Svein Tuft Watch: Tirreno-Adriatico, Stages 4 and 5

You know, I haven’t watched a minute of this race–I think at least clips are available online–and I don’t know whether it would make a difference in terms of understanding what the course has been like for Svein and the other racers. From afar, one of the strangest things about the race so far is following the progress–no, lack of progress–of Fabian Cancellara. When last we heard of him, he was winning the prologue of the Tour of California, then falling ill and dropping out the next day–the cold wet run from Davis to Santa Rosa that prompted Lance Armstrong to Twitter, “Holy hell. That was terrible.” Cancellara is still sick (and injured) and is not only last in the Tirreno-Adriatico G.C., but has added to his legend by having been overtaken by the rider who followed him out onto the course during today’s time trial. This is the Olympic and world champion time-trial champion we’re talking about here, and the 2007 champion of this very race.

But back to Tuft-world. Standingswise, Svein moved up this weekend:

Saturday

Stage 4, 171 kilometers from Foligno to Montelupone (the finish is on a wall with stretches of 20 percent plus).

Stage 4 finish: 48th, 5:04 behind stage winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Spanish, riding for Caisse d’Epargne). Svein and Garmin-Slipstream teammate Julian Dean finished together, trailing the previous group by a minute and the following group by 50 seconds.)

G.C. placing after Stage 4: 83rd, 13:48 behind leader (Rodriguez). Tuft and Dean are placed with the same time in G.C.

Sunday

Loreto Aprutino → Macerata

Stage 5, 30-kilometer time trial from Loreto Aprutino to Macerata

Stage 5 finish: 41th, 2:12 behind stage winner Andreas Kloeden (German, riding for Astana).

G.C. placing after Stage 4: 72nd, 15:29 behind leader (Kloeden).

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