Giro d'Italia 2008
04 Jun 2008
A lot of rain and cold, over 2000 km of transfers between cities and the several usual crashes made this edition of the Giro even harder than it was already due to the demanding course, especially in the 3rd week.
A course that was a bit too unbalanced in favor of lightweight climbers, proposing numerous climbs with gradients definitely higher than 10% and extreme peaks over 20%.
Eventually Alberto Contador won in Milan: having started from Sicily without the pressure of being the team leader (Kloden was supposed to be the captain for Astana, after his victory in Tour of Romandie), he later kept on increasing his motivation and athletic condition.
The young rider from Madrid took the general classification thanks to regularity, while his rivals, one by one had some moments of difficulty, whether on the mountains or in the time trials.
On the climb to Pampeago (average gradient of 10%) the best VAM was Menchov's (1785 m/h), on the Passo Fedaia (10%) the fastest was Pozzovivo (1840 m/h), while the VAM of Pellizotti (1620 m/h) in the uphill time trial to Plan de Corones (8.4% of average grade) was most likely slowed down by the more than 5 km of gravel surface.
On the Mortirolo (10.8%) the group of the best riders, surely affected by 3 weeks of battling and heavy raining of the previous stage, was not able to do better than 46'12" (VAM = 1710 m/h).
In the final time trial in Milan, Contador was clearly the best among the GC men, showing an excellent aerodynamic position and a pedaling cadence of 102-106 RPM.