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Garden Kitty
05-21-2009, 06:12 PM
Away from the Giro for a sec, Taylor Phinney won the prologue of the Fleche du Sud and still has the leader's jersey after the second day. The video quality isn't very good, but if you ever wondered what's its like to be in the chase car of a time trial, here it is (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJk9enLfHEw).


Today was amazing. Some people did better than expected (Garzelli, Menchov, DiLuca) and some did worse (Mick Rogers, Basso), and some did about what they expected (Levi). It certainly sets up an interesting second half of the race with three more mountain top finishes and a shorter, but traditional flatter ITT on the last day.

DiLuca gave it his all (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJk9enLfHEw)

DiLuca in the time trial suit (http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0cjq31Rc8b4i0/610x.jpg)

Garden Kitty
05-22-2009, 03:37 PM
DiLuca, Leipheimer or anyone else needs to take the maglia rosa from Menchov ASAP! Menchov is wearing the maglia rosa with his regular blue and orange Rabobank shorts.:eek: (http://www.cyclingnews.com/photos/2009/giro09/?id=/photos/2009/giro09/giro0913/bettiniphoto_0039251_1_full) Such a fashion travesty cannot be allowed in the Centennial Giro where the maglia rosa was specially designed by Dolce and Gabbana. He's lucky the tifosi haven't knocked him off his bike and stripped the jersey from his back.


Ale-jet and Tyler Farrar continue to exchange words about who pushed whom at the line, and who blocked whom. Which all seems sort of silly since they're both behind Cav recently (http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/getty/5e/fullj.f943498768086443415317ddebb3926b/f943498768086443415317ddebb3926b-getty-cycling-ita-giro.jpg). Maybe they should figure out how to beat Cav instead of fighting for his wheel. Although Cav is likely packing it in after today's stage since there aren't that many more sprint stages and he's too far out to get the maglia cicliamino. He's said he'll talk with management tonight, but it's 80% likely his Giro is over. Convenient too, since this stage went pretty near his Italian residence.

For the weekend, Saturday and Sunday present stages that aren't as steep as the biggest mountain stages but they have lots of good sized climbs that will make all the GC contenders nervous. These are both days that shouldn't make a big difference in the race, but have the promise to be very unpredictable. Monday is more climbing, this time with steeper, narrower roads and it's followed by a rest day, so no reason not to go all out. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are the last big mountain stages that should help shake out the GC.

ETA: Paul Sherwen's proverb of the day: When the elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.

Garden Kitty
05-23-2009, 04:02 PM
Cav and Pozzato were both no starts today, but in the most important news (this is the Giro after all), Menchov had new shorts today. The same Rabobank design, but they used pink side panels instead of orange. (http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/photos/races09/giro09/giro09st14-killer.jpg) I actually liked the look, and it's more modest than than all pink.

Also funny to see Lance handing off a water bottle to Levi. :lol:


Not good for Levi to lose some seconds on a relatively small climb. It wasn't much time, but at this stage little things count, and he's not likely to make big gains on the mountain stages or the remaining ITT which is only 14 KM long.

Good for Menchov to get through another day without any trouble. Luckily (for Menchov) the breakaway eliminated DiLuca's chance at any time bonuses on the stage.

ETA: Menchov changed back to his regular shorts for the podium presentation - my eyes are bleeding!

Edited again
In the stage summary on the Astana site (http://www.astana-cyclingteam.com/race_recaps/giro1409.html), Johan discusses Lance the bottle carrier:

Toward the end of the race Lance Armstrong dropped back to pay a visit at the car with General Manager Johan Bruyneel and found himself in a new role, that of bottle-carrier. “It was nice to see,” explained Bruyneel. “Lance is definitely not the leader of the team, Levi is. At that moment in the race the whole team was with Levi and Lance dropped back a little bit. He wanted a Coke for himself. It was deep in the finale so I told him ‘Now that you are here, take a bottle for yourself but bring a few bottles up there at least for Levi and maybe Popo.’ It was good to see. He is not used to that. It was a little bit of a problem for him to put the bottles in the pocket because there is a special technique. He was like a young rider. They are mostly not so good at it. But this is proof again that he is here as preparation and whenever there is a moment to be part of the team, he is ready to do that.”


