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Podiums, Pushes & Punches: The Last Week Of The Giro d’Italia | The Cycling Race News Show


(beeping) Welcome back to the GCN Racing News Show. Coming up today, the Giro
wraps with pushes, punches, and the first ever
winner for an Ecuadorian in the form of Richard Carapaz. We’ll be going through
five things we’ve learnt over the final week of the race. We’ve also got the Dirty Kanza with all of its pre-race
controversy and beef, plus the Tour of Norway, the
LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour, the Under-23 Paris-Roubaix,
and the Flèche du Sud. As the dust settles on
the 102nd Giro d’Italia, we thought we’d look back
at five things we’ve learnt over the final week of
racing, and believe it or not, we’re going to start with UCI rules. Spectators and media alike were once again left confused on Saturday by the rulings of the sports
government body, the UCI. It concerned two incidents,
the first was this, a lengthy push of Primož Roglič by two over-enthusiastic spectators. And the second one was this; Miguel Ángel López giving a spectator a few slaps round the chops
after he caused him to crash. Fair enough, some people said. The spectator had what was coming to him after being so stupid, disrupting a race which the rider had
prepared for for months. Others claimed that there should never be an excuse for physical violence, and that, despite
understanding the reaction, López should have been disqualified. Which, under the letter of the UCI rules, that’s exactly what should have happened. They just decided not to implement them after scrutinizing the incident. Here’s a reaction from a couple of pros competing up at the Tour of Norway. – I would say I get the
reaction of López for sure, because it is annoying when
a spectator who wants to run, who shouldn’t be running next to you, and then he takes you down, of course you’re angry,
you’re in full effort, but of course you cannot do that. Yeah, no, I think, obviously
it’s not good either way. I can understand the high
emotion, you know, it’s, we wouldn’t go into their
job and start running around and pushing people around, it’s
good that he can get there, but you need to just be sensible. When I won the stage in Colorado, actually had a guy fall over next to me and the motorbike hit
him on the way through. I understand people getting excited, but I watched Tour of California the other day when I was at home, and I saw on Mt Baldy
as well, that was just, I get that the fans are excited, but I don’t really see the reason to run next to the riders to get your three seconds
of fame on TV, you know? In a tutu or something. – On the other hand, Primož Roglič was handed a ten-second
penalty for an uninvited push. One which could have cost him
his place on the final podium. Again, that’s what the UCI rules state. But it appears that
they only implement them when they want to. Now this, too, divided opinions. Some question, how on earth could a rider get punished for something
out of their control, while others, including me, in fact, felt that Roglič should have at least made some kind of gesture to suggest that he didn’t want to
be pushed even if he did. Otherwise, you can put
out a whole army of fans on the steepest climbs just to give you a handy push at the right time. Regardless of your own opinion,
I think that all we want is for the UCI to apply their own rules, and to apply them consistently and evenly. I mean, even as someone who’s
been in the sport for years, I get confused by them, let alone somebody that’s
just started watching. Also, as always, we’d
love to hear your thoughts on both incidents in the
comments section below, and you can also take the
poll that’s on the screen, to give your opinion on López. Richard Carapaz was a surprise
winner for many this year, but in hindsight, he shouldn’t have been. – Primož Roglič. – Vincenzo Nibali. – Simon Yates. – Vincenzo Nibali. – Vincenzo Nibali. – Superman López. – Simon Yates. – Success rate, zero. One of us should have
picked him up though, he was fourth last year
in his first outing, including a stage win. That’s a pretty good
indication of future success, as was the fact that he and Landa dominated the Asturias Race
just one week before the Giro. Regardless of whether or not he should’ve been under the
radar, doesn’t really matter, he’s well and truly on it now. Having dominated in the mountains, in which he never once looked in trouble. In fact, the only time he set a foot wrong was when he got caught
behind a crash on stage 3, losing 46 seconds. In the same way that Greg
LeMond and Lance Armstrong put cycling on the map in America, Wiggins and Cavendish in the UK, Carapaz will now do the same in Ecuador. The government even put the last stage on free-to-view national TV so the whole country
could celebrate together. His win will put cycling on the map in his home country of Ecuador and will inspire a whole generation of new cyclists and racers. We’re becoming used to
