As we get set to begin the Spring Classics with Saturday’s running of the 102nd Milan-San Remo, it’s the perfect time examine some of the important questions facing the major riders and teams during this year’s spring campaign. As each question is posted, feel free to share your opinions, insights, and predictions as comments—your commentary and spirited dialogue is always appreciated. In case you missed them, be sure to check out Questions 1, 2, 3, and 4.
5. Will Danilo Di Luca be this spring’s Alexandre Vinokourov?
During the final 20 kilometers of last year’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Alexandre Vinokourov had fans all over the world shouting “Noooooo!” at their computer screens and televisions. His second win in La Doyenne left some feeling sick in their stomachs.
So far this year, Danilo Di Luca has elicited similar responses—especially following his performance in Tirreno-Adriatico, his first important rendezvous on home soil. Assuming Joaquin Rodriguez is indeed targeting this year’s Giro, all signs put to the Killer on a crash course for this year’s Ardennes Classics—alongside the eternal Russian bridesmaid, Alexandre Kolobnev.
Di Luca won the Amstel Gold Rce and Fleche Wallonne in 2005 and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2007—he’s obviously no stranger to what it takes to perform well in the Ardennes. And right now the Italian is riding as if he has much to prove—which he does. In other words, he’s someone not to be ignored from Amstel to Liege—no matter how much you might want to.
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