Giro d'Italia

  • George Bennett isn't riding the Tour de France this year, so this is probably his main event.

    They've had four stages so far - started with a short time trial that didn't much suit him and he lost a bit of time. Latest stage had a few smallish hills and a short steep uphill finish.

    George did OK in that - 14th as the peleton split a little bit, but made up 10 seconds on Froome and is now only a second behind Froome in 21st place overall. 56 seconds behind the overall leader.

    Sam Bewley and Tom Scully also riding but not contenders for the GC.

  • Been searching sky for daily highlights packages with no luck, has anyone managed to watch any of this?

  • The stages have been on live as I was flicking through channels over the weekend and it was stage 2 from Haifa. There doesn't appear to be daily highlights on Sky but week 1 highlights will be on Ch54 Mon and Tue next week.

  • Did Froome's little indiscretion get sorted out? or is he racing until a full hearing?

  • @sammyc There's a short video in that link I posted.

    I'm waiting for a mountain stage to sit up and watch live.

    A bit silly if Sky isn't showing a highlights package, because I reckon George is a genuine contender for the podium. I think it's the first time that he's started a Grand Tour as team leader - and he'll be peaking for this, where at least some of the other big guns will be more aiming at the Tour.

  • @mariner4life He's still allowed to race while his failed test is slowly swept under the carpet. I think the TDF is the only race he may get banned from entering.

  • For tv viewing try Eurosport. You will probably need a VPN but worth a shot. They show the live feed plus a highlights package that usually has the end of the stage entirely.
    Second week is meant to be when the gc riders will break clear but still interesting this week as everyone else tries to upset those plans.
    I wouldn’t be measuring Bennet against Froome but against Dumoulin.

  • @sammyc said in Giro d'Italia:

    Been searching sky for daily highlights packages with no luck, has anyone managed to watch any of this?

    I get it on SBS (fta tv and online).

    Eurosport on Youtube has highlight packages daily:

  • I've paid for a monthly subscription to Eurosport on-line. Cheap really for full coverage of every stage which I can watch delayed in the evening (I'm in Europe at the moment -- I actually tried to get to some stages but it wouldn't fit.)

  • George's team mate wins the fifth stage.

    Not much change in the General Classification - an Astana rider crashed and lost time, so all the contenders below him moved up one spot - George up to twentieth.

    Tonight's stage finishes with a 1700 metre climb up Mt. Etna, so there will be a sorting out.

  • A few of the stages are in regions that I'm familiar with in Italy so I try to catch some TV footage.

  • Pretty good day for George overnight, though the big winner was Simon Yates. He managed to break away from a small group of eight or nine elite climbers inside the last couple of kilometres and catch his team mate 25 seconds up the road.

    Those two finished together, with George finishing fourth in the small group. The stage summary I'm reading says he was one of several who launched an attack on the final climb.

    Net result is he is up to ninth overall and 1.11 behind Yates. A couple of guys still ahead of him weren't in that leading group of climbers including Dennis the previous race leader, so all going well he'll pick their places up on subsequent mountain stages.

    For now, Yates looks good, but his team will have to do a lot of work if he's to keep the lead. Long way to go.


    George saying he rode like a fucking idiot and attacked too much on the climb - three times apparently - and burned himself out. That's played into Yates' hands a bit, though I'd still be pretty happy not to be in the lead at this point (not that George would have been if he'd been more patient).

  • If Bennett wants a good Giro he has to attack. Has to.

    He's not yet an an ace TT rider. He'll lose time to the likes of Froome and Dumoulin every TT. Lots of time generally.

    He won't get time on the flat. You can only lose time on the flat.

    If he just sits and comes in with the first group in each mountain stage then he never wins a stage, because you don't win stages by sitting back, and he'll never get to a podium overall because he's never really making time.

    He's feeling bad because the attacks didn't work. But that's the price you pay for riding grand tours. The riders are the best in the world and they don't crack easily.

    One good break might win a stage or get him on the podium. Never attacking will ensure he gets neither.

    If you watched the likes of Pantani he'd constantly be attacking. Usually unsuccessfully when you count. George's problem wasn't attacking too much. Sadly it was that he's not yet good enough to pull away when he does attack.

  • @chester-draws The thing I like about George is that he does attack and give himself a shot - even when the odds are against him. He attacked at the Olympics, he was first to attack on one of the big TdF stages last year and he attacked yesterday.