Columbians wreaking havoc in the mountains of grand tours but expect in a few years’ time to see a few more Ecuadorians, too. From the moment the Giro route
was announced last October, we knew it was going to be back-loaded, i.e, easier in the first
half than a standard Giro, building up to a brutal final week. The aim, presumably, being
to leave us all in suspense until the final moment. However, I don’t think I’ll be alone in saying it didn’t really work. Now, in some ways, that wasn’t
really the organizers’ fault; strongest rider on the strongest team went into the race lead with a week to go and he never even looked
close to cracking. They were also forced to remove
this year’s highest point, the Gavia, due to the
threat of avalanches. That said, however exciting
that final week had been, it would’ve been hard to make
up for the first 11 days, which wasn’t exactly
edge-of-your-seat stuff. It’s in stark contrast to
what we normally expect from the Giro route,
which throws up surprises with its route, that in turn often produces surprises and shocks
in the race itself, too. Lots was expected of Vincenzo
Nibali for this year’s race; not only did he have the
whole nation behind him, he also had the weight of the
international cycling world, who were hoping, praying, wishing, that he’d make his
trademark decisive attack, despite his best efforts,
he didn’t quite manage it. But for me, Nibali at this year’s race cemented the position as one
of cycling’s all-time greats. The consistency he’s
shown over the grand tours of the last 12 years is
nothing short of remarkable. 21 grand tours, four wins and
now 11 times on the podium, which puts him an equal fifth
in the all-time greats list with Chris Froome, according
to Café Roubaix on Twitter. Whenever you think you can write him off, he comes back with a bit
and shows you what he’s got. The timing of his form,
his tenacity on the bike and the fact that he’s
also won Milan-San Remo and Il Lombardia make him one of the best riders ever in my opinion. And finally, we learnt
that perseverance pays off. One of the most feel-good moments of the Giro had to be seeing Chad Haga take his maiden grand tour
stage win yesterday in Verona. The American had come to the race in support of Tom Dumoulin, but when he went home the first week, the team and Chad had to
reset and make new goals. For Chad, that meant the time trials. Most eyes were on Campenaerts
and Roglič for the win, but Haga meticulously planned his race and pulled off the time trial
of his life to take the win. Seeing his emotion as he
realized what he’d done was enough to make everyone
else emotional, too. It’s always great to see
the good guys have their day and that’s exactly what
happened yesterday. And so, to wrap up our
coverage of this year’s Giro, I shall leave you with Chad’s final Giro oversimplified tweet. Stage 21: This guy was left speechless and in tears when he
became today’s top guy, and the top guy became the Top Guy. Nice work, Chad, good
on you, you deserve it. The Giro though wasn’t the
only race going on last week. In fact there’s been
plenty of other action. We’ll start with the
Dirty Kanza gravel race. This event, as many of you will be aware, has catapulted itself from
its first ever event in 2006, where less than 50 riders took part, to Saturday’s event,
which saw close to 3000, including some of
America’s top pro riders. Which in itself became controversial. Like all cool, niche
events, there are inevitably those that resent the
fact that it’s got bigger. The ethos of gravel racing is that there are no hard and fast rules apart from fact that you have to be completely self-supported. That in itself has become an issue. There was a bit of an
online spat last week between the likes of MTB pro Goeff Kabush and former winner Ted King against a number of the pros taking part, including Trek-Segafredo’s
piece Stetina and Kiel Reijnen. The issue? The use of time trial
bars and gravel bikes. Kabush and King completely anti, Stetina and Reijnen wondering
what all the fuss was about considering there are no rules. Perhaps, time for some unwritten rules. It’s a subject we’ll be discussing more on the GCN show tomorrow, in terms of the controversy regarding pro rider participation, it was in the end, unnecessary. Yes, they filled most
of the top five spots in the men’s race, but they didn’t win. That accolade went to Colin Strickland, a double winner of the world
gravel bike championships. Don’t worry if you
don’t know that existed, neither did we. He came home though, three
minutes ahead of Stetina, who controversially had taken a Twizzler at the 185 mile mark. Again, more on that tomorrow. It was an impressive ride by Strickland, who became the first rider to complete the event in under 10 hours, and at an average speed
of over 20 miles an hour. In the women’s event there
was far less controversy, 26-year-old Amity Rockwell
of Easton Overland got the better of Alison
Tetrick in the closing 25 miles, finishing the event in just a
