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  1. #1
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    Cycling continued

    What better way to start a new thread than with a Giro preview! 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.

    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 by Garden Kitty; 05-08-2009 at 03:39 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  2. #2
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    GK here is more info from Universal!

    http://www.universalsports.com/ViewA...ATCLID=3734597

    Damn, now I need an HDTV

  3. #3

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

  4. #4
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    here's a headline that L'Equipe has wanted to write for some time, but it only relates to Astana's financial state.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  5. #5
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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:

    2. Tradition. "Some might argue this, but I feel some traditions are a bit stronger in the Giro. There will still be stages where the townspeople make cookies or hand out ice cream. Everyone stops and eats a ton, then gets back on the bike and starts racing again as if that were normal."

    3. Worldview. "The Tour de France is very international, whereas the Giro is Italian. Lotta cologne. Lotta hair product."
    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 by Garden Kitty; 05-08-2009 at 07:43 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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    Thanks GK, I love me some Cav and CVV!!!

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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.

    Mark’s smile as he signed the children’s notebooks told a story. He too was one of the bubbly schoolkids just a few years ago. There was pride in his smile as he thought about how far he had come and there was also nostalgia as he thought back to where he had been. We had all once been timid little kids who asked for our heroes’ autographs. It was the passion we discovered then that has brought us here today to race in the 100th Giro d’Italia
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  8. #8
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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 by Garden Kitty; 05-09-2009 at 08:40 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  9. #9
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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.

    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 by Garden Kitty; 05-11-2009 at 05:53 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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

    I like the white shorts

    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. #11
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    http://www.steephill.tv/2009/giro-d-...ults/stage-05/
    Quote Originally Posted by lash View Post
    I like the white shorts
    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:

    Unfortunately, a crash earlier in the stage put team captain Christian Vande Velde on the ground. He was taken to the hospital along with the team’s medical staff where he was diagnosed with two broken ribs and a severe contusion and sprain to his mid-back. He will return to Girona as soon as possible for further examination and rehabilitation
    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 by Garden Kitty; 05-11-2009 at 06:21 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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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.

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    where is the LA velodrome?

  14. #14
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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 by Garden Kitty; 05-12-2009 at 07:23 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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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).

    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 by kedrin; 05-13-2009 at 07:09 AM.

  16. #16
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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 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 by Garden Kitty; 05-13-2009 at 09:33 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  17. #17

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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?

    beautiful stage today. I love the dolomites.

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    Fabian

    Paul Sherwen's latest African proverb:
    Knowledge is like a garden: if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested
    ETA: NY Velocity's Dan Schmalz interview with Jonathan Vaughters about the Giro. Not quite as funny as the one in which Vaughters called Christian Vande Velde "piglet", but good.

    Such a pretty sport

    Edited: He's baaaaack, and I don't mean Lance

    All pink and purply
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 05-14-2009 at 07:10 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  19. #19
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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:

    USADA is here! Just got back from my ride and was about to hop in the shower.............. I think I'll wait.
    23 minutes ago from web
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 05-15-2009 at 07:22 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  20. #20
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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 Diluca and Basso....I might pass out.

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