    You're right in that he has to attack, but it's also important to choose the right time - the later you leave it on a climb the more drained the opposition are and the better chance you have of breaking them - but, the less chance of really putting time into them. Yates did it perfectly - George needed to have something left so that he could go with Yates. Which is what he's saying - especially if he's right that he was among the strongest.

    I think you're also right that he doesn't have the same explosive acceleration as some of the others, which also makes it harder to shake them off his wheel.

    Other point is that not everyone has to be cracked on the same day. Yesterday they removed Louis Meintjes from contention. There's likely to be a couple of mountain stages where a group of only three or four elite riders finish together. If you're in those groups both times, you're probably going to do well.

  • Anyway - another mountain finish tonight - an 800 metre climb at the finish, so a good chance for George to do something.

  • Turns out the mountain wasn't big or hard enough to tempt the big guns to have a crack at one another and they pretty much rode up it in a truce (and in the rain). In the end, Carapaz, who I think was in 11th overall sprinted away to pick up victory and jumped over Froome, George and Aru into eighth place by a few seconds. Only other notable moment was Froome falling off.

    Another mountain finish tonight - they will gain 2000 metres over the final 50kms. Apparently it's a harder stage than last night, but the Sky Race Director reckons it will probably be an action replay of last night and the real mountain racing won't happen until the final week. At a glance Stages 14 and 19 look to be the toughest.

    Tonight's stage.

  • Good day for George today. A sensible ride in the pink jersey pack and while others had their teams pulling them along he just sat in the middle. Paid off big when Froome hit the wall.
    Bennett up to 7th with a handy lead on 8th.

  • George is climbing well. Especially considering he had no team support.

    TT will be whether he can really challenge now.

  • Yeah, a good effort by George - unfortunately, he wasn't quite strong enough to go with the final surge to the line. So some minor damage done, by most of the guys still ahead of him - but some major damage done to Froome (wishful thinking by his Director above!) and Aru.

    Unfortunate thing for George is that five of the six guys ahead of him did faster time trials than him in the first time trial (Carapaz who is in sixth didn't and Chavez was only fractionally faster) but several were significantly faster - especially Dumoulin and Yates. So he's likely to lose time on most of those guys in the second time trial.

    If he's going to finish on the podium he's going to need several of the guys ahead of him to crack in the later mountains - and him not to, of course. 🙂

    Other bad thing for George is the lack of team mates who can stick with him. Gesink must have been with him most of the way (he finished not far behind Kreuzinger who was making the pace quite late in the piece), but the others were long gone.


    Quite a good preview article about George and his prospects.

    I see the other guy who is supposed to look after him in the mountains is Koen Bouwman. Bouwman had a pretty good ride a couple of nights ago and made a bid for victory riding away from the breakaway, but got run down by the peleton.

  • Yesterday was a hilly stage with a lots of up and downs and a couple of moderate climbs, but nothing too big expected to happen (by me anyway) - and it didn't, except to Chavez.

    He got dropped on that first climb - the Fonte della Creta - and the Sky team attacked to distance him. Sounds like the Michelton-Scott team sent several riders back to help him try to get back, but it didn't work and eventually they had to give up.

    Net result - Chavez lost 25 minutes and George is up to 6th place.

    Michelton are blaming pollen allergies.

  • @chris-b

    Once Chavez was dropped pretty much everyone with GC contentions attacked. George's team Lotto-Jumbo did their share at the front.

    Quick Start tried to plug the gap because Viviani was also back there, but failed.

  • Seems like more exciting riding overnight, however Sky isn't putting together a highlights package (or even a full replay) - instead you can watch replays of the Tour of California.

    Most of the excitement over the last few kilometres - some of which can be seen in the video in this attachment.

    In summary, an uphill finish - Yates broke away and the other GC contenders were left to chase him to a greater or lesser extent. Dumoulin chased hardest and lost only two seconds.

    George and Carapaz chased least hardest and lost 23 seconds.

    Pozzovivo, Thibault and Dennis finished in between. Froome lost 40 seconds.

    In that video you can see that when Yates attacks, I'm pretty sure George (in yellow) is right behind him, so well placed to follow if he can. He either can't or is choosing not to bury himself to do so.

    Hopefully the latter.

    I'd conclude that the only way George will beat Yates in this tour is if Yates collapses on one of the remaining big mountain stages. Yates has looked stronger climbing and is stronger in the time trial (where I'd guess George will lose more than a minute).

    If they rode that time trial right now, I'd guess George would lose at least a couple of places - to Dennis, and any of the ten other guys who are within a couple of minutes of him.

