way as a commuter and never had any trouble, but it might be best as a trainer wheels. Shimano/SRAM freehub.
Bontrager SSR rear wheel. 700c, includes rim tape and QR skewer. Great shape - no damage. Shimano/SRAM freehub.
- 1. Rigoberto URAN, Sky, in 4:37:42
- 2. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :20
- 3. Vincenzo NIBALI, Astana, at :31
- 4. Mauro SANTAMBROGIO, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, at :31
- 5. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at :31
- 6. Rafal MAJKA, Saxo-Tinkoff, at :31
- 7. Domenico POZZOVIVO, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :31
- 8. Robert KISERLOVSKI, RadioShack-Leopard, at :47
- 9. Benat INTXAUSTI ELORRIAGA, Movistar, at 1:06
- 10. Bradley WIGGINS, Sky, at 1:08
On paper, it looked like the first couple stages were going to be all about the climbs, but then the paper spontaneously burst into flames, and we learned that heat was the real killer.
We’ve all been dumping water on ourselves a lot at the Amgen Tour of California. At one point, I realized I was dumping First Endurance drink mix on my head. “Whatever,” I thought, and kept dumping. It was cold, and it’s not like I wasn’t going to take a shower after the stage.
The race is going pretty well for Bissell. We’ve put a guy into the break both days. Carter Jones is wearing the KOM jersey and he gets to wear a sweet polka-dot jersey, which goes well with his youthful, rosy cheeks. I was 15th on Monday, which is decent, but not what I hoped for or expected. I’ve had some allergies or a lingering cold or something and it’s taken an edge off me, so that’s my excuse. Kinda need to be firing on all cylinders to do well at this sort of race, but I’m still doing alright. I’m not giving up just yet.
So far, the highlight of the week was watching USADA grab the Bontrager team in the hallway. They were on their way to dinner and had a make a U-turn to donate some blood for the cause. Poor guys looked hungry, too. I hope they made the buffet before it closed.
It’s been a couple years since I raced in a field of this caliber, and I have a few observations I’d like to share.
1. I’d gotten accustomed to a constant scrum of fighting for wheels and bumping handlebars, but no one was fighting for the front like they do in the NRC races. If you have a reason to be up there, you’re there, and if your team isn’t chasing, you chill out. It all so civil and calm, with one exception: when we were approaching the base of Monday’s climb. At that point, it went from civil to doors opening at Best Buy on Black Friday.
2. Guys know how to ride their bikes. When I look ahead and see a big group of dudes in the U.S. races I’ve been doing, they all look like sharks to me, like they’ll try and kill me any second. Here, you can trust the wheel, and if someone bumps into you, he’s not going to freak out and crash. He’s Tyler Farrar.
3. There are some famous dudes in the race. At least, famous for bike racers. It was odd looking over and seeing Andy Schleck, for example, but I didn’t have time to be starstruck.
Rigoberto Urán (Sky) won stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday at Altopiano del Montasio. The Colombian attacked on the final climb and held off a late chase from countryman Carlos Betancur (Ag2r La Mondiale), who finished second in the 167-kilometer leg from Cordenons to Altopiano del Montasio.
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was third and defended his overall lead.
With the stage win, Urán moved into third overall, at 2:04, one second ahead of reigning Tour de France champion and teammate Bradley Wiggins. Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) was fifth on the stage and is second overall, at 41 seconds.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the extra seconds I’ve gained on my rivals,” said Nibali.
The Giro d’Italia continues Wednesday with the 182km 11th stage, from Tarvisio to Vajont.
An unwieldy group heads for Cason di Lanza
The day’s breakaway took shape 31km into the stage. At one point, the escape comprised 14 riders and held a lead of 8:07, but the peloton started picking riders off one-by-one on the Cat. 1 Passo Cason di Lanza climb, 102km into the stage. The pace tore at the bunch and defending champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) was among the riders to lose contact on the twin-summited climb.
Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) was the final survivor from the move. He rode alone over the top of the climb with a 3:52 advantage on the maglia rosa group.
Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) jumped across on the narrow, technical descent and the leaders were two with 25km to go. Rodriguez and Pauwels rode onto the grinding, 22km ascent of the Cat. 1 Altopioano del Montasio with under four minutes’ advantage.
Sky set tempo on the climb and with 13km to go, Kanstantsin Siutsou drove the pace, teammates Dario Cataldo and Urán lined up behind him. Tanel Kangert guided teammate Nibali behind the Sky trio, Bradley Wiggins further back in the group.
Urán launches toward the plateau
The pace from Siutsou was too much for best young rider Wilco Kelderman (Blanco) and he dropped off the group with 10km to go. Ahead of the Dutchman, Cataldo pulled the chase group up to the leaders, resetting the race with 9.7km to go.
Samuel Sánchez (Euskadi-Euskatel) held tightly onto the back of the group. Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) sat sixth wheel, Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) behind him.
Kangert lost contact with 9.3km to go, leaving Nibali, in fourth wheel, with only Valerio Agnoli left for support.
Urán sensed his opportunity and attacked with 8km to go. The Colombian sat and turned over the gears, Agnoli driving the chase. Urán pushed out to a 30-second advantage with 5.5km to go.