few seconds short of 12 hours. We also have the tour of Norway last week, most of the six stages
ended up in a bunch, which makes it all the more surprising that we had six different stage winners. Cees Bol kicked things
off on the opening day with a win for Team Sunweb
whilst the following day, it was the turn of young
Columbian Jose Alvaro Hodeg, Edvard Boasson Hagen
took a much-needed win for Dimension Data on day three, coming home two seconds in
front of Joris Niewenhuis, taking the leader’s jersey in the process. Another youngster, Edoardo Affini took his first pro win for
Mitchelton-SCOTT on stage four. You can remember that he was the guy calmly putting out 450
watts while barely breathing on the Zwift event that
preceded the Giro d’Italia. Definitely a name to watch
over the next few years. The remainder of the race though, turned into a ding dong battle between Boasson Hagen and fellow Norwegian Alexander Kristoff, who
in winning stage five had gone into the lead by a single second. On the final stage, despite a late attack by Edoard Boasson Hagen,
Kristoff came home in third, behind Kristoffer Halverson. He’d done enough to secure the overall victory in his home race. There are some races that are just iconic, Paris-Roubaix to many is the monument. As a junior, if you’ve
decided on a pro career, winning this one will make people really sit up and take notice. Current pros such as Geraint
Thomas, Jasper Stuyven, Mads Pederson and the
up-and-coming Tom Pidcock have all taken victory in this event. You might remember that
earlier in the year it was announced that due to a
€10,000 short-falling budget, it was unlikely that the Under-19 edition of this year’s race would take place. Trek-Segafredo’s John
Degenkolb stepped into the void and kickstarted a GoFundMe campaign with a €2,500 donation from himself, it quickly gathered momentum, and along with the
likes of Michael Rogers, Heinrich Haussler, Rick
Zabel and 300 others, the race was saved. Degenkolb of course, has a
special place in Roubaix history, taking the pro version in 2015. But also, who will ever forget his emotional Stage 9 victory in the 2018 Tour de France into Roubaix. Benefiting from that was
Hidde Van Veenendaal, who took victory ahead of
Hugo Toumire and Lars Boven. In the Under-23 version, Tom Pidcock again showed
his class and development, taking his second victory
over the cobblestones. Like his older contemporary in
cross, Mathieu van der Poel, who many tip as a future winner of the the Hell of the North, could Pidcock become the
first rider to win all three? Time will tell. The LOTTO Thüringen
Ladies’ Tour in Germany is one of the most important and prestigious stage
races on the calendar. Now in its 32nd year, it also kicks off a busy couple of months that also includes the
Women’s Tour in Great Britain, which starts next Monday and the Giro Rosa in July, watch out for that one on GCN Racing. Despite not winning a stage, consistency rewarded
Kathrin Hammes of the win. She’d gone into the
lead on the second day, and with the help of her
WNT Pro-Cycling team, defended it all the way to the finish on the final day in Altenburg. The race also saw the continuation of an incredible season
for Marta Bastianelli, who in winning Stage 2, claimed her seventh
win this season so far. There was also a win for
Ellen van Dijk of Team Sunweb in the individual time trial
on the penultimate day, a high that was closely followed by a low, as it emerged that her
team bike had been stolen from the bike room at the team hotel on the evening of the final stage. If you see it, I’m sure
she and Trek-Segafredo would love to hear from you. Finally this week, a few
words about the Flèche du Sud. So while Mathieu van der Poel has basically been crushing the
hopes and dreams of everyone from cyclo-cross, road and
mountain bikes this year, you might be excused for
thinking that his cross rivals are all sat at home. Not so. Step up, Telenet Fidea Lions
in this week’s Flèche du Sud. Quinten Hermans, Toon Aerts and Daan Soete going one, two, three in the prologue. Not content with that,
Hermans then won the two stages again, with Toon Aerts third on Stage 1 and Stage 2. Great to see these guys on great form, and it certainly bodes
well for the winter. Right, that’s all for this week, things quiet down a
little bit temporarily, but next week we’ll be back with the opening stage
of Critérium du Dauphiné, the Grande Prix de Gatineau
and the Tour of Luxembourg. Speaking of which, we’ll
have daily highlights of the Dauphiné over on our Facebook page, so make sure you head over
there and see how Froome, Quintana, Porte, Pinot and
Bardet are all getting on with their preparation
for the Tour de France. In the mean time, if you’d like to see how hard
cycling was in a bygone era, you can see how Ollie got
on at the Croce d’Aune with a vintage bike and kit
by clicking it down here. Have a great week from me, Marty. See you soon, bye for now.

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