Stefano Pirazzi and the King of the Nutcases competition

I’ve mostly been focusing on the general classification with a few nods to the points competition. What I haven’t really covered is the mountains classification.

King of the Mountains

The leader of the mountains classification tends to be referred to as the King of the Mountains (which always makes me hum this to myself). However, I think that label confuses casual followers of the sport. It makes them think that the leader is the best climber, which is almost never the case. You don’t win mountains points for being the fastest up a given slope. You win them for being first to the top, which is a slightly different thing.

Really, the leader in the mountains classification should be considered the King of the Nutcases, because that better reflects how points are accumulated. It’s more like the breakaway competition. If you’re out ahead of the peloton all the time, you will tend to accumulate mountain points because you are always going to arrive at summits before everyone else.

This Giro’s nutcases

Some riders target one stage in an entire Grand Tour for a breakaway attempt because it is so physically draining. The fewer riders there are in the break, the less you can shelter from the wind and the more time you have to spend on the front. To commit to doing this again and again is just demented.

So who’s demented? Well, Stefano Pirazzi is way out on his own on this one. He currently leads the mountains classification with 79 points to Giovanni Visconti’s 42 points. Yesterday, he appeared to spend almost the entire stage attacking. Even if these efforts weren’t particularly prolonged, they spoke volumes of his intent, bloody-mindedness and mental deficiencies.

By the way…

Domenico Pozzovivo lost about 1m30s yesterday. He doesn’t like descents. Or flats. Or long stages.