2016 Giro Italia…what a race!!!

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Dear Rouleurs,

Unfortunately, MMT is currently off the bike and out of action with what would have to be the worst ailment a cyclist can possibly have, bar bulging disks in the lower back, broken bones or face planting on Belgian pave and knocking out  all your front teeth.  Notwithstanding that piece of whingeing, how about the Giro 2016 edition??   With nine different race leaders and a thrilling last week in the mountains, that was epic.  Man I can’t wait for the centenary version next year.

Estaban Chaves crosses the finish line of Stage 18.

Estaban Chaves crosses the finish line of Stage 18.

Estban Chaves take a bow, to achieve second behind the wily Vincenzo Nibali was an incredible result.  MMT once wonders how long before he becomes a naturalised Australian citizen.  My guess is that Columbia won’t be too keen to let him go.  Neither will Orica-GreenEdge, who for the first time in their team’s existence, have a genuine General Classification (GC) rider for the Grand tours.

Chaves, Nibali and Valverde on the Giro Podium in Torino.

Chaves, Nibali and Valverde on the Giro Podium in Torino.

Speaking of genuine GC riders, chapeau!!! Vincenzo Nibali.  I thought Nibali was gone after a horrendous mechanical failure on  stage 15’s  uphill time trial, and again in Stage 18, both Kruijiswik and Chaves put time into Nibali.  So Nibali’s comeback in  winning stages 19 and 20 back to back was an astonishing effort.  I guess it’s the old adage of never write off a champion. Also, he showed genuine sportsmanship in greeting Estban Chaves’s parents at the stage 20 finish line.

I also had to feel for Stephen Kruijswijk.  If he had more support through the mountain stages and hadn’t had such an awful crash on stage 19’s descent on Colle dell’Agnello. He may well have beaten  both  of them.  For example, if had rider like Astana’s Scarponi, up the road and able to assist the eventual stage winner Nibali, this could have been an against all the odds Dutch victory.

The dreaded Maglia Nera as designed by Pinarello.

The dreaded Maglia Nera as designed by Pinarello.

Finally, I would like to talk up the return of the Maglia Nera, the jersey awarded to the last placed rider in the GC.  The jersey was only awarded to riders between 1946 and 1951.  As there was a prize,  riders  would sometimes deliberately waste time in order to become last overall.  More importantly, it’s a really cool looking  jersey that those of us drafting at the back of the peloton would happily wear.  This year the unofficial title was ‘won’ by Australia’s own Jack Bobridge of Trek-Segafredo.

Bring back the Maglia Nera!!!!

Until next time,

MMT

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