Domenico Pozzovivo rises up hillside and general classification
You can’t claim ignorance of the major protagonist from yesterday’s stage, for it was Domenico Pozzovivo, the object of infatuation for this website.
The stars aligned for our Domenico. It was dry, it was uphill and he could ride on his own. As ever, he picked the steepest section of the final climb to attack. Passing a team-mate a few seconds later, he appeared to lean over and ask whether he would care to join him, giving the appearance of making small talk, rather than putting elite athletes to the sword. For some reason, the team-mate declined the offer.
Pozzovivo gained 26 seconds on the other main contenders and a four second bonus for finishing third. He’s now fourth overall, 1m20s behind Cadel Evans. Unfortunately, having checked the route, I can see that there are some descents, flats and time trials still to come and we can realistically expect colder temperatures, wet weather and other cyclists to crop up every now and again as well. Our man’s pleasingly extended list of limitations will be properly tested over the next fortnight.
Peter Weening, who, along with second-placed Davide Malacarne, had been part of the breakaway. A win for the breakaway! Hurray!
In his post-stage interviews, Weening unveiled the most stereotypically Dutch accent since Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse’s Amsterdam policemen.
It’s actually a rest day next and then Tuesday’s stage is one for the sprinters.
Bradley Wiggins defended the lead he earned in the time trial and won the Tour of California. He is now the King of America or something. If you want to gauge the significance of this achievement, Rohan Dennis, who came second, is an extremely good rider. Lawson Craddock, who came third… well, let’s just say that I was unaware of his existence until about 30 seconds ago.
But let’s be generous. Craddock’s only 22, so he’s doubtless an improving rider. I hope he doesn’t improve too much though. He appears to be so frighteningly American that I actually find it physically painful to look at him.