Quiet Day for ORICA-GreenEDGE at Giro d'Italia Uphill Time TrialFri 24 May 2013
Maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) proved unstoppable on the second individual time trial of the Giro d’Italia. The race leader stormed to victory on the uphill course, increasing his advantage over Cadel Evans (BMC), in second, to 4’02. While the ORICA-GreenEDGE time trial specialists targeted the Grand Tour’s first time trial, the uphill effort during week three was best left to the climbers. Christian Meier was the team’s best placed rider on stage 18, 5’14 behind Nibali.
“Today’s stage was nearly all uphill with an average of five percent,” said Assistant Sport Director Julian Dean. “Although it’s classified as a time trial, we didn’t use time trial bikes. We used normal road bikes and light weight wheels. On a course like this, it’s more about power to weight than time trial abilities. Guys like Luke [Durbridge] and Svein [Tuft] can put up a lot of power, but their size becomes a hindrance when they start racing uphill.”
“Obviously riders like Svein and Pieter [Weening] are more experienced when it comes to this type of time trial,” Dean added. “When you look at someone like Luke who had a hard day yesterday, it’s important to help them moderate their effort. We didn’t want him to overexert himself after riding in the breakaway yesterday, but he needed stay within the time cut. It’s a balance. Today was a good learning experience for Luke. He certainly hasn’t focused on conserving in a time trial at any point in his young career.”
Dean said the course lent itself to be divided up into three distinct sections. He used this natural division to help his riders approach the stage.
“The climbing today was pretty consistent with one exception,” noted Dean “There was a small one kilometre drop in the middle that gave the guys a bit of time to recover. The goal was to ride hard up to the drop, recover in the small section downhill and ride steady during the last part of the race.”
“The area that hosted the time trial is very beautiful,” he added. “The roads were nice and wide. The ambiance was fantastic. There were a lot of people out along the course. It was all pretty typical of a normal sort of Giro mountaintop day.”
While rain may have hampered the stage for the overall contenders, the early starters enjoyed dry road and blue skies. Jens Mouris was the first ORICA-GreenEDGE rider to head to the start house.
“Fortunately for us, we got done before the rain really started coming down for the last guys,” said Dean. “It was nice that the weather cooperated for them for once. We won’t be so lucky tomorrow.”
Teams were notified Thursday evening that Friday’s mountain stage would be altered due to snow.
“They taken out the Gavia and the Stelvio,” Dean explained. “Those were meant to be the first two big climbs. They have added in alternate climbs with the Tonale and Castrin, but they’re certainly not as hard. The final climb is the same. It will still be a rough day, but it won’t be quite as hard as what we were prepared to race.