May 23 2005
After two grueling 200k+ days of climbing, the Giro organizers decided to take a boring, downhill stage, and making even boring-er, lopping off 50k of today’s race, and neutralizing part of the final circuit. It was an easy ride in for the Fassa train, and Petacchi put well over a bike length on second-place finisher Erik Zabel, while Bettini took third, regaining the lead in the points and intergiro competitions.
If your Whine-o-meter was running a little high yesterday, congratulate yourself on maintaining a sensitive piece of equipment. Though you might expect a complaint or two from Ivan Basso, who struggled to lose 20 minutes with a stomach bug, the CSC rider remained stoic in the face of defeat. No, instead it was once again Gilberto Simoni who took care to make sure he caught the reporters’ ears as soon as he crossed the line:
“Yeah, I got some time but it didn’t go the way I wanted today… whenever I attacked, everybody just rides off me. I tried again today. But the [Passo di] Foscagno wasn’t a climb where you could make much difference”
Yeah, you heard it right. Not only is Simoni, a two-time Giro winner, upset that people are marking him, but apparently he also thought that yesterday’s 5 climb, 210k stage was too easy for him to make a difference. And let’s not forget, he made up almost half a minute on the lead during this stage; if I were you, I’d head to the grocery store now, to make sure that, in event Simoni actually loses time in any of the next few stages, you have an adequate supply of cheese to go with his whine.