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Giro d'Italia - Discussion
As a neutral observer, I understand the anxiety of the teams of the favorites, but I do think that Malecki proved today that his chances of winning this race are very small. He fought as hard as possible and frankly had a really good day, and still lost big time.

Still 4 mountain stages left and 3 MTF's. If I had to guess I think he'll be out of the jersey by stage 19 and then the wheels will fall off. He'll probably still place way above his weight, but the real contenders will pass him.

The only way he podiums here I think is if the AI breaks again and the peloton is completely passive. But I'd like to think that it's good enough for the GC favorites to see they have an opportunity here.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
Very lucky result for us; Kritskiy not losing time and no bonus seconds for TaaramÀe and Barguil. Novikov, Rybalkin and Sivakov were protecting our leader as long as they could, hopefully they can keep doing this until the very last stage. Expecting fireworks for tomorrow's queen stage (or is stage 19 the hardest one?).
baseballlover312 wrote:
As a neutral observer, I understand the anxiety of the teams of the favorites, but I do think that Malecki proved today that his chances of winning this race are very small. He fought as hard as possible and frankly had a really good day, and still lost big time.

I don’t think anyone reeeally thought he’d win it, more so the carnage caused by having him in the leader’s jersey for so long - breaks continually staying away when they normally wouldn’t, and the amount of points lost to the ‘true’ contenders who would normally be mopping up the residual points from being in the lead each day + loss of potential stage wins for them.
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The research that you've put into these reports is quite something, Fabianski. Must say I love the facts you give before the racing starts, as it suddenly feels like I'm next to the riders in Marostica, heading to Madonna di Campiglio.

That was a massive stage by TaaramÀe and the team! Grin Well done by the team to put pressure on during parts of the stage, and then that was quite a final climb by TaaramÀe. Opening the attacks early is key considering the GC and to catch up with Malecki, and that was exactly what happened here. Very good to see TaaramÀe do all the work, with Kritskiy and Barguil only able to follow, but not working. That's a good sign. Unlucky to not get a gap at the finish line, but that's been a theme so far in this Giro, and Majka probably also played a part for that on this stage.

Fingers crossed this stage gave TaaramÀe the confidence to open up the attacks early on the upcoming mountain stages too. That's the thing here, as I see "everyone" now thinking Malecki stands no chance. I disagree, as the race so far has shown the chance for passive mountain stages with a final burst to the finish line are just as, or even more, likely as a finish like this. Which only adds to the excitement and nerves for what's to come in this Giro! Pfft

At least confidence is growing stage by stage now. The overall GC is still our goal, and I really, really hope we can do it with TaaramÀe. Everything he has shown so far has proven he's up for it, but remembering Spilak's unlucky day and also poor stage here, it won't take much for that to change. Stage 16 should be just as difficult looking at the profile, though, please make use of Mortirolo and not wait for the Aprica climb at the very end!
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Close to a perfect stage here.

Velits in the break...excellent.
Carboni joining him...even better.

Valls as well joining....not really sure as it might lead to issues and he might save his energy for later on.

Carboni working for the others was good, seeing Valls not as strong then was a bit of a pity but I liked that Velits wasn`t waiting for him but instead trying to go for stage glory.

Unfortunately only 3rd, which is still a good result, Valls as well finishing decent and sitting in 12th GC now.

Downside of this stage only that none of them really went for the KoM points....still Velits is having a few now, which hopefully just makes him attack very regularly in those mountain stages and I guess Valls a well will do so at least once.

Ciccone was having a day off and might be used similar as Carboni now as well in the upcoming stages.

Van der Poel and Boom drop in the GC which was expected but still in the top100 which leads to some bonus points.
So Demare is too strong to get stage wins, and Arndt is too strong to go into breaks to get stage wins.

The best way to play this game is to get as many 75-77 climbers and 78-80 sprinters as you can fit into one lineup and hope you get a favorable dice roll.

I don't know if I should hope for Arndt to hold on for as long as possible, miss out on the stage top10 but climb in the GC, or get dropped as soon as possible to at least improve his miniscule chances of joining at least one successful break with a worse GC position.
Not looking good for Costagli who seems not able to hang with the best in the break. If he could drop back and support Shikai that might be nice, or stay ahead of the favourites group to slowly move up the GC standings (but not at the expense of Shikai) but a stage win is looking unlikely.
The last bit of the part 1 in stage 16 was dreadful to read...Carapaz some how cant keep up with the breakaway...Wtf? FĂ„glum Karlsson loosing time on the pack is maybe more acceptable but still not good for us.
Massive breakaway and we don't have anyone in the group Sad
Just throw Bongiorno in the break already! Instead of Riccardo “I suck in all races” Zoidl.

we're not playing it smart sadly
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Guess we won't ride the breakaway train with Haig sitting 4th in the GC. A pity.

Sooo. Malecki doesn't lose a second and instead we have guys like Nesset coming closer to the top ranks. Obviously I wouldn't complain, if Haig finishes a GT like that. But the lack of stage results seriously begins to hurt.