Garden Kitty
05-25-2009, 12:29 AM
Mick Rogers stopped by the Astana bus for a quick interview with Levi and Lance (http://www.livestrong.com/lance-armstrong/video/lance-levi-and-mick-rogers/3bb7ceca-503c-4fc6-a79a-da707fa9fc9c/)

Ivan's (in)famous sister Elisa was handing out drinks today (http://d.yimg.com/a/p/rids/20090524/i/r4181686542.jpg?x=376&y=345&q=85&sig=j7Fnm6rNsPJVVY2HqmC.fQ--)

Lance and Zabriskie chatting at the start (http://d.yimg.com/a/p/rids/20090524/i/r1987164691.jpg?x=400&y=305&q=85&sig=IqmfdjfqKIAQdGEiT8bTOg--)

Meanwhile over in Spain, Valverde continues to race because the UCI hasn't yet made Italy's ban worldwide, and Valverde won Cataluyna (http://d.yimg.com/a/p/rids/20090524/i/r3239956771.jpg?x=303&y=345&q=85&sig=iqL8W7MS4R9npr2wIaSwOw--)

Look, Menchov can smile (sort of) (http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20090524/capt.xfae11905241653.italy_giro_cycling_xfae119.jp g?x=235&y=345&q=85&sig=zdL3tyahUYphuwUMyJYTOg--)

Interesting day today, although it ended up not counting for much in the overall. Ivan made it exciting for a bit, and DiLuca is always up for some aggressive riding, but Menchov kept everything in control.

Lots of discussion about why Cervelo called back their rider in the break when it looked like he had a good chance to win the stage, and then the rider didn't even fall back to the chase group. The DS gives his side of the story here. (http://www.cervelo.com/news.aspx?t=TestTeam&i=TeamNews&a=1575)

Edited to add:

DiLuca being serious on the podium (http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/119010/a9_medium.JPG)

DiLuca laughing because apparently he threw his bouquet to the crowd, but it got stuck in the trees (http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/119014/a2_medium.JPG)

NY Times Article focusing on Armstrong and how even as a domestique he's getting more attention than Levi (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/25/sports/cycling/25cycling.html?ref=sports)

Garden Kitty
05-25-2009, 03:49 PM
Ever wonder how to kill time while waiting for the peloton? One suggestion - dress up in medieval jester costumes and chase geese down the road (http://i43.tinypic.com/2m6qtk5.jpg)


Bad day at the office for Astana. Popo looked set to win the stage, but pops at the end to the surging GC contenders. Sastre shows his TdF win was no fluke with a day of great climbing after having been quiet most of the race so far. Poor Levi pops off the podium losing almost 3 minutes on the final climb. Menchov was only following DiLuca today and he managed to cover DiLuca's various attacks.

Tomorrow is a rest day, which means I might actually get some work done Tuesday morning.

Garden Kitty
05-26-2009, 07:43 PM
Cipo leads some riders through the earthquake area on the rest day (http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/01Hygso6eYdTs/610x.jpg) Paolo Bettini also led the ride, but I guess he didn't stop and pose for dramatic pics like Cipo.

Cipo and Gasparatto (http://d.yimg.com/a/p/rids/20090526/i/r1700351697.jpg)

Jens! joins Lance and Levi for a video (http://www.livestrong.com/lance-armstrong/video/lance-levi-and-jens/b473e042-e008-49ef-8bff-2602d9d33a92/)

05-26-2009, 08:20 PM
Excellent video- thanks for posting. Jens!

