Cycling: Giro D'Italia - Mark Cavendish - Typical Pom

What is the typical English trait?
I reckon its smashing the easybeats and quitting when you have to take on the tough challenges. Look at the English cricket team. They have smashed the West Indies who barely deserve to be called a test team, but will get beaten by the Aussies when it really matters. England's football team has a history of not winning a major title since the 1966 World Cup despite inventing the game and having probably the strongest domestic competition. They always get partway there before quitting when they face some real opposition. This brings us to England's great quitter: Mark Cavendish.

Cav quit the 2007 Tour De France in the 8th stage. That's not even half way. He then quit the 2008 version of the race after 13 stages, citing a need to rest up for the Olympics. He was the only British track cycist not to win a medal at those Olympics (alteast according to wikipedia), so obviously he didn't quit early enough. Cavendish has just recently quit the Giro D'Italia after the 13th stage. He apparantly needed to rest up for the Tour. How does he need to rest for an event in which he will probably manage half the stages? No wonder a former team mate, Roger Hammond said early in 2007 "To be honest, he started the season so catastrophically that the staff were wondering what they could enter Mark for so that he could finish the race."

Now onto some better riders in this year's Giro. The contenders should be down to 3, unless someone like Basso does a Oscar Pereiro. Denis Menchov holds the pink jersey by 39 seconds from Danilo "The Killer" Di Luca. Carlos Sastre looked strong yesterday, and won stage 16 to move to 2 minutes 19 seconds behind Menchov. The Blockhaus stage tomorrow should decide the winner. I expect Sastre to attack hard for the mountaintop finish. Di Luca and Menchov have to react and stick with him after yesterday. Di Luca should be capable of doing it, but Menchov might be dropped. I tip Di Luca to be wearing pink after tomorrow.

There is only one more stage that might affect the general classification after that, stage 19 finishing on Vesuvius. Expect lots of attempted attacks without much success as the shorter climb will not allow much in the way of time gaps.

One big disappointment for this year's Giro, from an Aussie perspective has been Mick Rogers. he has done as expected in the climbs, not quite having the weaponary of a Sastre or Di Luca, but for a former 3-time world time trial champion to lose 2:46 on stage winner Menchov and even 28 seconds on Sastre, who is not a noted time-triallist is very disappointing. Atleast Simon Gerrans flew the Aussie flag by winning stage 14.

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