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  1. #21
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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.

    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.

    In the last few stages, while riding on the front, I have seen the open road; the Italian countryside and riders grow tired from the effort. For hours, I have ridden in a steady paceline with two to ten other riders. It is quickly evident when they only have a few more turns on the front left in their legs. Like a candle wick that is slowly flickering before it is absorbed by the wax it has melted their pulls slowly become shorter, slower and their effort fades with their desire
    Edited again: Did I mention the lovely scenery today?

    serious DiLuca

    Yikes, another pic of the ravine where Horillo fell.
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 05-17-2009 at 03:40 AM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post

    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? [/URL]
    I thought the exact same thing, thinking about that very same picture (that I saw after you posted it here last time)


    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    Terrible accident for Rabobank's Pedro Horillo who went [URL="http://www.cyclingnews.com/photos/2009/giro09/?id=/photos/2009/giro09/giro098/PIC30051952"]150 feet down a ravine

    As someone who rides in the mountains a lot and oftren time a lone or with one or two other people I find that so terrifying! However, I am not racing and go a lot slower on the descent than the pros. Still....

    In fact I was on a bumpy flight last night and when i got scared I thought about how much more likely my life were to end in a bike crash then a plane crash. At least I it got me calmed down on the plane.

    I'm on vacation so I wont be seeing the coverage till I get back. Thanks GK, I love to come here for the "best of" link list

  3. #23

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

  4. #24
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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 by Garden Kitty; 05-17-2009 at 09:57 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  5. #25
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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

    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.

    Austrian authorities are investigating if Rasmussen and Kohl helped other athletes blood dope with their centrifuge, which could result in criminal penalties.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  6. #26
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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.

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

    We are in another hovel tonight. Smelly hot dirty rooms. I am not a snob, but this way over the top.
    Lance hanging out with Girbecco, the Giro mascot
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 05-19-2009 at 07:11 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  7. #27
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    GK, did you see this pic from the protest stage?

    Tram Tracks!

    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

  8. #28

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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.

  9. #29
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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.

    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 by Garden Kitty; 05-20-2009 at 06:37 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  10. #30

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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.

  11. #31
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    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.

    SORT OF SPOILERS BELOW

    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

    DiLuca in the time trial suit
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  12. #32
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    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. 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.

    SPOILERS:


    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. 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.
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 05-22-2009 at 06:35 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  13. #33
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    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. 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.

    SPOILER:

    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, 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.”
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 05-24-2009 at 02:18 AM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  14. #34
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    Mick Rogers stopped by the Astana bus for a quick interview with Levi and Lance

    Ivan's (in)famous sister Elisa was handing out drinks today

    Lance and Zabriskie chatting at the start

    Meanwhile over in Spain, Valverde continues to race because the UCI hasn't yet made Italy's ban worldwide, and Valverde won Cataluyna

    Look, Menchov can smile (sort of)


    SPOILER
    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.

    Edited to add:

    DiLuca being serious on the podium

    DiLuca laughing because apparently he threw his bouquet to the crowd, but it got stuck in the trees

    NY Times Article focusing on Armstrong and how even as a domestique he's getting more attention than Levi
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 05-25-2009 at 03:19 AM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  15. #35
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    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

    SPOILERS

    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.
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 05-25-2009 at 05:24 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  16. #36
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    Cipo leads some riders through the earthquake area on the rest day Paolo Bettini also led the ride, but I guess he didn't stop and pose for dramatic pics like Cipo.

    Cipo and Gasparatto

    Jens! joins Lance and Levi for a video
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 05-26-2009 at 08:26 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  17. #37

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    Excellent video- thanks for posting. Jens!

  18. #38

  19. #39
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    This seems like an interesting idea - a Tour de France for French prisoners

    "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.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  20. #40
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    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 - How many sports take place on an actual volcano?

    Edited:

    Here's some of that scenery I mentioned


    Why don't we get more beautiful coastlines in skating?
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 05-30-2009 at 02:18 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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