Krushing the Giro: Stage 11

No doubt that RCS Sport has chosen four great wild card teams
Right off the bat, let me say that I'm not going to address the doping stories. Who really cares?

Not to take away from Navardauskas and Oss' efforts, today's stage was a pretty predictable affair. The breakaway succeeded and other than Intxausti's dig, getting him into the top 10, the favorites were happy to sit back and let the legs rest for a day.

I'm gonna take this "slow day" to talk about the great job the wild card teams are doing in this Giro so far. Let's take the KOM classification as an example. Right now the top three riders are all from wild card teams.
- Bardiani Valvole are having a great race. Enrico Battaglin got the team to a great start by winning stage 4. He almost made it two in stage 7, where he came in second. Pirazzi has also looked very strong all week fighting for the Blue Jersey.
- Vini Fantini, meanwhile, came in a respectable 5th in the TTT. They have Mauro Santambrogio, in the top 10 and DiLuca has shown good form and has been a definite protagonist throughout.
- Androni have also been mixing it up in the breakaways and attacks with Rodriguez, Rubiano, Sella, Gavazzi and Italian Champion Pellizotti. And let's not forget that Felline was second in stage 4.
- Understandably, Acquarone wants Italian teams in their home race, so these three Italian squads were pretty much guaranteed an invite. But the fourth wild card went to Team Colombia. Sure, having an Italian manager (Claudio Corti) and being headquartered in Italy helped them get into the Giro, but this team didn't bring a single Italian in its ranks, so their spot was far from certain.. Still, they have earned the invite. Duque, Chalapud and Quintero have shown their faces quite a bit on TV. Pantano had a great stage 9 finishing third. Duarte and Atapuma seem to be talking it easy, but will most likely let lose in the last week.

If you compare what these four teams have shown and compare it to Vacansoleil, Euskaltel, Orica or FDJ I think you'll agree that they have plenty to celebrate so far. Bravo!

Vini Fantini have shown what they can do

Randomness:

- Mario Cipollini mention counter: 3
- Helmet talk counter: 11
- Euskaltel guys on the deck counter: 3
- Stage winner wearing cycling cap / baseball hat / no hat counter: 1 / 9 / 1