This monthâ€™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 monthâ€™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 Giroâ€™s tragic start (the untimely passing of Wouter Weylandt shocked us all) the race honored Weylandtâ€™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 teamsâ€”Lampre and Liqugasâ€”for continuing to fight even as Contador’s dominance became all the more real. Without their valiant efforts, Contador might not have earned Mayâ€™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.
OurÂ Team of the Month for May is Team Radio Shack. As the Tour of California has grown in stature, Radio ShackÂ sent their A-squad to take convincing GC win and 2 stagesÂ includingÂ the high-profile summit finish atop Mt. Baldy. Radio ShackÂ didn’t shy from its responsibility throughout the race,Â controlling the peloton and dictating the pace throughout.Â Other squads such as Garmin-Cervelo challenged them forÂ the overall, but they couldnâ€™t quite match the team depth ofÂ RadioShack. Stage 7 was perhaps the best display of teamâ€™s strength. Even though Garmin placed Andrew Talansky and Ryder Hesjedal in the dayâ€™s early break, Radio Shack controlled the front of the field negating the breakaway by the bottom of the dayâ€™s final summit. Chris Horner’s strong form suggests that he may have something to show in the upcoming Tour de France. And Matthew Buscheâ€™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 toÂ Lampre-ISD andÂ Liquigas. Both squads came out of the Giro with stage wins and both foughtÂ valiantly to place their GC leadersÂ Michelle Scarponi andÂ Vincenzo Nibali on the raceâ€™s final podium.
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