Rain and mud

I was supposed to go camping and mountain biking in East Burke VT at the amazing Kingdom Trails for the week-end but I decided to stay home (waking up very late helped me decide to be honest) and log some miles on next week's women's World Cup road loop yesterday. The city workers were still busy shaving the big bumps on the streets and filling up the worst potholes but it was a nice day to be out.

Today though, I was glad I wasn't camping. It was raining and much colder than the last few days. Europe got a pounding too, with a slightly wet stage at the Giro d'Italia and a very muddy second round of the Offenburg XC World Cup in Germany.

DiLuca leads Schleck and Cunego

At the Giro, Riccardo Ricco won the toughest stage of the whole race that finished on slopes hitting 18% to Tre Cime Di Lavaredo. His team captain Gilberto Simoni now lies in 4th overall at 3.19, surging ahead of Damiano Cunego that is now at 3.23. Today, only Eddy Mazzoleni managed to steal some time from Danilo DiLuca, who amazingly, still leads the race in convincing fashion. Tomorrow is a very deserved rest day, hopefully, Cunego and Gibo can get their climbing powers back to challenge DiLuca to make the last week interesting...

Piepoli showing why he climbs so fast

In Germany it was a mud bath. A lot of crashes, many bikes having problems due to the mud or damages sustained in crashes. The race was won by World Champion Julien Absalon. The regular top finishers weren't all as lucky, Christoph Sauser finished 6th, the ageless Thomas Frischknecht 7th, Jose Hermida 8th, Roel Paulissen 13th and some like Fredrik Kessiakoff didn't finish the race. On the women's side, Marie-Hélène Prémont did much better than at the first Worlc Cup and ended up 2nd behind Irina Kalentyeva.

Canadian champion Geoff Kabush goes down

Sweden champion Fredrik Kessiakoff crashes too

Roel Paulissen tests the Scalpel replacement in mud

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