Giro d'Italia 2007

- Stage 10 -

The first real climb of the Giro 2007 in the 10th stage towards Santuario Nostra Signora della Guardia (700m of difference in height at 8% gradient) proposed some excellent climbing performances, notwithstanding the heat and the 250+ km of the stage, done in 6h30' at an average speed of almost 40 km/h.

1860 m/h was the VAM of the winner, Piepoli.
1810 m/h the VAM of the 10th of the day, the new pink jersey Noè, with all the favorites expressing similar performances.

In 2 days the stage of Briancon, with Colle dell' Agnello and Izoard, will select new values on the longer climbs, shifting the challenge from the power of the engine to the tank capacity.

- Stage 12 -

A very high pace and a great selection since the beginning ramps of the Colle dell' Agnello, tackled by the Sanier Duval riders, who today "took the race by the reins", even if eventually Danilo di Luca confirmed himself as the most brilliant, if not the strongest. 

1755 m/h was the VAM of the best ones in the final 10 km of the 10% average gradient climb, at an altitude of between 1700 and 2700 m.
This VAM corresponds to aproximately 5.85 watts/kg of average power output. I remind you that at such altitudes the oxygen availability is reduced by more than 10%.

Such superb performance was particularly taxing on the legs of the riders, affecting the speed of the climbing on the Izoard (7.1% average gradient) and resulting in a VAM = 1550 m/h, corresponding on such a gradient to about 5.70 watts/kg.

- Waiting for the Zoncolan - 

Danilo di Luca is dominating the Giro d' Italia: after an excellent uphill TT in Oropa, he rather easily dropped all his rivals for the final Giro victory on the Tre cime di Lavaredo.

In Oropa, in the final 8 km of the climb at 7.6%, his VAM was 1701 m/h; Cunego and Simoni could make 1679 m/h and 1657 m/h respectively, while the fastest on that part was Piepoli (1753 m/h).

In the hardest stage of this Giro 2007, it was a fierce battle since the first climb, and the endurance of the cyclists was toughly put to a test. 
The pink jersey group, after the Passo S. Pellegrino, was climbing the Passo Giau (10km at 9% average gradient) at 1627 m/h, the Passo Tre Croci (8km at 7%) at 1450 m/h, while the last 4 km at 12% of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo were devoured by Di Luca in 15'30" (1780 m/h), with Simoni and Cunego at 1700 m/h, Schleck at 1672 m/h, and the excellent Mazzoleni and Riccò, both for a long time in breakaways, at 1650 m/h.

- Epilogue -

The Zoncolan did not result determining to name final classification winner of the 90th Giro d' Italia: Piepoli was setting the pace for Simoni who took the stage victory, but Schleck, Di Luca and Cunego were not so far behind.
Even riderswho are 10 kg heavier than these such as Mazzoleni and Bruseghin were able to limit the gap within reasonable terms.

1850 m/h was the VAM on the 1203m of climbing at 12% average gradient: it was good, but not excellent, considering the steepness of the climb. Probably the fatigue of the third week of racing did affect the performaces of the athletes.

Danilo di Luca dominated this edition of the Giro from the top of an excellent fitness that he had achieved already during the Classics in the Ardennes, and maintained and consolidated in the following 4 weeks.
Very thin, a strong climber, he was able to manage the team very well and he seemed at ease in every race situation, showing a psycho-physical maturity that was a bit unexpected by most of us.

In the final TT in Verona, we saw a partial pay-back of the rouleurs to the climbers, in an edition of the italian stage race that in my opinion was too much favorable to very light riders (not by chance the best climber was Leonardo Piepoli, just about 54kg), proposing climbs with prohibitive gradients that little have to do with the technical gestures of road cycling.

05 Jun 2007