Grading the 2013 Giro d'Italia Contenders
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), 4th Overall at 2:05: B
Nibali is exactly where he had hoped to be by the midway point of this year Giro d wearing the pink jersey (maglia rosa) as the overall leader. After losing time to Wiggins and Team Sky during Stage 2 team time trial, Nibali bided his time, waiting for the end of the first week before making his move. Despite crashing after an attack on the final descent of Stage 7, the Italian exposed Wiggo poor descending with an aggressive ride on the finale rainy roads. Nibali then held his own in Saturday time trial to take the pink jersey, ceding a little bit of time to Wiggins much less than expected. Nibali loses some points on account of his team: Only Tanel Kangert was able to stay with Nibali through Stage 9 tense finish Sunday. He need more support than that when the race hits the Alps and Dolomites.
By heading into Stage 8 with more than a minute advantage over Wiggins, the defending champion looked to be in ideal position to defend his Giro title. Unfortunately, the Canadian steadily lost ground over the next three stages, plummeting down the GC in the process. While his overall hopes are gone, Hesjedal deficit should free him and his team to fight for stage wins over the second half of the race. His teammate, Ramunas Navardauskas, kicked off Garmin Plan B with a win in Stage 11. Expect Hesjedal to try his own luck in the Alps.
Robert Gesink seems to enjoy racing in May. Last year, the Dutchman won the Tour of California; this year, he battling for a podium finish at the Giro d A natural climber who has steadily progressed as a time trialist over the past few seasons, Gesink held his own in Saturday TT and is in an ideal position to attack in the Alps and Dolomites. Gesink will also benefit from a strong team that includes former top 10 finisher Steven Kruiswijk and Best Young Rider contender Wilco Kelderman. And a podium finish might not come at a better time: Team management is rumored to be negotiating a deal to bring on Belkin as the squad new title sponsor.
Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky), 3rd Overall at 2:04 and One Stage Win: A
Yes, he more than two minutes behind Nibali on GC, but it could have been much worse for the defending Tour de France champion. After crashing on Converse Dainty Black Uk his way to the finish of Stage 7, Wiggo rebounded in Saturday individual time trial, overcoming a flat tire to record the second fastest time of the day. Unfortunately, Nibali and Converse Women Fashion
On paper at least, only two of the Giro first 11 stages were expected to end in field sprints Mark Cavendish won both of them. The Manx Missile now has 12 Giro stage wins on his resume 30 behind the Converse Men White
Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Sharp), 37th Place Overall at 31:39: Incomp
Despite a last minute program change that sent the 2012 Tour de France champion to Italy in preparation for the French Grand Tour, Evans has exceeded expectations. The Australian has ridden a near perfect race so far, sprinting for time bonuses and avoiding crashes during first eleven days of the race. The closest rider to Nibali on GC, the majority of Evans 41 second deficit came during Stage 8 individual time trial. Assuming he grows stronger as the race progresses, look for Evans to be Nibali biggest threat at the Black And White Leather Converse High Tops
One has to wonder if Wiggins couldn help but think again after watching his Colombian teammate ride away to win the first big summit finish of the 2013 Giro perhaps the biggest win of the 26 year old career. The winner of the white jersey as the Best Young Rider at last year Giro, Uran is an aggressive climber who will certainly challenge for a podium finish Team Sky lets him. Uran gets extra credit due to the fact that Sky didn make him wait when Wiggins was dropped in the latter part of Stage 9. If Wiggins falters again, Uran might find himself leading the team outright.
Robert Gesink (Blanco Pro Cycling), 5th Overall at 2:12: A
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Race Leader: A
Michele Scarponi (Lampre Merida), 6th Overall at 2:13: B+
record holder, Mario Cipollini. Stage 12 should suit the Briton, as will the final stage in Brescia.
Evans recorded fast times as well, meaning Wiggins failed to gain back all the time he lost the day before. Wiggins loses points for his descending and pack positioning at crucial moments. He can afford to spend so much time at the back of the group on wet roads. His team remains his greatest asset. Uran is a legitimate contender who other teams will need to watch carefully, while climbers such as Sergio Henao and Kanstantin Siutsou will challenge the depth of the other contenders teams in the Alps and Dolomites.
Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick Step), 2 Stage Wins: A
end of the Giro tough third week.
A consistent contender in his national tour, Scarponi looks ready to challenge for another high finish. A climber who is known to be a relatively poor time trialist, Scarponi overachieved in Saturday individual time trial to finish less than a minute behind Wiggins and Nibali. As the race moves to the high mountains of the Alps and Dolomites, Scarponi should excel. His teammate Przemyslaw Niemiec sits two spots behind him and should prove to be a valuable ally in the mountains to come.
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