To race, or not to race?
This argument has been going on for as long as I can remember. I want to make it clear that I 100% believe in racing. No matter what. These guys are professionals that are racing voluntarily. If they fear for their own safety, then they are, of course, entitled to slow down themselves. My issue is what happens when the peloton decides to neutralize a race, but a rider or a team decides to ride anyway and get ostracized for it. The way I see it, if they want to risk it, let them. Let the guys with the most balls win when the more talented are being cautious.
That being said, if the guys are gonna scream about safety one day, but ignore it then next, then it becomes an issue of consistency. "Safety first! Unless it isn't, in which case we'll call it racing."
I read a few "the race was already on, how could they have stopped them" tweets. Read above, I think they should have kept going. BUT, isn't that exactly why they "need" their beloved race radios? I HATE race radios, and I'm tired of hearing the safety argument. Would this not have been the perfect situation to use the damn things for safety?
BMC got a beautiful gift.
Some may argue that ending up in that front group wasn't a gift at all, but that BMC kept themselves out of trouble and deserved to be up there. Sure, I agree. The gift was having Matthews in there as well. BMC could do as much work as they wanted taking time off the other GC favorites, without having to worry about Evans ending up in the Maglia Rosa this early in the race. It couldn't have worked out better for the Australian.
Once again team Colombia put a rider in the breakaway. I think Giro organizers must already be satisfied about giving the Italian-based team an invite. Same goes for Neri Sottoli.
On the final climb, Movistar and OPQS looked very weak in numbers. That surprised me quite a bit, especially Movistar. If Quintana is there, where did the other guys go? Team Colombia, on the other hand, had three or four guys in the chase group. Fabio Duarte actually did a lot of work in the front, chasing, therefore helping his compatriots with less-than-able teams. If Colombia was this strong, I wonder what they could have done if the crash hadn't split the race.
Here's a preliminary list we have collected of the riders involved in the crashes today:
- Nairo Quintana (scraped elbow and knee)
- Rigoberto Urán
- Fabio Aru (stitches in his arm)
- Michele Scarponi
- Enrico Gasparotto
- Janez Brajkovič (broken arm )
- David Villella (suspected broken collarbone)
- Nicolas Roche
- Rafał Majka
- Giampaolo Caruso (broken collarbone)
- Angel Vicioso (suspected fracture of the femur)
- Joaquim Rodriguez (suspected broken collarbone - lost 7:43 in the stage)
- Przemysław Niemiec
- Roberto Ferrari
- Damiano Cunego
- Stefano Pirazzi (in hospital for tests in the shoulder)
- Ivan Basso
- Moreno Moser
- Longo Borghini
- Rodolfo Torres
- Svein Tuft
Joaquim Rodríguez lost 7:43 in today's stage and headed straight to the hospital to get his wrist and ribs checked. Ouch.
I'm not sure if my below-average writing abilities show it today, but I'm pretty hungover. One of my childhood friends from Bogotá is in town and we stayed up pretty late last night catching up, watching Barbarella, then listening to Swedish Death Metal bands, all the while drinking Belgian beer and smoking Marlboros. I'm happy to report tomorrow's stage looks to be really bland, allowing me the chance to sleep in and assume that Viviani is gonna take the sprint. For now, I'm gonna take a nap.