Mt. Hood has come and gone. Not a ton of local news out of the race that was once the end-all-be-all of NW amateur racing. It turned into a logjam of the big boys as Navigators, HealthNet/Maxxis, ToyotaU, and Priority Health/Bissell dominated the GC. The new TT made it Nathan O'Neill's race to lose, and the square-jawed Aussie doesn't let many slip away.
Aaron Tuckerman(Rubicon) is starting to make these top-10 finishes at NRC races look easy. He was 8th on the week.
So I was obviously wrong about DiLuca. He kept the power going right through Saturday's TT. Cunego(Lampre) and Simoni(Saunier Duval) couldn't put the time in during the drag race up Zoncolan, though Simoni netted another big Giro stage.
The big surprise of the Giro was Andy Schleck's(Brother of Frank[Both CSC]) 2nd on GC. Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval) absolutely dominated the moutains taking the Santuario Nostra Signora Della Guardia stage and a maglia verde for himself while giving away stage wins to whatever teammate happened to be around. Iban Mayo(Sunier Duval) also rose from the dead for a stage win, though was nowhere to be seen in thw mountains.
Overall, the race looked a bit different than recent grand tours. Riders who went on monstrous attacks generally faltered in the next couple of stages. The winners of the flat TT were not miraculous in the mountains. There was no Basso/Armstrong dominating every opportunity to gain time. The Santuario stage won by Piepoli absolutely devastated every rider. The Tre Cime de Lavaredo stage, which Piepoli gave to Ricco, had the lead riders suffering so bad it was hard to watch. DiLuca jumped to an early lead and managed to hold it. It was a great three weeks of racing.
Oh yeah, Pettachi's(Milram) sledgehammer-style sprinting is now back in full effect.
Aaron Olson(T-Mobile) made it to Milan with a depleted T-Mobile squad.
Here's some pictures of Damiano Cunego(Lampre) to wrap up my 2007 Giro coverage:
Pics from CyclingNews.com.
Jacob Erker(Symmetrics) took the opener at Tabor. He came out of a break of eight followed by Molly Cameron(Veloshop) and Shannon Skerritt(Bike Gallery)
John Leonard(Casa Bruno) notched his belt at PIR for the second week in a row and made the break at Tabor.
PIR and Eugene Twilight Tuesday, Tabor Wednesday, Rehearsal RR Sunday(in Eugene). 'tis the season.