This month’s Rider and Team of the Month comes a bit late as yours truly took his time to get it edited. Special thanks to Julius and Cog for their teamwork in composing it! ~WY
With the largest race in the month of May being the Giro d’Italia, this month’s Rider of the Month award goes deservedly to maglia rosa winner Alberto Contador. ‘El Pistolero’ dominated the race from early on with a savage display of strength on the slopes of Mt Etna, leaving nearly all of his rivals coughing in the volcanic dust from his explosive attack.
After the Giro’s tragic start (the untimely passing of Wouter Weylandt shocked us all) the race honored Weylandt’s memory with an exciting and furious 21 days of racing. Some might argue that this year’s edition was not as exciting as last year’s thanks to the abundance of steep mountain stages. Clearly no other rider is as deserving of this month’s award as the Spaniard. But credit is due to GC contenders Michele Scarponi, Vincenzo Nibali, and their respective teams—Lampre and Liqugas—for continuing to fight even as Contador’s dominance became all the more real. Without their valiant efforts, Contador might not have earned May’s Rider of the Month award. As for his ability to put on a strong performance for the Tour, he will be hard pressed to do so after such a tough Giro, especially when Andy Schleck, his main rival, is coming into his stride.
Our Team of the Month for May is Team Radio Shack. As the Tour of California has grown in stature, Radio Shack sent their A-squad to take convincing GC win and 2 stages including the high-profile summit finish atop Mt. Baldy. Radio Shack didn’t shy from its responsibility throughout the race, controlling the peloton and dictating the pace throughout. Other squads such as Garmin-Cervelo challenged them for the overall, but they couldn’t quite match the team depth of RadioShack. Stage 7 was perhaps the best display of team’s strength. Even though Garmin placed Andrew Talansky and Ryder Hesjedal in the day’s early break, Radio Shack controlled the front of the field negating the breakaway by the bottom of the day’s final summit. Chris Horner’s strong form suggests that he may have something to show in the upcoming Tour de France. And Matthew Busche’s National Championship one week later was a fitting reward for a job well done on behalf of his captains in California.
We would like to also give shout-outs to Lampre-ISD and Liquigas. Both squads came out of the Giro with stage wins and both fought valiantly to place their GC leaders Michelle Scarponi and Vincenzo Nibali on the race’s final podium.
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