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Giro d'Italia - Discussion
Not dropping Arndt is all I wanted from this TTT, and we achieved that goal.

I didn't consider chasing the maglia rosa for a day or two with Demare in the coming stages worth the race days for our TTers or the risk of losing Arndt.

Congrats to King Power up front! Enjoy your GT stage win. Smile

Tomorrow's the first of many big days, Demare in ciclamino right at the start would give the team a massive boost internally and in the race hierarchy.
Congrats Bikex! Very impressive to watch King Power becoming a force to be truly reckoned with in TTs, but suddenly I wonder if I should have just kept Viviani Pfft

Hoped for more in the first stage to put Spilak in a better position, but 4th is an okay result regardless given this was a 100% flat short TTT. Thanks Fab!
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gen.png Generali pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gen.png
Congrats on a good an important win!

17th is about right for us, can’t complain about that. Our race starts now.

What a preview! Great job, Fabianski, I really enjoyed that. And seeing the startlist, there can't be any doubt Taaramäe is the GC favourite. That was his position in last year's Vuelta too, which he coped with very, very well. We really need something similar here, and seeing the competition, I really hope Taaramäe can do something similar, by being the best climber in the race, but also taking advantage of the big TT later on. Decided to send a rather weak team here to support him, due to the breakaway bonanza we anyway saw in last year's Vuelta, despite our team there being very, very strong. The expectation is that we get something similar to that here, but without burning valuable race days for other riders like Galta. The race plan and ambition have to be to take maglia rosa on the first mountain top finish, and then keep it from there. That's at least what my hope and kind of expectations are, but we've seen in previous GTs that unpredictable things can happen. Fingers crossed!

That was an amazing first report, Fabianski. Took quite some time reading it, but I really, really enjoyed it, even if it was a TTT. Quite a first report for a GT, really looking forward to the continuation!

Taaramäe loosing an additional three seconds was kind of unnecessary, but the team still did well there, limiting the losses. That's a good start!

Big congratulations on the win, Bikex!
Decent start! Closer then what I had expected. Should be three good stages for our team coming up now, so hopefully we'll try to be on the attack.

Congrats on the win, Bikex!
Sick preview and presentation in general. Wow. Thanks!

We need a good Haig here after a terrible run of results most recently. I like the startlist, he really should be in the mix for a Top 5 - Top 10. Anything else would be a bummer and we might already dig a hole for our PT Top 10 dreams..

Promising opener! Hurts to miss a TTT win by one second though.
Decent TTT result for Gazelle. Nothing special.
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Is it just me or are people putting way more effort into previews lately? This is another excellent one!

The startlist is an interesting one with less competition than one might expect. Taaramae looks like the top favourite and as always i will be cheering for him but Spilak is a strong competitor that might look for a last hurray here. With strong team support including Talansky as a lieutenant, Generali looks in for a real treat as Spilak looks set for a huge scoring race too. I also feel like Jaik Haig might be a big benefittor of the startlist as he looks like a fairly sure bet for a top 5 result.

My own leader Chiarello could benefit from the startlist too as a top 10 result might be realistic with a bit of luck. Only 10 riders have a higher MO stat than him and quite a few of those have slightly weaker Hi/TT/ACC combinations than him and depending on how my team will act, he will also have better support than most of those.
However, I hope that Vosekalns will go stage hunting / KoM chasing a lot. He has proven it time over time that he is capable of doing so and I want to see him continue that way. Same goes for the rest of my climbing core. If Sergis, Sakalou, Budenieks and Blums continue to get into breaks, that would be nice. Ideally as second man next to Vosekalns or later on potentially as second man to Chiarello. Of those, Blums doubles down as our contender for the U25 competition. That competition seems to be wide open and I'm quite annoyed that i didnt brought Enric Mas who was loaned in as our designated U25 leader. However, with the wildcard for Lierse, i figured that Oomen would dominate this easily and decided to send him elsewhere instead. Rolling Eyes

The list of puncheurs is slightly disappointing for me. Since i dont have a good one here, I kinda hoped that one of the better puncheurs that seemed to save race days earlier on would attend but that doesnt seem to be the case. Still its very good to see Demare here as that means that Van Stayen and Demare will once again avoid crossing roads too much. Should be a nice route for him - especially with the sprint competition looking beatable for him. Hopefully i can bother him a bit with my sprinter as Ingus Eislers is here for me as my sprinter. He is fairly unique with bad acceleration but great FL+RES so i'm not sure what exactly i can expect from him. I decided to not send a proper setup around him in the hope of him going train surfing. Naud is the only strong flat rider to get him in position and might hopefully double down as the designated attacker on flat stages.


Fabianski wrote:
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/evo.png Evonik - ELKO lose 44" to pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gen.png Generali, which is still almost 20" faster than pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/afk.png Air France. However, I still wonder how happy pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/evo.png Chiarello is about his new team's time trial attitude...

I'd expect that he'd be absolutely elated considering the team overperformed a lot on the opening stage. Finishing inside the top 22 and being within 12 seconds of teams such as Festina or Puma is a massive result for us Grin

A TTT report that has two Evonik pictures and quite a few more mentions for us is a great sign for the detailness of the report and i'm looking forward to getting such a detailed report on stages that are actually interesting Pfft
A Big Thank You To All MG Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!

knockout wrote:
Is it just me or are people putting way more effort into previews lately? This is another excellent one!

