Well it's certainly been an exciting first week of the Giro. Masses of attacking racing, plenty of rain, thrills, spills and a very vulnerable-looking Wiggo. When he was odds-on to be running away with the Maglia Rosa by the first rest day, he's pretty lucky to still be within sight. In our Fantasy Cycling Giro d'Italia game there's over 4,000 teams battling for glory. So who's been making the running in the important first week?
Stage 1 looked custom-made for Cavendish and so it proved, the Manxman bossing the sprint to take the Maglia Rosa ahead of Viviani and Bouhanni. Our fantasy winner for that stage was, erm, me. Don't worry, I've been showing my more usual touch since then. And obviously I can't win a prize so the win goes to livestrongnick in second place, with 215 points.
Stage 2 was the team time trial. OPQS voted themselves a day off so Cav only wore the pink for a day, and it was Sky who bossed the 17.4km course to come up trumps, with Salvatore Puccio the unlikely recipient of the leader's jersey. TTT stages are difficult to get a big score on (something we're looking at for later competitions) so 90 points was enough to secure a stage win for garycox.
Into the bumpy stuff on Stage 3 and it was Luca Paolini who got the jump on everyone to take the stage win and the lead. All the main protagonists stayed in contention, with Evans and Hesjedal making up the podium. mrpt5 took this rather unpredictable stage with a 138-point haul
More lumps and bumps for Stage 4 and the first sign of weakness from Wiggo, losing 17 seconds to a front group containing Nibali, Evans, Hesjedal and Gesink. It was Bardiani's Enrico Battaglin who took the win though. And robfarrington who headed up the fantasy stage league with 152.
Plenty of points looked up for grabs on Stage 5, but a big spill took out most of the sprinters. Not John Degenkolb, who managed to avoid the carnage to power home ahead of Angel Vicioso and Paul Martens. Alex Cyclist, who headed up the fantasy stage league with 99 on a low-scoring day.
Cavendish may have been distanced the day before on some sharp climbs before the end but he wasn't to be denied on the pan-flat Stage 6, taking the win ahead of Viviani and Goss. A good day to load up with sprinters you'd think: DoNRaDu had five, and racked up 185 points for the win.
Stage 7 was a day to have Adam Hansen in your team. One of a select few riders to have completed all three Grand Tours in a calendar year, Hansen rode away from his break companions for a famous solo win and a hatful of points. 74, to be precise. jmorrisseyd had him, and the other podium placers, Battaglin and Di Luca, for a 161-point total.
Would Wiggins come back in the Stage 8 time trial? Well, yes and no. A bike change cost him time but he managed to power through to take second place behind Movistar's Alex Dowsett. Tanel Kangert came third, with Vicenzo Nibal fourth, losing just 11 seconds to Wiggins. jaahe picked three of those four, along with a handful of other scores, to post a stage-best 172.
Last day before the rest day: Stage 9 was another wet, lumpy stage to Florence which saw Maxim Belkov do a Hansen and record a brilliant solo win. Betancur won too, or at least he thought he did… Jarlinson Pantano's grin as he crossed the line in third behind the delighted AG2r rider was a picture. Belkov netted a huge 76 points, and picking him was the basis of 934864's stage win. They had Pantano too.
Overall the first week of racing leaves richardk9 in the lead with 940 points, ahead of Chris Bevan on 904 and Gilbert and Sullivan on 903. In the purist league it's Flizyt heading the charge on 681, with 02curtisb (664) and mrkeith119 (643) leading the chase. We're all set up for a great second week and there's still plenty to play for with daily stage prizes and the start of our mostly-random spot prizes. Stay tuned for those, and lots more racing!
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.