Agnoli’s pace dropped Danilo Di Luca (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), but about 20 riders stayed in contact. Wiggins sat around 10 wheels back in the group as the chase rode under an avalanche tunnel with 5.2km remaining. Carlos Betancur (Ag2r La Mondiale) and best young rider contender Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) were in the group.
With 4.3km remaining, Agnoli was done and Nibali was left to his own. The Sicilian surged across the late sprint line and took a three-second time bonus ahead of Evans.
Up ahead, Urán continued to push, taking 50 seconds’ advantage with 3.8km to go.
Behind him, Cataldo and Sky lieutenant Sergio Henao dropped off the pace. Wiggins held tight, near the front of the chase, but looked labored as the road tilted upward.
The road steepened severely with 3.3km to go and Beñat Intxausti (Movistar) attacked. The acceleration split Robert Gesink (Blanco) and Wiggins off the group. The Spaniard soon faded and Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) took up the fight, followed by Robert Kiserlovski (RadioShack-Leopard). Nibali chased, but Scarponi could not keep up.
The surge cut into Urán’s advantage and he held just 30 seconds with 2.5km to go.
The diminutive Pozzovivo struck out alone, chased by Nibali, Majka, and Betancur. Evans clawed back onto the maglia rosa group with Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini). Wiggins trailed, alone, 15 seconds behind.
Nibali pulled five riders onto Pozzovivo’s wheel with 1.5km to go and Evans took up the pace-making. The chasers were Nibali, Evans, Betancur, Pozzovivo, Kiserlovski, and Santambrogio. Still, Urán pushed on alone.
Betancur surged again. Evans looked back, but had no help. At the back, Kiserlovski dropped off the group. Nibali appeared to drop his chain, reaching down to replace it, and immediately attacked from the back.
“Small problems with the gears as a result of running the compact groupset, but in the end, no harm done,” said Nibali.
Evans closed him down.
“Do we collaborate or fight each other?” Evans said. “We’re close on GC, but we both want the time bonuses.”
Nibali jumped again inside 1km to go, but Urán was gone. The Sky lieutenant-turned-stage winner pushed his way over a series of winding ramps on the plateau and crossed the line with enough buffer to enjoy the victory.
Betancur crossed the line second, 20 seconds later, and it was Nibali who finished third, 31 seconds behind Urán, taking the final bonus seconds on offer.
Wiggins, Intxausti, and Gesink crossed the line more than a minute down on Urán. Wiggins now sits fourth overall, 2:05 down on Nibali.
TREVISO, Italy — I’m writing this entry from an incredibly comfortable bed somewhere near Treviso, Italy, I think. What date or day of the week it is I do not know.
Days of the week don’t exist anymore, and neither does the actual date. What stage it is has become the only way to figure out where we are in time. Yesterday was stage 9, tomorrow is stage 10, and today is stage NOTHING. By that I mean the first, very well-deserved rest day. The absolute wonderment of spending two consecutive nights in the same hotel is astounding. What the course tomorrow is like I chose not to know. Today I am concerned with one thing: enjoying the day and enjoying the rest.
Things I will not be doing on the rest day:
- Riding for more that 30 minutes
- Eating rice
- Over eating carbohydrate
- Packing my suitcase
- Sitting in a car or a bus
- Eating a gel or drinking sports drink
- Going more than 50m away from our hotel
Things we actually do on a rest day
- Sleep in (if at all possible)
- Do an easy ride
- Have an afternoon nap
- Catch up on a movie
- Actually notice there is a world with real events happening outside of the race
It’s pretty funny how the outside world tends to not exist while you are in the race. The schedule of the day becomes life and anything outside of it seems foreign. I can honestly say I have no idea of anything happening outside of the Giro. You tend to get into this little rhythm, which I believe keeps you sane and becomes the new “norm” of survival.
One very important part of this is your roommate. I am rooming with Bruno Pires from Portugal. We were discussing how, in the last two months, we have spent more time rooming together than either of us has with our own wives (we roomed together at the Tour of Turkey also). Having a roommate that you click with can make or break you during a grand tour. It’s like having a psychologist, a best friend, and a motivator to hear your woes and boost you back up after a crappy day in the rain.
Your roommate holds you together and you get through it by helping each other along the way. It must be funny seeing us room together. We speak a combination of languages. I teach him English (or improve it) and he teaches me Spanish, so our conversations end up being this strange combination of Spanglish.
So now that we are nine stages into this race, Tuesday begins the second part and 12 more stages. 12 … really? Wow, I guess it’s just dawning on me that we aren’t even through half of this thing! I’ll be blatantly honest that the idea of another 12 stages, including some real mountain stages, is something incredibly daunting when you are already quite exhausted. But that’s half the fun, isn’t it? The challenge, the feeling of being exhausted and yet still giving your all. Helping your team, taking your chances, and seeing what can happen and what is possible. That, I am learning, is the real beauty of the Giro. The unknown.
It looks like much of my survival plan is working out as I had hoped. I am still only opening the race book to the stage we have to endure daily, the Italian SIM card is surprisingly still working, expectations are still in check, and yes, I am even enjoying this historic race.
So off we go to the second part of this cool journey, or lap of Italy as I call it. The mountains are coming and there will be many more “question life decision” moments! Hopefully there will be another entry around the second rest day IF I can make my brain work for long enough to write something at that point!