The Take Out | Giro Stages 7-9 - What You Need To Know
· Pello Bilbao’s finally got his Grand Tour stage win
When the breakaway lasted all the way to the finish on stage 7 in L’Aquilla, Pello Bilbao outduelled his four companions to take his maiden Grandy stage win. But how did it take this long? A veteran of eight grand tours with a sixth place at last year’s Giro, and wins at the Tour of the Alps and at Dauphine, it’s felt a looong time coming.
· Caleb Ewan finally got his win too.
On the longest day of the race, the 239km Stage 8, Lotto Soudal’s pocket rocket clinched a win that had narrowly evaded him for a whole week. As far as ambitions at this race go, it’s probably mission complete. There won’t be many sprinters staying the race the whole way to Verona, and most will be leaving here without anything to celebrate.
· Primož Roglič absolutely mauled every other GC man in the time trial.
“The race isn’t over just yet”, “People collapse every year at the Giro”, “We haven’t even seen a mountain yet”, blah blah blah. The odds of Roglič winning this year’s Giro are about the same as the odds were for Labor to win the election this weekend. The only difference is that he’s actually going to win. With a 1:44 gap over Nibali, (the only top favourite who’s in touching distance) and a 100% record in stage races this year, he’s safe as houses.
· Bike changes cost you the race
Victor Campenaerts has the right to feel pretty bummed out, coming second to Roglič in a time trial for the second time in two weeks. But he’ll mainly be frustrated at an awfully slow bike change. Kudos to whichever mechanic left his spare rig in the big ring; it cost him about 20 seconds to get going on the 10% climb. He lost the stage by 11 seconds
· Simon Yates had the worst TT of his life
Calling S.P.Yates a TT Specialist might have been a bit a premature; after a few good ones (including the opening stage here), he flopped big time on Stage 9, losing 3:11 to Roglič. The worrying part of that was that 2:23 came on the 12km uphill section where he should have been able to hold his own. You’d feel bad for the guy if he hadn’t proclaimed himself the supreme favourite before the race. You hate to see a guy do that and then lose 3:00 in a 30km TT.
See you back at the social club,