    None of which will be decisive. No-one's place is going to be safe-ish until they cross the line in Stage 19. That profile looks bloody brutal! There's a couple of other mountain stages to come that look pretty severe, as well!


    Video of the last 30kms - last few kms are pretty exciting, especially Yates' final break.

    Ads are a bit of a pain.

  • Last night was a flat stage designed for the sprinters and tonight is the same thing.

    All the GC contenders finished safely together last night and pretty likely the same will happen tonight.

    George just clicked over 52 hours of riding - more than anyone ahead of him! 🙂

  • Everyone still together. That won't be the case after tonight's stage.

    Three Category 3 climbs, a Category 2 and then a 1200 metre ascent of Monte Zoncolan. You can click on the little tabs at the top of that Stage Profile to get the profiles of the individual climbs. Monte Zoncalan has a maximum gradient of 22% and extended periods of 15.4% and 13.9%.

    Make sure you've got your good legs on, George!

    Expectation has to be that Yates will attack Dumoulin on this last climb and in theory he should be able to bury him. Yates and George are both listed at 58kgs, where Dumoulin has to drag his fat 71kg arse up the hill.

    If I were George, I'd get on Yates' wheel and try to stick like glue. If he can do that I reckon he'll be in a significantly higher position than 6th tonight. I haven't seen any evidence that George can crack Yates, but there's been a few worrying signs of the converse.

  • Pretty good article - the only thing I'd disagree with is, "As a result, he sits two minutes and nine seconds down on leader Simon Yates. Any optimistic hopes of overall victory are realistically over – barring a superhuman performance in the mountains – but Bennett can now have genuine ambitions of a top five finish, and could eye the podium if he reaches his best form.

    I think that's only true if you discount the possibility that Yates could crack. There are several brutal stages to come, so anything can happen.

    If George is a contender to make the podium then he's a contender to win.

  • Yates has no mates left either. Chavez is completely fucked.

  • Pretty disappointing day for George - I stayed up to watch the climb up Mt Zoncolan and George disappeared from view very early in the piece.

    I thought he'd just cracked, but apparently he had a mechanical problem and had to change bikes. Consequently lost touch with the lead group and lost a couple of minutes - was at least good to see him arrive a couple of minutes after the winner, so that his chance of a top 10 finish stay alive, but his chances of a top five finish have receded a fair way. He's slipped back to eighth and is four minutes behind Yates, 2.5 minutes behind Pozzovivo in third, and nearly a minute behind Froome in fifth.

    Yep - Froome and Yates were the winners of the day and Froome won the Stage as well. Yates chased him all the way and the other GC leaders - Pozzovivo, Dumoulin and Thibault lost 20-40 seconds.

    So the big losers on the day were George, Carapaz and Dennis. George at least was unlucky and managed to pick up a few seconds on the other two.

    Tonight's stage is through the Dolomites, so several climbs and an moderate climb to the finish, but not a brutal mountain top finish. If George conserved a bit of energy compared to the big guns, maybe it's the sort of stage he could win? 🙂

  • Another somewhat disappointing day for George. I haven't seen it, but it sounds like he attacked early, got reined in by Yates' domestiques and then Yates rode over the top of him and dragged most of the other leading GC riders with him.

    Net result is George lost time an everyone ahead of him, except Froome.

    Probably not a bad theory to attack for a stage win, though - I thought Yates might have been happy to let George go since he's no longer a major threat to his GC win. However, seems like Yates is waaaay stronger than everyone else and is going to collect a bunch of stage wins as well as the overall title. He's two minutes ahead of Dumoulin and 5.5 minutes ahead of George in eighth. George is a minute behind the guy in fifth, so that's probably still achievable - can't see him doing better than that.

    Rest day tonight then the Time Trial tomorrow night. George is talking tough in the article below.

  • some good footage here of what happened on Zoncolan.. feel guttted cause he's obviously got the legs - he would have been close to the fastest up there based on the time he lost and where he rolled in.. BUT the amount of guys who throw away races because they won't put on a 5 buck chain catcher...

  • @williethewaiter That is bloody disappointing and explains why he lost so much time.

    I think you wrote something similar about Andy Schleck and chain catchers a few years ago?

    They had said earlier that it might be tricky on Zoncolan if anyone had a mechanical because of the narrowness and having to use motorbikes instead of team cars.

    I guess the other guys wouldn't have been burying themselves, but George rode up the mountain 3 minutes faster than Gesink (who was probably trying to provide a bit of support) and more than 5 minutes faster than the AG2R rider (Jaguarei) who is in the shot when he takes off.

