That was a fun-packed second week of the Giro then. Wiggo and defending champ Hesjedal both out, lots more weather, stage routes changed, climbs due to be climbed but then cancelled but then reinstated… it had it all. And as the dust settles on the second rest day – not that it's particularly dusty in Italy right now – it's Vicenzo Nibali heading things up with a decent (and growing) lead over Cadel Evans and Rigoberto Uran.
And in Fantasy land? It's presenrumu08 out in front on 1,811 points, closely followed by tony kappler with Jonas Lorenzen a little further back. The lead has been chopping and changing in the overall; less so in the Purists' league where Flizyt has bossed week two from start to finish, only dropping from top spot once in the whole week.
Cast your mind back to Stage 10, then: the climb to Altopiano del Montasio and the first real chance for the GC boys to show their mettle. Riboerto Uran took the spoils with an excellent solo win with Betancur and Nibali making up the podium as Wiggo faded on the steep stuff and Hesjedal fell apart, losing over 20 minutes. marobertson was first man on the stage with a 218-point haul that included the top three.
Stage 11 was another, albeit easier, summit finish and Ramunas Navardauskas saved Garmin's blushes by heading off alone to take the line a minute ahead of Daniel Oss, Stefano Pirazzi rolling in third. Not an easy day for scoring but jacquesbonquetil managed 149 points and that was enough for first on the stage.
A flat Stage 12 gave the remaining sprinters (Degenkolb had headed home) a chance for glory and Mark Cavendish made no mistake, edging out Nacer Bouhanni and Luka Mezgec. sori had those three, plus fourth-placed Giacomo Nizzolo, to rack up 153 points and a stage win.
Stage 13 was almost a carbon-copy podium, but with Bouhanni retired Nizzolo stepped up to leapfrog Mezgec for second. I the game a three way tie for the stage on 170 points, but djb123 edged it on countback with eight scoring riders to the pretenders' seven.
Saturday's truncated Stage 14 to Bardonecchia missed out the climb to Sestriere but there were still fireworks on the final ascent, Mauro Santambrogio edging out Nibali for the win as the other favourites lost time. And it was another three-way tie at the top, on 233 points. With the number of scoring riders the same, the highest score for each team the same and with all three picking Santambrogio for their highest scoring rider, it went to a coin toss for the win. Which Dr Plumbster won.
There was no tie on Stage 15 though. Like Giovanni Visconti, only more so, silas chime roared away with the win, with a total of 285 points: the biggest haul all year. Having seven of the top ten helped.
Keep pressing for the final week. You might be out of contention for the overall (we all are…) but there's still some stage hunting to be done on the road to Brescia. This time next week we'll know who's come out on top. Good luck!
Tour of California
A hard-fought Tour of California was eventually won by naffets, overtaking serial podium-botherer robacairns on the final stage with Gilbert and Sullivan completing the top three. curlybob was the top purist, edging out andynic by a single point with meeganlarsen four points further back in third. Here's a rundown of the winners:
Stage 1: Mappers24 (Mappers24)
Stage 2: The 'Berrow Brawlers (The Good Shepherd)
Stage 3: Team Cairns (robacairns)
Stage 4: jp55 (jp55)
Stage 5: BeachRoadCervelo (nwhalbo)
Stage 6: Team Greenfield (Team Greenfield)
Stage 7: The Manx Missiles (manxfelipe)
Stage 8: Otur Riders (ferluinavela) & BBB (smiley_boy2501)
Overall: frechville flyers (naffets)
Purist: 3milerouler (curlybob)
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.