Three weeks of pain decided in the last 30 minutes
May 27, 2017 9:54 AM   Subscribe

With one stage left, Nairo Quintana wears the Maglia Rosa in the 2017 Giro d'Italia. Things have never looked this bad for him.

As the last stage is a very fast 29,3 Km individual time trial from Monza to Milan, Quintana will be in a direct disadvantage over the rest of his competitors, being the only climber in a field of all-rounders: 2016 winner Vincenzo Nibali is second 39 seconds behind, but had 46 seconds on him on the first TT. Thibaut Pinot is currently third 43 seconds behind, and also won time over Quintana on the first time trial, even if just 11 seconds. But the favourite right now is Tom Dumoulin, TT Olympic Silver Medal in Rio, who today dropped out of the podium one day after losing the Rosa and is now 53 second behind, overcame some physiological problems that completely eroded his advantage gained in the first time trial, where he left his competitors in the dust: 2:07 to Nibali, 2:19 to Ilnur Zakarin, 2:42 to Pinot and 2:53 to Quintana, but managed to limit his losses against the arguably shy attacks Quintana and Nibali.

With the Mountain classification won by Mikel Landa and the Points by Fernando Gaviria (thanks to four stage wins), other than the overall winner what is left is the Youth classification, with Bob Jungels very likely to take it from Adam Yates.

Anyone who wants to watch what should be one of the most thrilling finishes in years, Steephill has a few options.
posted by lmfsilva (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's reminding me a bit of the 2011 Tour de France - a backloaded course meant a quiet first two weeks but a crazy last week, and the time gaps are so small that the whole podium is still completely up for grabs.

I really hope Tom does it and ends the 'Dutch curse' (he was leading the 2015 Vuelta until he cracked on the last mountain stage, then Steven Kruijswijk was leading the 2016 Giro til he crashed into a snow bank with a couple of days to go, then Bauke Mollema was second in the 2016 Tour de France before crashing with a couple of days to go.
posted by kersplunk at 11:58 AM on May 27, 2017

It's going to be like last year's Tour in one way though - in 30 years time all everyone will remember is Big Tom taking a dump on the side of one of the highest mountain passes in Europe, just like last year's Tour will be Froom sprinting up Ventoux sans velo.
posted by kersplunk at 12:01 PM on May 27, 2017

Quintana needs a bit of a miracle. Dumoulin is the obvious favourite, but he looks cooked. Nibali should have a pretty good time trial in him, and some are suggesting that he might get a little extra assistance from the camera bikes ;) Pinot has been strongest over the last couple of days, and he's the 2016 French Time Trial Champion, too.

Ya, it is a bit of a mystery. Time Trials are boring though :P
posted by Chuckles at 12:23 PM on May 27, 2017

all everyone will remember is Big Tom taking a dump on the side of one of the highest mountain passes in Europe

I believe his choice in shampoo was to blame.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:26 PM on May 27, 2017

Time Trials are boring though :P

Downhill skiing is basically time trials and they manage to present that ok, through split screens etc.

I'm so glad they cancelled plans for a 'fastest descender' competition at this Giro though. Off the scale tasteless for a race where a rider died in 2011 going downhill.
posted by kersplunk at 12:52 PM on May 27, 2017

My hopes are on Dumoulin. He's ridden incredibly well, given the No. 2 Incident*. He was only 15 seconds behind today, which is not much of a time loss. I also liked how he came out and said "well of course you know this means war.".

Pinot was very aggressive today; he bridged up to Quintana and Nibali and attacked a lot.

* That was just so hard to watch. We had the race on at work, and my co-workers and I (all cyclists and former racers) really felt for the guy. You don't just stop and rip off your jersey and bibs unless you have to go RIGHTFUCKINGNOW.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:59 PM on May 27, 2017

I feel for Yates who will lose the white jersey to Jungels tomorrow, but probably would have had a sufficient lead if he wasn't involved in the motorbike incident on stage 9. Still full credit to Jungels who has climbed amazingly well in the last week.
posted by markr at 8:12 PM on May 27, 2017

Downhill skiing is basically time trials and they manage to present that ok, through split screens etc.

I'm surprised with all the tech on the Garmins and GPS, split times are often so unreliable. In a TT like today, they could even display a graph showing the speed of the riders at the same point, but we're still relatively in the stone age of timing.

Our Eurosport commentators have been complaining about wrong gaps and splits for a while. Aaaaaaaawkward since the company providing tracking has add on the breaks.

Not that they're wrong, their fastest time now is almost 10 minutes off, and still haven't fixed it.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:58 AM on May 28, 2017

Yay Tom!

Quintana lost all chances just in the final meters of the time trial. With a lot of predictions going in the way of dropping from the podium (even with the "help" from Pinot and Zakarin that were too knackered and were even slower than him), he pulled an incredible performance to hold on to the second place against Nibali.

A lot of "what ifs" for the next weeks in the Movistar team. 31 seconds is nothing.
posted by lmfsilva at 9:03 AM on May 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by Kosmob0t at 10:01 AM on May 28, 2017

An additional tiny bit of history is that this is the first time someone has come back from fourth place on the final day of a Grand Tour.
posted by mr_stru at 10:31 AM on May 28, 2017

This was a superfun Giro with a fantastic winner. After last year's deception for Dutch cycling fans with the fall of Kruyswijk I'm very happy Tom's mistakes haven't cost him the Giro. It just doesn't feel as good when someone wins after a competitors' fall or freak accident.

Everybody in the top 10 has fought for every second and it has been a thrill to watch. Bring on the Tour!
posted by Kosmob0t at 11:53 AM on May 28, 2017

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