“I have had difficult times during this Giro and I’ve even thought of abandoning,” said Arredondo, who had started the Giro’s tappone over the Gavia and Stelvio on Tuesday on the attack only to reach Val Martello almost three-quarters of an hour down.
“Two days ago, on the Stelvio, I thought I’d finish last,” Arredondo said, paying tribute to the encouragement of directeur sportif Josu Larrazabal. “Josu put me in the car, warmed me up, and gave me the courage to start again.”
Arredondo had Larrazabal offering moral support in more amenable circumstances on Thursday, and he said that instructions from the team car had been pivotal in helping him to cope with the stiff final climb to Rifugio Panarotta.
“At the foot of the final climb, I wanted to attack, but Josu told me to wait,” Arredondo said. “Then, much higher up, he said, ‘Julián, now!’ So I won the stage because of his advice.”
Arredondo’s decisive acceleration came a shade under four kilometres from the summit following a ding-dong battle with fellow countryman Fabio Duarte (Colombia) and the impressive Philip Deignan (Sky), who were all part of the stage’s early break. After a day – indeed, an entire Giro – on the attack, he finally...
Cadel Evans (BMC) slipped from third to ninth after losing contact with his rivals on the climb to the finish, yet remains just 90 seconds from a podium spot with the other riders squeezed in that time difference. He refuses to accept defeat but other riders are now targeting a place on the podium.
Pierre Rolland (Europcar) is now third overall, 3:29 behind Quintana and 1:48 behind second placed Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). Talented young Italian Fabio Aru (Astana) and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) are only two seconds behind him, with Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) sixth overall, just 23 seconds down on Uran.
Hesjedal moves up to seventh
Canada's Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) rode from ninth to seventh and is also within reach of the podium. He was gapped slightly in sight of the finish line but had made an effort to gain time on Evans and Wilco Kelderman (Belkin).
"I felt good, I wanted to keep the pace high. I heard some guys were having difficulties so I didn’t want the pace to slow down," he said after the stage.
"It feels good to be on the front and push a bit....
Life on the road for a WorldTour team can be arduous and testing and a three-week grand tour such as the Giro d’Italia is as just as much a battle of strength and fortitude for the staff as much as the riders.
inCycle TV caught up with the Lampre – Merida mechanics and soigneurs during the Giro d’Italia to find out what goes into supporting a squad on the road. Including a behind-the-scenes tour of the Italian team’s truck of equipment and bikes, the video has interviews with members of the staff during the world’s second biggest grand tour.
Each rider at the race has three bikes, with the team leader provided with an extra ride. The truck is rammed full of the team’s other racing equipment – all the requirements a team would need for the corsa rosa.
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The Stage 19 individual time trial at the Giro d'Italia is a monster: a mountain test that may well decide the overall winner. The riders will force themselves up the 26.8 kilometers Monte Grappa, with numerous switchbacks and gradients from 7 to 15%.
It starts out calmly enough, with roughly seven flat kilometers but from there is goes up, and the riders will take about 45 minutes over the tight hairpins to the top.
“The important thing is to try and find a perfect line through the corners,” former pro Eros Poli told inCycle TV. “You have pain all over your body, not only your legs but your shoulder, your back .... You are pushing with your whole body.”
“The last 5 km will be terrible,” he said as he rode up the 21 switchbacks in that closing section.
With the debut of the Tarmac Disc, Specialized has launched a race bike with the novel combination of hydraulic disc brakes and short chainstays thanks to a novel rear hub configuration on the Roval wheels. The new Tarmac also comes in standard rim-brake models as well, with both types of framesets designed from the ground up for each size.
When BikeRadar spotted one of these new Tarmacs at the Tour of Turkey earlier this spring, we speculated that it would be called the Tarmac SL5, building on the Tarmac SL4 and Tarmac SL3 before it. Instead, the new bike is simply called Tarmac, which Specialized engineers says speaks to the new way of designing each size as its own project, from R&D on up.
While Specialized claims the new Tarmac design provides a uniform experience across all sizes, the real news is the Tarmac Disc, which manages to deliver the tight, stiff, responsive ride of a ProTour racer with the powerful braking experience of Shimano hydraulics. The big question with these bikes is, will racers give up wheel compatibility for this combination? Specialized Tarmac Disc
Adding disc bikes to road race bikes presents a few challenges. While there has been much discussion about the impact on racing, engineers have been more concerned with the impact on a frame’s design. Aside from reinforcing the necessary areas in the frame and fork, engineers have had to negotiate how adding width at the hub — up to 135mm from the standard road 130mm — affects the rear triangle and the drivetrain.
Endurance bikes have been the first to get disc brakes for a few reasons, but one is simple — the wheelbase is long enough to widen the rear hub without compromising drivetrain performance. On...
The hyper-reality of life on a grand tour has the tendency to blow victory and defeat out of proportion, but Philip Deignan (Sky) was able to put matters in perspective within minutes of crossing the line in third place on stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia at Rifugio Panarotta.
When the Irishman forged his way back up to the leaders after the break of the day fragmented on the early slopes of the final haul from Levico Terme, he must have sensed a first grand tour stage win since his victory in Avila at the 2009 Vuelta a España was on the cards.
He was ultimately thwarted by a one-two blow from the Colombian pair of Julian Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing) and Fabio Duarte (Colombia), however, who jumped away in turn inside the final four kilometres. Arredondo went on to take the honours at the summit, while Deignan had to settle for third place, 37 seconds down.
“When you lose to a stronger rider and you try your best, there’s not much else you can do, so I’m pretty happy,” Deignan said afterwards. “I couldn’t have done any more so I suppose I have to be happy enough with the result.”
Deignan and teammate Dario Cataldo were part of the day’s early break that went clear over the Passo San Pellegrino, and after withstanding the early skirmishes at the foot of Rifugio Panarotta, the Donegal man found himself at the head of the race with Arredondo, Duarte and the flagging Thomas De Gendt (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
It was a classic contrast of styles – the steady but graceful rhythm of Deignan faced against the punchy, stop-start tempo of the two Colombians – and eventually the constant changes of pace took their toll.
“I think they were just playing with us to be honest, they’re just so good at that – all the accelerating and slowing down and accelerating again,” Deignan said....
Savoldelli, 41, turned pro in 1996 and retired after the 2008 season. He rode for Rosslotto, Saeco, Index-Alexia Alluminio, Team Telekom, Discovery Channel, Astana and LPR Brakes-Ballan. He won the overall title in the Giro d'Italia in 2002 and 2005. Nicknamed “il falco” (the falcon), he was known for his descending skills.
Marco Pantani was perhaps the best climber of his generation, but his career and life were cut short by his death 10 years ago at the age of only 34. He was a man who succeeded on his bike but struggled with the rest of life.
“I remember when we were 12, 13 years gold, he was able to climb the hardest (mountains) here, and he was absolutely the best,” childhood friend Andrea Agostini told inCycle TV.
But age and success brought changes. “He changed when he was out of this city,” Agostini said. On the road, he was a superstar, “but when he came back here, “he was the simple Marco again. He had two faces. He had a mask. It was strange for me to see this double life.”
The video also interviews former rival Giuseppe Guerini, who admitted that Pantani's dominance led him to leave Italian teams and move to the German Telekom team but it's the interview with Agostini that gives insight into Pantani's life and character.