There’s a great Spanish movie from 2001 starring Max von Sydow called ‘Intacto.’
The premise of the film is that for some people luck isn’t a matter of sheer chance; it’s a commodity which they possess and which they can trade – or steal.
Argos fast man John Degenkolb may be one of them.
Granted it wasn’t luck that he was actually in the group of 95 which contested the finish – which is more than can be said for Cav, Gavazzi, Goss and Modolo – that was due to his ability to get over the climbs; something I’d expected Goss to do.
But the German still had Bennati, Bouhanni, Ferrari, Ventoso and Viviani to worry about stealing from him.
When Degenkolb’s Argos team mate Luca Mezgec went down near the front inside the last kilometre – causing a chain reaction on the slick white paint of a pedestrian crossing – it looked like Bardini’s Marco Canola, who was on lead out duties for Battaglin, was going to score a fabulous double for the men in lurid green.
Being on the front he’d missed the carnage and was well clear at the front.
But while others, fell, braked and hesitated, not Degenkolb – despite being in the middle of the chaos, he stayed upright, launched, made up an impossible gap and took the stage.
Lots of watts – but more than a touch of luck; Max von Sydow would be proud.
Respect to Degenkolb – but lose the moustache, John.
I’ve told everyone before that Fabio Baldato was the only pro ever, in the history of cycling to get away with a moustache and beard.
It was just possible that a break could sneak clear on the closing ‘lumps’ today, but despite the lack of QuickStep and GreenEdge to nitrous oxide boost the chase, the lesser Italian teams took up the challenge – they know that come the chrono and mountains, TV time will be harder to come by.
Rabottini was away again for Vini Fantini, but looking a bit weary on it.
Saxo made an appearance for Bennati but his days of winning mass Grand Tour charges may well be over.
BMC rode well to keep Cuddles out of trouble – and again he looked comfortable in the finale.
But it was all about Argos; with only man who had his picture taken more than Degenkolb being poor old Canola who was swamped by photogs as he lay on the deck trying to get himself back together.
But like our buddy, professional super-snapper Wessel van Keuk says; ‘for sure, if you don’t take the picture then someone else will!’
And it wouldn’t be the Giro without me scouring Edinburgh – usually in the rain – for the Gazzetta.
Today’s £1:80’s worth was from Monday with the TTT providing the stage copy and pictures.
But if any reminder is needed that cycling is a long way behind football in terms of popularity in Italy, just have a look at the Gazzetta’s front page.
Juventus of Turin’s second consecutive League Title dominates the paper – with the palmares of the league saying much about the North/South wealth divide in the nation.
The last time a club from anywhere other than Milan or Turin won the League was Roma in 2001, albeit Napoli was second, this year.
The Giro is way back on page 28 getting just two-and-a-half pages.
‘Sky like a train with the young Sicilian taking the jersey’ says the headline.
And as well as the jersey and the headlines, young Puccio got to ride back to mainland on the same high speed motor launch as used by ‘Bob’ De Niro and also the cast of ‘The Talented Mr. Ridley’ when the movie was shot on Ischia.
And last word to QuickStep’s Matteo Trentin;
“I launched my sprint maybe a little bit too early, and I couldn’t do better than fifth place. I’m happy about my finish, as this is my best yet in a World Tour race.
“Probably with a more attentive sprint I could have finished fourth, but it wouldn’t have changed much. Tomorrow I will return to work for Cavendish in a stage that suits him and the team perfectly.”
I’ll second that.
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Results - Giro d'Italia 2013 - Stage 5: Cosenza - Matera, 203km
2 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha
3 Paul Martens (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
4 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
5 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
6 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia
7 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
8 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
9 Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
10 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
11 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
12 Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
13 Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni Giocattoli
14 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
15 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ
16 Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol
17 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
18 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
19 Diego Rosa (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
20 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
21 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
22 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha
23 Danilo Hondo (Ger) RadioShack Leopard
24 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp
25 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
26 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
27 Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
28 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
29 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
30 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
31 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia
32 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
33 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
34 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
35 Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling
36 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
37 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
38 Stefano Locatelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
39 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
40 Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli
41 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
42 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
43 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
44 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
45 Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack Leopard
46 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team
47 Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp
48 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
49 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard
50 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team
51 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack Leopard
52 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
53 Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
54 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
55 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol
56 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
57 Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
58 Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Belisol
59 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia
60 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
61 Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
62 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida
63 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar Team
64 Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha
65 Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
66 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
67 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano
68 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
69 Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
70 Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
71 Alessandro Proni (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
72 Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ
73 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida
74 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
75 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale
76 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
77 Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
78 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
79 Robert Vrecer (Slo) Euskaltel-Euskadi
80 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
81 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
82 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
83 José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
84 Tiziano Dall’Antonia (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
85 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
86 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky Procycling
87 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
88 Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-Merida
89 Mads Christensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
90 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling
91 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol
92 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
93 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
94 Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
95 Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
96 Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano 0:01:15
97 Fabio Taborre (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia