Cycling continued

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by Garden Kitty, May 7, 2009.

  1. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    What better way to start a new thread than with a Giro preview! :cheer: You can't top the Tour de France for big time excitement, but the Giro claims to be the most beautiful race, and it's hard to argue that title (even though Bennati isn't riding). Plus this is the Centennial version and comes with that much extra pageantry and fun.

    To start, here are some key stages identified:

    St 1 - Sat May 9 - team time trial in Venice. I love a team time trial and this one is set in Venice so it's hard to beat the scenery.

    St 5 - Wed May 13 - the Giro kicks off the start of its mountain stages in the first week just to give the sprinters some fun before they quit the race

    St 10 - Tues May 19 - this stage was supposed to go into France but was shortened to exclude the French alpine passes which are still likely to be covered with snow at this stage, but it's still an impressive 250 KM of climbing.

    St 12 - Thurs May 21 - a very long (61.5 KM) individual time trial which is likely Ivan Basso's biggest obstacle to getting his second win. This stage could be key in determining the leaders.

    St 16 - Mon May 25 - 237 KM of mountains

    St 17 - Wed May 27 - They cut the last 4 KM of the mountain finish off because of problems with roads and snow, but this is still a steep mountain stage, although significantly shorter than some other mountain stages (79KM)

    St 19 Fri May 29 - The last mountain stage runs 164 KM and is the last chance for someone to make a big difference in the standings

    St 21 Sun May 31 - The race ends with a short 15.3 KM individual time trial. It's much shorter than the other ITT so less likely to have a big impact, but if the top riders are close, the ITT could impact the standings more than the typical race ending ceremonial stage.


    Useful Links:

    There is currently no planned tv coverage in the US, but Cyclingfans will have all the links where it can be viewed online (ETA: see update below regarding Universal Sports online and cable broadcasts)

    Gazzetta Giro Home Page - for those who can read Italian or want to look at their photos

    Cyclingnews - for results, photos and a live ticker

    Velonews - for another live ticker and news

    Pez Cycling - for a slightly offbeat look at the race

    Steephill Dashboard - kind of a messy site, but full of useful links, stage profiles, articles, photos and pretty much anything you could want related to the Giro

    Startlists on Cyclingfever

    Twitter Links: lots of riders on twitter including race favorites Ivan Basso and Levi Leipheimer, as well as Lance, and assorted teams, announcers, DS's and news sites. This list includes links to cycling related teams and people on twitter.

    And you can always count on the Giro for emotional outbursts. The race hasn't even started yet, and already Italian National Champion (and Armstrong nemesis) Filippo Simeoni stormed into the Italian Federation office to return his National Champion jersey in an outrage because his team wasn't invited to the race. Race organizers snarked that if he rode for a better team, or if he had more impressive results this year, the team might have been invited. But then they also mentioned that Simeoni also passed up a chance to make nice with Armstrong during a race this season, which further outraged Simeoni. And this year there is the added fun of seeing whether Astana will have enough money to finish the race.

    Armstrong, Basso, DiLuca and Simoni head to the press conference Venetian style

    Edited to Add: Universal Sports just announced that they're planning to cover the Giro with online live coverage and slightly delayed tv coverage. :cheer:

    Unviersal Sports Cycling Page

    Universal Sports home page

    Edited again:

    Livestrong Giro page - Lance is supposed to post videos each day

    Team Saxo Bank Home Page - they usually have good reports and photos in their gallery

    Team Columbia- High Road

    Garmin-Slipstream
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
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  2. lash

    lash New Member

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  3. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

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    YESYESYESYESYES! I love Universal sports! (I don't like watching on line if I can avoid it).
     
  4. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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  5. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    For Lash, a lengthy BBC interview with Cav, and the video doesn't appear to be geo-restricted. Apparently it runs close to 20 minutes, although I'm at work and haven't watched it yet.

    ETA: Fun article from ESPN.com with quotes from riders about the difference between the Tour and the Giro. Christian Vande Velde weighs in:

    Edited again:

    Pez Cycling Giro contenders preview

    Pez Cycling Giro course preview

    Pez reporter "behind the scenes" blog entry about pre-race activities

    According to this article, Italian police seized blood samples from the 2008 Giro and will do retroactive CERA testing.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  6. lash

    lash New Member

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    Thanks GK, I love me some Cav and CVV!!!
     
  7. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    Columbia rider Michael Barry's Velonews diary - first entry

    Barry has written a book about his time at Postal, and a number of articles for the NY Times. He has a great writing style.

     
  8. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    Stupid, stupid Tom Boonen has once again tested positive for cocaine in an out of competition test. As I understand it, since it was out of competition, he won't have UCI sanctions, but a second conviction is likely to bring stiffer criminal penalties, and probably once again will prevent him from competing at the Tour.

    Cyclingnews article saying that he's been suspended by the team

    ETA: Google Italy gets in the Giro spirit

    I also read on Universal that the reason the Giro cut off the end of the Blockhaus stage is so that the authorities can concentrate on the earthquake repairs rather than spending time and money to clear the roads at the top of the mountain stage. And the pink bracelets that you'll see a lot of the riders sporting are being sold to raise money for earthquake victims. I think Danilo Diluca who is from the affected area is behind the bracelet campaign.

    Edited to add: The first maglia rosa of the Centennial Giro goes to. . . . .

    More pics:

    Cav and Zabel

    DiLuca warming up

    DiLuca is all business

    Yeah, you're looking good
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  9. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    Alejet seems excited to have beaten Cav on Stage 2 And how many times do we have to tell the teams no white shorts.

    Cav was more than a little mad at himself and admitted that he may have been a little bit lazy in starting the sprint too late since he thought he could catch Petacchi.

    Meanwhile, the Italian Olympic Committee (supported by the UCI) has suspended Valverde for 2 years over Operation Puerto. Valverde meanwhile has filed a case in Spain arguing that that CONI doesn't have jursidiction. Expect this case to play out in the Court for Arbitatration in Sport. Because the UCI supports the CONI ban, it should apply in countries other than Italy, but even if it didn't, most race organizers wouldn't want the bad press of inviting him, and the TdF does go through part of Italy this year. This is one of those sad cases where my desire for clean racing conflicts with my desire for hotitude in the peloton. :shuffle:

    Poor Christian VandeVelde hurt his hip in a crash today and is out of the Giro. Hopefully it's nothing too serious and won't endanger his Tour. :(

    ETA: NY Times article regarding the jurisdictional fighting in the Valverde suspension
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  10. lash

    lash New Member

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    WHAT? I didn't hear about CVV?! oh nooooo :-( He can't catch a break.

    I like the white shorts :p

    Yeah, Cav got way lazy and over confident in the sprint. I missed the TTT on Uni but I caught yesterdays stage. did you see hos PO'd Cav looked spraying Champagne around.
     
  11. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    http://www.steephill.tv/2009/giro-d-italia/previews-results/stage-05/
    Well then, here's a pic of DiLuca for you

    Yeah, Cav said the maglia rosa yesterday was no real consolation. I'm glad Tyler Farrar got second on the stage today, although I wish he could have won. At least it would give Garmin something to cheer about.

    Things should start to shake out a little with a mountain top finish tomorrow and an even worse finish the next day.

    Italian air force does a flyover

    the rear view of the flyover from Astana team car

    Levi signs in

    ETA:

    Update on CVV from the Garmin site:

    They were initially reporting a broken leg or a broken tailbone, so relatively, that's not such bad news, although it's too bad he has to leave the Giro.

    Also, Tyler Farrar got the young rider's jersey, so that's something.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  12. lash

    lash New Member

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    I caught some of the coverage this morning. I saw Tyler get awarded the best young riders jersey :) awww, Im happy for him too. he also rides on the track and I have a fondness for the trackies.

    GK, are you any where near a velodrome? You should check out some track races. They're reallllllllly cool to watch live. I'm sooo lucky to be by the LA Velodrome.
     
  13. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

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    where is the LA velodrome?
     
  14. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    LA Velodrome

    It seems like most of the main contenders stayed together until the end of the climb today, so no real damage done. Dilluca and Basso made the ride look easy, and Leipheimer never makes anything look easy, but he stayed in with the contenders. I was rooting for a Jens! stage win, though.


    UCI gives Astana a warning, they have until the end of the month to replenish their financial guarantee or be suspended.

    Boonen was suspended and fined by QuickStep and will have to undergo regular team drug testing, but he wasn't fired by the team.

    ETA: Chris Horner's Giro blog for the Oregonian - stage 4

    Also, Prudhome confirms "no tour for you" for Boonen, and the UCI is suggesting they may suspend him for up to 6 months for "actions detrimental to racing" even though the out of competition cocaine positive isn't considered a doping violation. That's the same regulation they're trying to use to suspend Bos for taking down Daryl Impey in the sprint finish at Tour of Turkey. Sort of a "catch all regulation"

    And if you haven't been following Paul Sherwin's twitter, he often posts various African proverbs (he lives in Kampala, Uganda). Today's proverb:

    "Rain does not fall on one roof alone"
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  15. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

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    thanks. (I'm closing my eyes and not reading the rest of the post until I can get home and watch the stage tonight on my new favorite cable channel).:D

    ETA

    ok- now that I've watched- yes, I was really hoping Jens could pull it out. and I reconfirmed that the Dolomites are my favorite of all the mountains in the grand tours.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  16. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    The evidence against Kloeden appears to be mounting. If he had a Spanish license, they probably wouldn't go after him until a positive test, but I can't imagine Germany won't start a proceeding. (or does he hold a Swiss license like Ullrich?) Either way, it won't help him look for a job if Astana is suspended at the end of the month.

    And I won't spoil the ending of today's stages, but :respec: to Bradley Wiggins who is a much better climber than you'd expect. That's got to be a pleasant surprise in an otherwise disappointing race for Garmin.

    ETA: Horner's blog (with spoilers)

    there were hills today

    and snow
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  17. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

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    aw- it's ok- you can post results. if I don't want spoilers and then read the cycling thread, I really have only myself to blame, no? :lol::lol::lol:

    beautiful stage today. I love the dolomites.
     
  18. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  19. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    Astana is wearing "faded" jerseys with the logos of most of the sponsors faded out to wear they can't be seen in protest over not having been paid salaries. Only the one Kazakh sponsor who has paid, and the Trek and Nike logos are visible. Velonews has questioned whether this is a power play by the sponsors to either make sure Vino is on the team, or build a team around Vino, but Johan says he thinks it's purely financial.

    Armstrong in the faded jersey

    slippery descent

    Should a guy nicknamed Killer really wear pink booties? And I wonder what Lance said to get this reaction

    Basso and DiLuca have a more serious discussion

    errrmmm, OK Danilo

    ETA: From Taylor Phinney's twitter:

    :lol:
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  20. lash

    lash New Member

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    GK, thanks for those pics. Part of why I love to watch cycling is seeing the comradarie between the riders. Same teams or otherwise. I love it when they pat each other on the back or give each other a little push :swoon: Diluca and Basso....I might pass out.
     
  21. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    Funny ESPN article comparing the Giro d'Italia with American sports events in May. But they do a disservice to the Giro in the hair category - have they never seen the mastery with which Liquigas handles hair products?

    Is it wrong of me to want DiLuca to keep the maglia rosa until at least stage 12 so we get to see him again in a pink skin suit? Although it's not the same if it's not raining. :lol:

    Terrible accident for Rabobank's Pedro Horillo who went 150 feet down a ravine and had to be airlifted out by helicopter. This pic gives an even better view of how steep the fall. Apparently it took 10 minutes before they could even find him in the ravine.

    Velonews reports that he's now in an induced coma to prevent brain swelling, and has a list of serious (but hopefully not life threatening) injuries.

    Meanwhile Columbia continues to show amazing depth and versatility in their stage hunting. And just when you thought you couldn't beat the scenenry in the Dolomites, the race headed into Italian lake country with more amazing scenery.

    Tomorrow is a 156 KM circuit race in Milan that should scare the GC contenders more than the mountain stages.

    Edited: Michael Barry's journal from Velonews - he's such a great writer.

    Edited again: Did I mention the lovely scenery today?

    serious DiLuca

    Yikes, another pic of the ravine where Horillo fell. :eek:
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
  22. lash

    lash New Member

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  23. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

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    yes- that ravine looked gnarly. I hope he's ok. and I'm seriously glad they instituted the helmet rule.
     
