Monday, May 31, 2021

Giro d'Italia 2021 Final Thoughts

 Some Thoughts on La Corsa Rosa 2021

First, let's review my pre-race predictions: "I think Bernal’s back will act up**, Yates will croak in the third week**, Nibali will end up chasing a stage win*, Vlasov will get sick***, Martin will be duking it out with Mollema for 5th on GC at the end**, Evenepoel will ride around learning how a Grand Tour plays out*, Hugh Carthy will flap around like an air-powered attention-grabber at a used car dealer*, Landa will look great until he croaks or loses the plot before it’s all over* …so it’ll be a race among Hindley*** Bennett*** and Almeida*….and maybe Ciccone** or Formolo***?"

*dead-on ** half-right *** way-off

While the team we love to hate ended up winning, just like in 2018 and 2020, this win (just like the others) didn't seem to be the result of SKY/INEOS steamrolling/suffocating the race as they do way too often at the race where the leader wears a yellow shirt. While they used their team extremely well in almost every case, this group, dubbed by yours truly  "the butlers and kitchen help" instead of the "royals" they usually deploy at Le Grand Boucle never had me rooting against them as I always do at LeTour.

Why? Who can't like Bernal, the Colombian brought up in Italian cycling and then bought fully finished by the team with the biggest budget in cycling? He's not a "royal" despite winning Le Grand Boucle in 2019 and was coming back from back issues that stopped him in 2020's event.

And it's hard for us not to like Ganna, Puccio and Moscon, not to mention the guys who ran the team - Tosatto and Cioni, so while we dislike the backer of the team, he's not as awful as some others we could mention.

Another one of those teams with backers we don't care for thrust our almost neighbor from Ragusa into a leadership role after their designated GC guy crashed out and Damiano Caruso did us proud!

Seven stage wins for Italians overall, including "Lucky Larry" Lorenzo Fortunato atop Monte Zoncolan created a very satisfying and entertaining race this year - truly:

The World's Toughest Race in The World's Most Beautiful Place

W Il Giro!

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