  • That effort to stay in touch on the GC board probably hurt him the following day as well. He was up there but had no kick.

  • @crucial Yeah - was interesting that he was able to catch up all of the lost time on Carapaz while riding up Zoncolan - but, the next day Carapaz was able to stick with the other GC leaders where George (and Froome) couldn't.

  • George apparently had more bike issues during the time trial, but no-one is saying quite what. Presumably something that cost more seconds than minutes, since his time wasn't appalling - though he lost more time on people he doubtless hoped to narrow the gap on.

    So he's back in tenth, but hopefully due some good luck and has several people ahead of him that he should be able to gain time on with three big mountain stages to come.

    Yates is still nearly a minute ahead of Dumoulon and more than three minutes ahead of Pozzovivo in third. He's got it in the bag unless he falls off the mountain.

  • A sprinters' stage last night, but now there are three more mountain stages. Some pretty sadistic bastard has drawn up this route.

    Tonight's one looks reasonably straightforward - a flat stage followed by a long, but not overly steep climb. Dumoulin hoping the gradient might suit him. Even if it does, I'm betting it will suit Yates even more.

    If the leaders all mark one another - they might give George a chance to break away near the end and pick up a stage win - if he's got the legs. Not sure he has, really. He's shown capability to grind up the hill with the others, but when the heat has really gone on - from Yates and others, he's not been able to go with the burst. We'll see.

    Still, a battle of attrition. My guess is that if George could finish with Yates on the next three stages he'd probably pick up three or four places.

  • Really exciting riding last night, which I woke up and decided I might as well watch.

    For once, the peleton let a breakaway get to the final climb 15 minutes ahead and those guys battled it out for the Stage win. But, the real excitement was among the GC riders. The climb wasn't brutally steep and about 20-odd top riders made it well up the mountain together before the attacks started.

    A couple got decently away and George put his attack in with about 3km to go. Unfortunately, one of the guys close to him in the GC chased him and dragged the remain bunch up and that was a catalyst for other attacks. Most notably, Dumoulin attacking and taking Froome, Pozzovivo and Yates with him. Only one of Yates' lieutenants had stuck in the group and that guy initially wasn't much use to him, while one of Froome's lieutenants had broken away up the road.

    Net result, was that when Froome attacked he had a guy waiting for him and things worked out perfectly. Dumoulin and Pozzovivo followed, but for the first time, Yates cracked and those three jumped up the road to where Froome's man was able to help pace them further away.

    In the end, those three took away 28 seconds of Yates' overall lead and now he's only 28 seconds ahead of Dumoulin. George faded a bit as well, finished five seconds behind Yates with a few other straggling GC contenders. He gained no time on anyone significant and lost some more seconds on many of those ahead of him - dropped another place to 11th, though only a second behind the guy in 10th. He gets hurt because he lacks explosiveness, but also because none of his teammates can ride up the climbs with him.

    So, now everyone is thinking Yates is vulnerable. Even Froome is only 3.5 minutes behind him so if Yates cracked badly, Froome could easily make up that time.

    And tonight's Stage is an absolute motherfecker. There should be a significant reshuffling in the GC, because surely not everyone will go over the top of the Colle della Finestre together and after that there's still two more climbs.

    George needs to pack his climbing legs and probably play it cool. Just hang on the back of the big guns and let others fall away.

  • Wow - Yates has cracked early on the Colle della Finestre. He's already lost a minute. Rohan Dennis is further back. Still 10kms of climbing to come and then probably 70 more kilometres - including two more big climbs.

    Froome's Sky team is putting them to the sword.

    George is hanging tough in the lead group of fifteen or so riders - at least for now.

    ....and now Froome has attacked and blown everyone off. Dumoulin is leading 3-4 other riders in a pursuit and George is with Pozzovivo and half a dozen others a little further back.

    There's still more than 70kms to ride today.

    Yates is 5.5 minutes behind Froome and more than 4 minutes behind George!

    A BIT LATER...

    ....Froome has completed the descent of the Finestre - he's a minute and a half ahead of Dumoulin's Group. Pozzovivo (and George) are in a group of six, another minute back.

    Yates is 16 minutes behind Froome now.

    George is currently "virtual" eighth in the GC (according to me).

    Froome has a 60km solo ride to go. Dumoulin and Pozzovivo also having to do the bulk of the work in their groups - still more sorting out to come.....

  • Bloody hell, 9:00 minutes back now, poor Yates, all done.

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