Thanks for another quality report though!
Lovely riding from our boys these two mountain stages. Loved seeing Nesset in the break and what a great day he had. Second on the stage and 10th in GC, close to perfect for us here. Great to have an easy flat day coming up, where he could recharge and be ready for that final triple of mountain stages.

The pace was a bit on and off, but wow, to see Malecki there in the end? Crazy stuff. Still think he will collapse a bit in the last week, but what a race for him so far.
I stand corrected I guess. Seeing Malecki coasting and relaxed going up the final climb of a third week MTF was certainly surprising to me. Will be an interesting final few days.

Nice to see Aranburu getting screentime for Taaramae at least, but he clearly wasn't going hard enough for Aker, considering even Aranburu himself should outclimb Malecki on paper. Would be great experience for him to be on a GT winning team, so I'm on board the Taaramae train at this point.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
Guys, let's just face it: this game is shit.

It doesn't think any further than the rider currently leading the peloton.
It'll put him on 99 effort until he's spent, and then it acts surprised that there's nobody in the immediate vicinity that is designated to take over right away, and scrambles to come up with a new idea.
You gain a minute, you lose two.

Anyway: Arndt obviously entirely useless in that sprint for 7th, which he easily would've won if this were real life and he was aware of his 71sp.
Dunno if there's any point slowly making up his TT deficit to several good climbers if he ends up losing more GC places to breakaway riders than he gains that way.

Demare needs to follow up on his latest sprint tomorrow. Not for ciclamino
points, but for ranking points.
The stage has a perfect profile for us, with the already suffering low hill sprinters likely not enjoying the two significant inclines at the end.
1. Pretty disastruous to not get a single rider into the break - we cant afford not to!

2. I dont get the Evonik tactics at all. Why chase so much if you dont follow it up with attacks? Why do the chase heavily - idle - chase heavily - idle rhythm that doesnt help at all. At least five different Evonik guys lead the peloton for some time in the chasing efforts without anything really coming from this. If the sole purpose was to stop guys like Nesset to gain enough time in GC then a steady pace would have been so much better.

3. Chiarello didnt look too well for large parts of the stage, often being at the end of the group but outsprinted the big guys in the end. He still sits at 7th in GC which would be huge if he could carry that home - eventhough it stops him from joining breaks rn.

4. Can someone explain to me why in the world are the favourites so damn passive? Are they really fine with relying on stage 19 to drop Malecki early? Is Spilak not interested in climbing in the GC? Questions over questions.

The flat day should be interesting for us, hopefully Puma is fit enough to control the stage as i want to see another sprint for the victory - in theory Eislers should be fitter than most of his opponents and he already looked quite consistant so far. If we get two more sprint stages he could end up 2nd or 3rd in the points classification too. I hope my lesser climbers will join Naud and the Puma guys in the chasing so that we can get there. Alternatively, if a large break goes, we should try to get Eislers and 1-2 others in there too so that Eislers can win a stage from the break like he did last year.

After that day we've got the mountain stage trio and I'm hyped already!

Congrats matt. Loved to see Talansky winning after that Giro so far!
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Ouch, Karnulin got absolutely destroyed there. Two weeks of hard work and strong rides down the drain; guess joining that breakaway wasn't a good move. Same for Kruijswijk, but to a lesser degree because he lost less time and he already scored stage points.

Malecki though...unbelievable. That he doesn't lose any time to the favorites is thanks to them not attacking for sure. But the peloton wasn't exactly taking it easy either, which is proven by the fact that only 12 riders didn't get dropped from it. Amazing job to hang on in what was probably the hardest stage of this Giro.

Happy that this time the trio of Malecki, Sosnitskiy and Bibby stood up to defend the TC. Never expected to do so well in it beforehand, but now that we're getting close to the end I would love to take it all the way.

Congrats matt! Talansky was on fire today.
Yeah, I was mostly joking when I said Malecki might win this, but tbh, I've seen Rohan Dennis almost win the Tour in one career I had (74 MO) on PCM 18. Holding the jersey definitely gives him a plus 1 or 2 to race day for every day, which certainly helps, but as others have said the passiveness of the race is quite odd. Its benefiting Shikai most likely, but Taaramae and Spilak should be attacking Malecki much more I would have thought.

I think at this point Malecki has a very good chance of finishing on the podium, and almost definitely in the Top 10.
Would we be the first team to not finish a GT in MG history? Surely the Team Classifications gap has to be a record already.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Nice to get a lucky break win for ourselves too. Talansky was huge today after kind of resting up yesterday, and might literally finish with a similar amount of ranking points to Spilak if this kind of passive racing goes on, and if Talansky maybe gets in another break or two to chase the blue jersey. But not sure if this is in our interest considering this literally keeps Spilak from attacking I think. Thanks for the congrats guys and the fabulous report Fabianski!
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