Vince Nibbles, as Andrew Hood calls Vincenzo Nibali, nearly won Liège-Bastogne-Liège today.
When Nibbles went away atop the Cote de la Roche aux Faucons, Philippe Gilbert suddenly looked like he’d just taken a big hit from a spoiled bidon and the chase was as well organized as the House Democratic caucus. When Nibbles had 46 seconds in hand all the smart folks pretty much figured that was that.
And then Maxim Iglinskiy chased him down like Nibbles owed him money, and that really was that — the Sicilian was racing for second with just over a klick to go, and Astana was en route to picking up its second big win in a week after Enrico Gasparotto won last Sunday’s Amstel Gold. Gasparatto made the podium here, too, finishing third. Good times.
Good times here today, too. We’re looking at a sunny 60-something with light winds, and having already arranged for dinner — leftovers from last night’s killer stew of green chile, pork, onions, garlic and spuds — I have plenty of time to ride. Only one chore remains, the completion of an overdue column for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Some days these things practically write themselves; others, it’s like trying to drive ten-penny nails into mahogany using an old banana for a hammer.