Garden Kitty
05-27-2009, 03:40 PM
Michael Barry's diary about the grueling stage on Monday (http://www.velonews.com/article/92423/)

The sun on Monday's stage (http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20090525/capt.01d5dcb861984808b225e2a56d2f5703.italy_giro_c ycling_cag121.jpg?x=252&y=345&q=85&sig=RREg_PsN.MfCEvmY._bl0g--)

Popo after the stage (http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/119968/a14_medium.JPG)

Valjavec looking beat (http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/119972/a15_medium.JPG)

Basso looks just fine as he prepares to ride down to the team bus (http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/119980/a11_medium.JPG)

ETA: This pic shows a nice contrast between DiLuca and Menchov on Stage 16 (http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/photos/races09/giro09/giro09st16-duel.jpg)

Menchov was so relaxed, he could even give DiLuca his water (http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/photos/races09/giro09/giro09st16-water.jpg)

Garden Kitty
05-27-2009, 10:10 PM
This seems like an interesting idea - a Tour de France for French prisoners (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090525/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_france_prisoners_cycling):confused:

"It's a kind of escape for us, a chance to break away from the daily reality of prison," said Daniel, a 48-year-old prisoner in the western city of Nantes, at the official launch of the event. His last name was not given.

Maybe "escape" wasn't the best word to use under the circumstances.

Garden Kitty
05-29-2009, 06:15 PM
Friday's stage is defnitely one to catch on Universal, if possible, if only for the scenery. The Amalfi Coast along the way, and the stage ends on Mt Vesuvius - (http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/8803/screencap023.jpg) How many sports take place on an actual volcano?


Here's some of that scenery I mentioned (http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20090529/capt.913fc2726e684452a8e5c1c3cef93f24.italy_giro_c ycling_ves118.jpg?x=400&y=232&q=85&sig=S6RsxFjZIk5r92PLTde6Nw--)

Why don't we get more beautiful coastlines in skating? (http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20090529/capt.6688735e1bc94645b475bf76a92286a5.aptopix_ital y_giro_cycling_ves117.jpg?x=400&y=236&q=85&sig=g9AEpdbY6mFrUMimMFZ9Gg--)

Garden Kitty
05-31-2009, 04:24 PM
No spoilers, but the Giro keeps it exciting to the last minute!

SPOILERS: The winner reacts (http://sporza.be/polopoly_fs/1.538360!image/4232952661.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape470/4232952661.jpg)

not about to give up (http://i42.tinypic.com/jpbux3.jpg)

that's got to hurt (http://i39.tinypic.com/26378eg.jpg)

Nice backdrop for a podium (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/05/31/sports/01italia_600.JPG)

And Taylor Phinney won the U23 Paris- Roubaix (http://www.velonews.com/article/92662/taylor-phinney-wins-paris-roubaix-u23):cheer: Apparently the first American to ever win.

Edited to add:

You don't need to speak Dutch to appreciate the emotion in this clip. (http://player.nos.nl/index.php/media/play/tcmid/tcm:5-523711) Let it play through, and at about 1:30 it shows part of the Rabobank team watching the last part of Menchov's time trial ride. Click on the clip that says "Raborenners zien Mentsjov vallen" from the clips on the right if it doesn't come up with that clip in the player.

Garden Kitty
06-01-2009, 07:58 PM
Nice article in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/sports/cycling/01cycling.html?ref=sports) about the last stage

06-04-2009, 11:10 PM
Universal Sports is re-running tour of Basque Counry and the Giro if you misse any of it. I missed stage 16-17 so I'm hoping to catch them. Yeah, I missed Blochouse!!!

Next Up! Contador Primed for Dauphine (http://www.velonews.com/article/92859/contador-primed-for-dauphine)

Garden Kitty
06-05-2009, 03:09 PM
Lance and Anna Hansen wecome baby Max Armstrong (http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/7599/1cf.jpg)

ETA: :lol: Max Armstrong has his own twitter page (http://twitter.com/maxarmstrong1) already, and over 600 followers.

Garden Kitty
06-06-2009, 04:57 PM
Next Up! Contador Primed for Dauphine (http://www.velonews.com/article/92859/contador-primed-for-dauphine)

Here's a pic of them trying to get Galibier ready for the Dauphine (http://www.ledauphine.com/__cache__/image/photoelement/pj/0604215858_3e6c1d30-5104-11de-9020-d5fa85108f07.jpg[435x-1].JPG) earlier this week.