Thanks. I can't really speak for the others, but my last two races were a monument (RvV) and a GT - and yeah, I did decide to spend more time on the preview for these. But there will probably be races reported with a bit less of effort (although I'm not quite sure if I can really do that...).
The GTs are going to be a key part our season, so it's great to see this one is going to get some excellent Fabianski coverage!

A nice Luxembourg flavour here with Schleck, Kirsch and Wirtgen all in the mix. Top 10 is the target for Andy really, would be nice for him to achieve that in one of his two Grand Tours this season, and this looks like a good opportunity. Hopefully the other two can find their way into breakaways, to give themselves a chance at the KoM and U25 jerseys respectively.

Pretty solid start in the TTT to finish 11th, as the preview indicated, we did not want to drop Schleck - bit of a pity to waste 1 second by behind 7th over the line, but unlikely to matter much in the long run.
knockout wrote:
Still its very good to see Demare here as that means that Van Stayen and Demare will once again avoid crossing roads too much. Should be a nice route for him - especially with the sprint competition looking beatable for him.

I very much appreciate that as well! I hope both of them can make good use of the fact.

It's slightly surprising none of the other 3 distinctive hilly sprinters risked coming here.
Obviously, the Vuelta starts with a flat stage to offer the leader's jersey to the winner, and the Tour has a very flat first week, but that's often where the mind games start to play a role and sometimes the least obvious choice becomes the most populated.

Oh well, enjoy fighting over the Tour and Vuelta! Pfft

I think my reasoning to be here is very solid, and I eagerly await to see whether the racing proves me right.
Fabianski wrote:
Bikex wrote:
I also like the overview in the second post. I hope my team will appear there a few times.

The first update doesn't look that bad for you Wink

Looks perfect thank you! Smile
Great report! It felt like forever until my team finally appeared. I didn't think they could beat Tinkoff's time but after Bennelong almost did it after also being behind in the intermediate time check, I knew it could be possible. Only unfortunate aspect is Reis not finishing among the first 5 but I guess I can live with that. Smile
I'm happy that sending my (almost) top TTT squad here paid off. It's the first TTT I ever win in the MG and what a moment to do it!

Cool to see Hsu in the Maglia Rosa. Looking at the final picture it seems like his sprinting stats helped him get to the line first of the team. Let's see how long we can defend the jersey. I think for at least flat stage 2 it should still be possible. Maybe it also helps Hsu with being in a good position for the final sprint.
It would obviously help if the next two stages are won by riders of teams that can't overtake mine with the time bonuses, so I wouldn't mind two wins by Demare Smile

matt17br wrote:
Congrats Bikex! Very impressive to watch King Power becoming a force to be truly reckoned with in TTs, but suddenly I wonder if I should have just kept Viviani Pfft

As you might have noticed I'm also having second thoughts regarding some of my transfer decisions Pfft
However I doubt King Power will remain a tt force over the next years with all my 79 timetrialists being old.

Also thanks for all the congrats! Looking forward to the upcoming stages. Only unfortunate thing about this race is that there are still almost 3 weeks of racing and I already had my highlight of the race. But maybe there'll be some more, let's see. Smile
Last year Appollonio couldn't get top 10's in PCT. Now he's winning Giro stages to go into pink. Go figure. Looks like my asking price wasn't so crazy after all...

Great report!
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
That tv time! Two stages, two successes!
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Ahh that's a little bit unlucky! Such a close sprint and then someone wins who is less than 20 seconds behind. Nice result for the home crowd, congrats viking!

It was good to see Hsu fighting for the pink jersey though. 5th is a great stage result for him.
Thanks for another great report Fabianski!
Dissapointing... Again :-(

That was a horrible mess of a sprint preparation. Let's NEVER do that again.
Aregger dropped, just to come back, just to have the right three riders in front of Demare, just to have them spend all their energy at the 5km mark, and see them scatter all over the road when the sprint actually starts.

I have to be content with second place from that chaos, as it easily could've been much less if Demare had been spent with 100m to go.
And if he hadn't been smart enough to grab a wheel to get some slipstream from, that could've easily happened.
Congrats to Volvo!

Obviously, the win was in his grasp, and I expect him to prevail in these close battles more often than not over the course of the race.

So it's time to win tomorrow then!
We cannot let the speed drop again over the last KoM and after, this is where we have to drop many sprinters for good.
Sadly, the leader's jersey for Appollonio basically guarantees he'll make the selection, as the bonus is insane for these kinds of stages, seen with Degenkolb in Nederland for example.
Oh and actually, I fear the new points system will be worse for Demare, as it helps flat sprinters more than it hurts stage racers... Frown
Amazing report again. Makes me wish I never let go of Appo, but that was ages ago now. Just never thought he'd be a winner of a GT sprint stage, with all the better names available.
Van Poppel actually looked good in that sprint to finish 7th. He seemed to have spend most of the sprint in the wind so I'm surprised he didn't actually drop out of the top 10 in the closing meters of the stage.
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