  24. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    I had a family event this morning, and missed the stage, but it sounds like I missed more protest than racing. The riders found the circuit race too dangerous because of parked cars and tram lines and basically stopped racing. The race organizers agreed to not count any of the race times for the GC, although there was a stage winner. Sounds like Lance was the one who talked to DiLuca and the other "bigs" about the protest - wonder now if the RCS is still happy they invited him.

    This stage was probably the culmination of a couple of days of racers feeling the stage endings were too dangerous (high speed downhills in wet conditions, followed by suddenly narrowed roads for the finish). Mick Rogers called it the scariest race finish he recalled.

    But there was still some more amazing scenery, this time in Milano

    Rest day, followed by more climbing, although Tuesday's stage was shortened because of snow and problems with radio signal receptions in the French mountains.

    And I read that Horillo is out of the medically induced coma which is a good sign for his survival and recovery.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
  25. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    I'm beginning to understand the protest of the circuit stage more after seeing this pic

    Here comes the peloton, and tourists are in the street taking pictures of the scenery behind them, and a woman is chatting on the phone in the roadway:eek:

    Meanwhile, in Catalunya, Thor continues Norway's winning streak. I'm glad he wasn't too tired from calling in for Eurovision to race today. :lol:

    Austrian authorities are investigating if Rasmussen and Kohl helped other athletes blood dope with their centrifuge, which could result in criminal penalties.
     
  26. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    NY Times with some interesting Giro history - an article about the classic Giro rivalry between Bartali and Coppi

    Today's "Queen Stage" turned into an intersting final and surprised some of the key guys lost time that will make the ITT even more important. Thursday should be very interesting! Tomorrow has one big climb, but it's early in the stage, and another climb towards the end, but it isn't a mountain finish, and so it's not too likely to have a big impact on the GC. But it could also be a chance for the guys who don't TT well to try to get some seconds/minutes ahead of the long ITT.

    Article in USA Today regarding Armstrong and the circuit race protest and Toto has its own take on who the "old, short legs and long tongues" could be. :lol:

    ETA: Based on his twitter, Charlie Wegelius seems to be enjoying his time at the Giro:

    Lance hanging out with Girbecco, the Giro mascot
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  27. lash

    lash New Member

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    GK, did you see this pic from the protest stage?

    Tram Tracks! :eek:

    That one alone is bad. You get a tire caught in one of those and you're going over the bars.

    I haven't gotten caught up yet! I'm about to watch stage 5 now :cool:
     
  28. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

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    hadn't seen the tram track photo.

    yikes- and they're turning into them. one thing if you're crossing perpendicular- a whole other thing if you're riding parellel. ugly.
     
  29. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    I hadn't seen that pic, Lash. That is scary. Michael Barry talks a bit about the safety on the Giro routes

    Poor Horner couldn't start today as a result of injuries from a crash yesterday. He was riding so well, and I hate to see him have to leave. It also can't be good news for Levi who crashed himself today. Hope he's ok for tomorrow. (ETA: Levi tweated that he went over the bars after hitting a water bottle and "lost a lot of skin" OUCH! Not good just before his most important stage)

    Tomorrow is the big ITT. It's got some hills in it, so it won't be a straight flat ride. Menchov was even discussing using his regular bike instead of a tt bike. Tomorrow should have some real impact on the GC and if Danilo can limit his time losses, he'll be in a great position starting the last half of the race.

    DiLuca was on the post-stage RAI show and said he most fears Menchov because he's a complete rider and that he thinks Levi will lose some time on the descents. DiLuca is also using his regular bike, and Levi is using a slightly modified road bike as well. Tomorrow's stage should also give us some amazing scenery with its route along the coast.

    DiLuca celebrating in his all pink kit. :shuffle:

    Olympic flashback - the peloton in Turin

    More scenery

    Edited again : Additional tests on Christian Vande Velde revealed more breaks than were originally identified including a break in the pelvis. July's Tour is not looking likely for him :(
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  30. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

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    I'm really looking forward to the ITT- Cinque Terre is so beautiful. The commentators on todays stage (yikes- I don't even know their names, so I'll just call them NotPhilAndPaul). NotPhilAndPaul were speculating on riders using road bikes because of the technical nature of the course.