Friday, July 03, 2015

Can't Get Enough of the Giro Even Though It's Time for the Tour? Me Neither--It's the Giro Rosa, Baby! #GiroRosa2015

The Race: 9 stages and a just-completed explosive 2k time trial prologue--hellooooo, 1st leader of the race Annemiek Van Vleuten!--with a sprinty-rolly 1st half yielding to a climber's delight--or agony!--for the final stages, with a 21.7k stage 8 time trial, 2 summit finishes and 3 more mountainy stages tossed in. Forza donne--you're gonna need all the "forza" you can muster!

The Ruckus: the women's peloton is at its most leg-to-leg competitive in virtually every discipline in years, the tifosi appear to be at historic levels of freakout, and, for my money, it's time for the women's sport to take its rightful place just as tennis' did a generation ago. And, you can follow it, and all the action, here! Heck, you can even catch it on RAI, if you get it (not me unfortunately--screw you American cable)!

The Contenders: the national jerseys have just been awarded, prior winners have a lot to show against the young'uns, and there's a whole lotta pride--and scarce scanty sponsorship dough on the line. Sprints--the great Giorgia Bronzini, who sez, to broken hearts everywhere if you got any brains whatsoever, she might retire next year. Her own Wiggle teammate Julien D'hoore, Barbara Guarischi. GC--2-time campionessa/US bad-!@# Mara Abbott (follow her here! French phenom and new world road champ--are you watching, French men's teams? 'cause she oughta make you weep!--Pauline Ferrand-Prevot. Brit fastwoman and all-round danger the great Lizzie Armistead, Evelyn Stevens! Also on tap: last year's blue best-Italian-rider jersey winner Elisa Longo Borghini and 2009 maglia rosa Claudia Lichtenberg. Out: unfortunately, still, defending champ Marianne Vos, but even without her, the depth in this field is insane. See you next year, Marianne--but even you're gonna have your work cut out for you when you get back!

Well, onto the fast course tomorrow--congratulations to you and whatever the hell you're standing next to, Annemiek!

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