'04 Giro - predictions from here ??

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by eduardoSC, May 26, 2004.

  1. eduardoSC

    eduardoSC New Member

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    Clearly Cunego and Simoni are the two strongest riders this year- and happen to be teammates. So, if all between them is equal, what does their DS do? Have the Saeco train drag them to the last climb of the remaining stages, and let them duel from there?

    this seems the natural thing, but I'd appreciate any insight someone else might have.

    the other options would have to include one of the two essentially not trying to win- either Simoni or Cunego simply not contesting the other. Tradition might dictate that Cunego defer to the elder Simoni (ala Lemond to Hinault in '85), but would that be satisfying at all to anyone, much less Simoni himself? Simoni is certainly looking strong, but being two and a half minutes down he has yet to make a strong statement; and to win the Giro by having his young teammate stop racing would be no good for anyone.

    so...I'd like to hear other scenarios, please :D
     
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  2. kjellquist

    kjellquist New Member

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    I'm not sure I agree with either statement. In Simoni's one stage win he clearly was the stronger of the two. He might still be sore from his TT fall and held back a tad on the last stage. I think if Simoni wins it will NOT be via Cunego letting him win.

    I have no idea what Saeco's DS, Cunego, and Simoni are up to this year. Couple thoughts that keep popping up.....

    1. Simoni said recently this was his last push for the Giro before switching to a TdF focus. Maybe he will give this Giro to Cunego and sit up for the last week to save for the TdF?

    2. Where does DiLuca from Saeco figure into all this? He had to sit out this Giro, but he was supposed to be Saeco's future Giro man. Where does he go now?

    3. If Simoni bags the last week of the Giro and has secretly been focusing on the TdF all along, it's genius! Nobody is thinking of him as a Tour contender this year and he may just be trying to sneak his way to the podium.
     
  3. eduardoSC

    eduardoSC New Member

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    ack- I thought of that after I'd posted- on stage 3 he really did make a statement and no one could follow him. Personally I hope to see that again Fri/Sat...

    one of the things I like about Simoni, he's not satisfied- he's hungry for more and doesn't mind talking boldly about his ideas for the TdF.
    The only problem with him aiming for the Tour podium, that I can see, is his TT ability. If he lost 2 and 1/2 minutes to the winners of stage 13 in the Giro, what would he lose to Ullrich, Armstrong, and Hamilton in France? yeesh


    as for DiLuca- who knows? These teams must enjoy having several riders who can contend for the grand tours- but eventually loyalties shift, feelings get hurt and egos get bruised, and riders end up on other teams. Not unlike any other pro sport, in that regard.

    it would be nice to be able to pick the mind of Saeco's leadership in a situation like this, though- to know if they're thinking "we've got it locked up either way", versus "we want the win and we want ______ to win it"
     
  4. lostmyshape

    lostmyshape New Member

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    well, simoni already said that he will NOT attach his teammate, cunego. so basically he's conceded the race to him. said that cunego was stronger and had to be let go in stage 16.

    so really it's up to cunego. if he can handle it, he's won. if he faulters, though... simoni will be right there, ready to take the leader's jersey.

    so it's not over yet. gonna be an interesting next 2 stages (especially 18)!
     
  5. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    It was an absolutely fascinating last few days in the Giro.
    This race has been superb this year

    Petacchi dominating the first week and the first half of the second week (8 stage wins - this man is the new speedmeister !).

    The last few days though have made compelling viewing.
    Stages 17,18 and 19 were all mountain stages - and with all due respect to the TDF, the climbs on the Giro look a lot tougher, in
    my opinion.

    Saeco have been the really strong team with their number 1 man,
    Gilberto Simoni expected to benefit from a strong squad.
    But it's young Damiano Cunego who looks like being the Giro
    winner.
    This guy is a good cyclist and he has managed to stay with the big guns in the mountains.

    Stages 17-19 were compelling : Pavel Tonkov's win in Stage 17,
    was a real blast from the past.
    This man can truly climb - no wonder himself and Pantani had some epic duals.
    Honchar, Cioni, Garzelli have all shown great form in these mountain stages.
    And what about Brad McGee : staying with climbers all the way to Milan !
    Epice stuff.

    Stage 18 nearly saw civil war within Saeco though.
    Simoni going for a stage win was beaten by his lieutenant
    Cunego.
    Gazetta de Sport (the paper that sponsor the Giro) tell of recriminations all round : Simoni accusing Cunego of treason and
    Cunego saying that he thought Simoni wouldn't have been able to hold off the other challengers in the sprint !

    Fortunately here in Europe we get full live coverage of the major Tours.
    For me, this Giro has almost been as good as last years TDF.
    And that's saying something !
     
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