A quick roundup of recent stories, most about pro cycling, that I found worth reading and sharing.
By Daniel McMahon
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom stayed Vincenzo Nibali from the swift completion of his 2013 Giro campaign. He attacked his GC rivals on the last climb of the race, the steep, snowy Tre Cime di Lavaredo, to win penultimate stage 20 and effectively wrap up overall victory.
“I knew that the final kilometers were very hard, but perhaps I didn’t remember quite how hard they were,” Niabli said. “There were riders ahead of me with a big advantage, but I was pretty calm. In fact, my teammate Agnoli was probably more nervous than I was. He was impatient to start the chase, but I told him to wait until after the descent because of the cold, which stiffens you up and makes it hard to descend. Even so, I probably attacked too early. The signs saying how far there was to go started 1,800 meters from the finish, but it seemed endless.
“We only really felt the snow today in the final five kilometers. Thankfully the road was pretty clean, and the stage turned into a real epic, with an uphill finish in thick snow fall. The manner of my win today leaves me with feelings of immense joy. And when have you ever seen riders finish the Giro d’Italia with no sun tan, and wearing arm and leg warmers? In the cold, you have to limit yourself, with or without climbs. Not to be pretentious, but in this Giro, I’ve had something more than my rivals on the all the uphill finishes. If there had been more climbing, I’d have managed the finishes the way I did today.
“Only something truly great could cap my Vuelta win, and this Giro d’Italia victory gives me that extra something. Tomorrow is the final stage, but it’ll end in a sprint, so I’m already very happy. However, I’ll need some time to put it all together and make sense what I’ve achieved. By this time tomorrow, I’ll have won the Vuelta and the Giro, and I also have good placings in the Tour de France to show for myself, so I’ve proved that I’m a good grand tour rider. This win in the Giro is special, though.”
Note that Urán snatched second place overall as he out-climbed Evans, who will finish third.
Sunday’s final Giro stage is a mostly processional ride for the peloton, but there will be a serious sprint finish as the red points jersey is still being contested, and you can bet Cav will do his best to take it on the line. He didn’t hang around for three weeks to give it up to Nibali. The Inner Ring
Colombians took to the discothèque for an indoor-training session Friday after Giro stage 19 was cancelled because of snow. Please don’t call it spinning. Cycling Inquisition
More disco shots. Manual for Speed
Time at the disco did the Colombians well on stage 20. VeloNews
Tom Zirbel and Carmen Small are the new time-trial champions of the United States. VeloNews
Former pro Robert Millar, writing about “sorry ass” Di Luca, says “the young riders coming through like Majka, Navardauskas, Puccio and Kelderman show there is a renewal going on but Vincenzo’s been the ray of sunshine in an otherwise trying environment.” Cyclingnews
Riders and others react on Twitter to Di Luca positive. VeloNews
Get your cycling-lit fix with summer reading for cyclocrossers. Cyclocross Magazine
Cyclocrosser and former road pro Dan Timmerman on his recent endofibrosis stenosis diagnosis. Best Mediocrity Around
Adam Myerson takes doping-obsessed cycling critic to task. Twitter
The new issue of 2r magazine is out. It’s available on iPhone and iPad only. 2r
Is being able to ride year-round really ideal? Velominati
On limits and power meters. The Roar
The 100th Tour de France—which is 35 days away—should be excellent judging by the guest list alone. Twisted Spoke
Photo: Team Astana Facebook
As always, add links to interesting stories I may have missed in the comment section below. Or email me here.
On Twitter: @cyclingreporter