Awesome, the first of cycling's holy trinity is about to start, the Giro gets underway this weekend, and with Franko Pellizotti (among others) being busted for "irregular readings", Cadel is now a favourite. Even though it's sad this sort of thing goes on, I'm glad they were caught now and and not after the race, then placings altered and hollow victories awarded months after the race, as in the Tour De France fiasco of was it '07 when Floyd got on the juice.
Cadel was a pretty good chance even before Pellizotti got the flick, he's been in good nick and has a bit of confidence, his new team also offers better support than he's had in recent years but he still has to contend with the like of Sastre and Vinokourov, Basso is about due and Bradley Wiggins could be a dark horse so cross your fingers.
The route this year is a killer, 7 great mountain stages mostly in the latter part of the race. Stage 16 is a 12.8 km time trial with an average gradient of 8.5% and it's steepest section being a torturous 24%, to put things in a bit of Lairs perspective, the South side climb of Mt. Macedon is 6km with an average grade of about 7.5 % and a maximum of about13-14%.
I was hoping SBS would be showing a few live stages, perhaps on a Friday or Saturday night they could have an extended highlights package followed by a live stage, but nah ! It seems the programmers feel that another "boob movie" repeat followed by world weather for four hours would be a better nights viewing.
Three big names will be participating in a rebel Giro, riding for the Lucky Buggers team. Andy, Glo and Peter are leaving for Italy on Saturday morning and will be zig zagging across "the boot" on their bikes for a few weeks. Bon voyage guys.
A Quick, good on ya, to Al, who did his first big climb a few weeks ago and ticked off Mt. Buffalo on his birthday.