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Tick's Blick: 27 May 2005
By Tick
Date: 5/27/2005
Tick's Blick: 27 May 2005

Life is full of little surprises and the last two weeks have certainly been no exception.

I for one didn't expect to come down with the flu (which is why there was no Blick last week).

Certainly no one expected Alessandro Petacchi to go so long before winning his first Giro stage. It was beginning to look as if he were human after all and could be beat! The low point certainly had to be when his lead-out man misjudged a corner and the whole team made pavement contact. But cream always rises to the top and he has so far powered his way to three victories.

Two of the early favorites for the Giro were Ivan Basso and Damiano Cunego. But now their names are only spoken in tones of sadness. Basso naturally wants to repeat his excellent performance in last year's Tour de France - or even improve on his third place - so it only remains to hope he hasn't taken too much out of himself by continuing to ride with his illness. Cungeo remains a mystery, with some observers wondering if he's not a "one hit wonder". Or the next victim of the Italian media's attention, presure and desire to produce the next superstar.

Paolo Savoldelli is certainly a positive surprise. He started the year off with a broken collarbone, seemingly just continuing the series of injuries and illnesses that plagued him during his time with Telekom. It does a fan's heart good to see him put those two painful years behind him and take his place in the world's elite again.

My personal favorite surprise is Gerolsteiner's Markus Fothen, who at 23 years old is only in his second pro year and is so far 11th in his very first Grand Tour (twelfth after today's time trial). Markus came to public attention in 2003 when he was German, European and World U-23 time trial champion. He is apparently carrying on the tradition started last year by Fabian Wegmann, in which a young Gerolsteiner rider jumps into the public spotlight in the Giro. Certainly Gerolsteiner has done better in the Giro than rival T-Mobile, which has covered itself not with glory but anonymity.

There are still a few stages to go before the riders roll in to Milan, including what looks like it will be quite an exciting one Saturday. The viewers will probably enjoy that one a lot more than the riders will. The top three are still relatively close together, so nothing is so far definitely settled. Will there be more surprises, or will the surprise be that nothing will change? We'll see....

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