The Take Out | Giro Stages 10-15 - What You Need To Know
• Roglič fluffed his huge lead, and that was only the beginning of his bad luck
After a taking the first week by storm, some (we) thought that Roglič had this race sewn up. But piece by piece, his rivals chipped away, until Roglič himself was on the back foot. The lead meant he didn’t have to chase everything, and it makes sense to conserve energy, but he seemed happy to let the lead go as Movistar threw everything at him. Stage 15 was the real disaster though, as mechanicals and crashes cost him 40 seconds in the last 10km to every other GC leader.
• Movistar have learnt to race
Movistar are a team stacked with talent, but you don’t exactly think of them as tactical geniuses. Anyone with Valverde, Quintana and Landa probably should have won at least one Grandy in the past two years. Despite sending the “B” team here, they’ve taken the race by the horns and changed its entire complexion, taking two stage wins in a row and holding the Maglia Rosa, while everyone else watched.
• Richard Carapaz is a legit phenom now
The first Ecuadorian to wear the Maglia Rosa, Carapaz has improved markedly from last year’s race where he still finished fourth. While his first two wins at the Giro were somewhat opportunistic, this one was purely based on strength and balls, as he attacked over the top of the penultimate climb on Stage 14. He beat a group of elite climbers home by two minutes and looks the goods.
• Some young guys are doing their thing and impressing
Pavel Sivakov won the recent Tour of the Alps and has been thrust into leadership here after Egan Bernal’s non-start, and Tao Geoghegan Hart’s withdrawals. He was hugely impressive on the first summit, finishing just behind the big two of Nibali and Roglic. Also peep Lucas Hamilton, who’s arguably come into this race in better form than his team leader Simon Yates.
• The sprinters are gone
Slim pickings from here if you’re a sprinter; they’ve only got cash prizes at intermediate sprints left to play for now. Hence, Caleb Ewan, Fernando Gaviria and Elia Viviani are all gone, with only Arnaud Demare and Pascal Ackermann remaining. Those two will actually be going for the intermediates though; only eleven points separate them in the points jersey competition. Boy oh boy, you’d hate to be a sprinter who rode this week all for nothing.
• When it clicks, it clicks
After a difficult first week, things have clicked inside the red-and-white Lotto Soudal bus apparently, with Caleb Ewan and his lead-out merging their souls and a singular spiritual being. Sometimes you just need one win, to help everything click into gear.
• It’s been a race for those who waited
Imagine you’d waited until age 31 to get your first pro win; you’d be pretty stoked to get it at the Giro d’Italia, especially if you’re Italian. Cesare Benedetti took a win on Stage 12, a day he’ll never forget, and it was one for all the domestiques out there. Dario Cataldo also finally got his first stage win on stage 15, with this being his 10th participation. Good things come to those who wait.
See you back at the social club,