7/14/2008

Riccò sinks his fangs into the Col d'Aspin.

Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott) may very well have uncorked this year's Tour de France highlight with an emphatic win in Stage 9. The Italian climbing specialist was comfortably in the main group with four kilometres remaining to the summit when he unleashed a scorching attack that arguably evoked recollections of Lance Armstrong and the late Marco Pantani. Riccò didn't let up much after that initial surge, either: he made quick work of the small chase group ahead of him and then continued to rocket ahead, erasing a near-four-minute gap to lone breakaway leader Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) in just three kilometes (1.86mi).
By the time he crested the summit, 'the Cobra' had given himself 30s on Lang plus another minute on the peloton. Fortunately for Riccò, there wasn't much of a reaction from the main bunch so he managed to hold nearly all of that lead over them through the remaining 26km-long (16.2mi) descent and crossed the line as the day's undeniable hero. Time will tell if the general classification contenders' decision to let him go will come back to 'bite' them in the end: although Ricco professes to only seeking stage wins, it shouldn't go unnoticed that only 2'35 now separates him from the leader's jersey and there's still plenty of climbing to be done.
Riccò's weapon of choice for his assault on the Aspin was his usual Scott Addict Limited, only in this case Scott provided the 25-year-old with a bold custom finish just in time for the Tour. Menacing-looking cobras adorn the head tube, fork, integrated seat mast and seat tube in honor of Riccò's nickname and team sponsor fi'zi:k even got in the game with a custom Arione saddle. Read more...

1 comment:

Fixed Gear Steve said...

OOps - can you say EPO?