Giro d'Italia - What won't happen in Milan

Sat, 28 May 17:15:00 2011

So, Alberto Contador will ride around Milan with an unassailable 5:18 advantage on his way to securing a second Giro d'Italia triumph on Sunday.

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That much we can be certain. In fact, we can be certain of a lot - for instance, Fumiyuki Beppu will still be smiling and Steven Kruijswijk's surname will still be impossible to spell - but what can we be certain won't happen in world's fashion and design capital?

Saddles takes a look at this very important question...

Contador will not gift this to anyone - The Spaniard has given away three stages already this Giro so we can expect him to want to level things up by taking a third win. It's not as if he is going to drop three minutes back and pace Michele Scarponi to the finish line so the Italian can take a stage victory, now is it? That said, he'd be winning more friends in doing so - and you get the impression that that's the most important thing for Bertie right now.

Menchov won't crash on the cobbles - Saddles is as guilty as the next man in perpetuating this generalisation, but Menchov no longer hits the deck as much as a Monte Carlo croupier or an Ibiza DJ. Yes, a couple of Tours ago he crashed uphill while attacking - and who can forget that dramatic slide on the Roman cobbles en route to his 2009 Giro title? - but Denis now seems too busy developing a special brand of Geox invisibility jersey than doing anything so, erm, conspicuous.

Hoogerland will not go quietly - Ever one to try grabbing the headlines, Vacansoleil's Johnny Hoogerland will be annoyed that stage 21, being an ITT, will not give him the occasion to go on one of his trademark doomed breakaways. But the Dutchman won't let this affect him. Judging by his photos on Facebook, Hoogerland quite likes taking his top off, so perhaps the colourful 28-year-old will insist in riding the entire course without his jersey. Being a sponsors' dream, he'll no doubt get the Vacansoleil logo tattooed over his torso.

Gadret will not get on the podium - The bald French man is to time trialling what Ivan Basso is to an interesting tweet. His racing-against-the-clock abilities are right up there with Michael Rasmussen's so there's no way he'll be able to dethrone either Scarponi or Vincenzo Nibali from the podium. In fact, Gadret may even find himself caught for fourth place by the likes of Roman Kreuziger or Denis Menchov, even if they have around three minutes to make up. Yes, unless he's being paced by a punctured Nicolas Roche, he's that bad.

Russell Downing won't give up - The 32-year-old from Yorkshire crashed over a barrier on stage 19 and fell down a 20-metre ravine. "My bike went even further than me but fortunately I hit a tree," he explained - perhaps becoming the first person to combine the words "hit a tree" and "fortunate" in the same sentence. The Team Sky rider climbed up to the road, spat out some blood, got back on his bike, crashed a second time, punctured and changed his bike - all before finishing under lashing rain with the grupetto. "I'm a bit sore this morning but I'm going to try and finish this bad boy off," he said on Saturday. There's no way Downing will call it a day now.


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