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David L. Stanley
2018 Giro d'Italia:
Monday, May 21, the Giro with one week to go

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David Stanley is an experienced cycling writer. His work has appeared in Velo, Velo-news.com, Road, Peloton, and the late, lamented Bicycle Guide (my favorite all-time cycling magazine). Here's his Facebook page. He is also a highly regarded voice artist with many audiobooks to his credit, including McGann Publishing's The Olympics' 50 Craziest Stories and Cycling Heroes.

And there is his masterful telling of his bout with skin cancer, "Melanoma: It Started With a Freckle". It's available as an audiobook narrated by the author here. For the print and Kindle eBook versions, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

David L Stanley

David L. Stanley

David L. Stanley writes:

Pick a sport and every coach has had to answer the same question from a determined parent: “How can I make sure that my child becomes a world-class athlete?” Every coach offers up the same truisms, “Well, the kid’ll need lots of self-discipline, plenty of coaching and support, plus lots of time to develop.” But sooner or later, every coach says a variation of the same words; “Make sure your kid chose the right parents.”

The 25-year-old Simon Yates (Michelton-Scott) from Bury clearly has the Right Stuff. (We miss you already, Tom Wolfe.) You can have the heart of a lion, a willingness to suffer, and the ability to withstand massive amounts of self-induced pain—but all professional cyclists share that. It is the mutant DNA-transmitted ability to transform oxygen via mitochondria into massive amounts of energy within a human body with an absurdly low bodyfat percentage that separates the Grand Tour champion from the merely fine professional.

This Giro has been Simon Yates' baptism by fire. While he won the Tour's Maillot Blanc in 2017, there is no comparison to the weight of the race leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour. He has withstood the attacks of Giro 2017 champion Tom Dumoulin in the mountains. We will find out on Tuesday, May 22 in Trento if Yates has stockpiled enough time to hold onto the maglia rosa against the world’s finest time trialist.

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We saw Yates match Froome, the world’s finest stage racer, stroke for stroke on the world’s toughest climb, the Zoncolan. You cannot say that Yates gifted the stage to Froome, a la HWSNBN and Pantani, but if the Giro was actually on the line, don’t you think Yates could’ve gone a skosh deeper?

Chris Froome

Chris Froome wins stage 14. Yates is just 6 seconds back.

During Sunday’s Stage 15, Simon Yates destroyed the field on the way to Sappada with a move that combined sagacity and the horsepower of a Gran Prix motorcar. His attack with 18 km to go brought back memories of history’s great climbers: Bartoli, Coppi, Ocaña, Simoni. In a group with Dumoulin, Miguel Angel Lopez, Carapaz, Pozzovivo, Froome, and Pinot, Yates responded to an attack by Lopez. Yates’ acceleration was so rapid that he opened a 20-second gap on the group, and gutted the once-resurgent Froome.

According to Eurosport, Yates becomes the first man to win three road stages in the maglia rosa since race winner Gilberto Simoni in 2003. Nibali won three stages as leader in 2013, but one was a tappa a cronometro and the other was given to him when Mauro Santambrogio was popped for EPO.

Simon Yates

Simon Yates wins stage 15, his third while wearing pink.


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It is only 34,200 meters from Trento to Rovereto (make sure to roll your r’s in that, it’s fun and you’ll crave a gelato). At 54 kph, that’s 38 minutes of suffering. Perhaps that’s enough road for Dumoulin to take the pink jersey from Yates. If it is, Stage 19 features the Cima Coppi atop the Colle della Finistre, another peak at Sestriere, and a final Alpine climb to the top of Bardonecchia. That’s plenty of vertical for an in-form and angry Simon Yates to reclaim the maglia rosa as he soars to victory.

Tom Dumoulin

Can Tom Dumoulin gain enough time in the time trial to withstand the last week's days in the high mountains?

You may have noticed that Simon’s twin, Adam Yates, two months away from a pelvic fracture in the Volta a Catalunya, finished two seconds off the final podium in the Amgen Tour of California.

Those Yates’ boys? To paraphrase the Ancient Knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “They chose…wisely.”

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