Race leader Danilo Di Luca put a rose-colored stamp of authority on the 2009 Giro d’Italia on Tuesday, winning the race’s longest stage in a late solo attack that left the other GC favorites choking on his fumes as they ceded critical seconds on the general classification.
Di Luca tightened his grip on the maglia rosa heading into Thursday's critical long individual time trial, expanding his lead to 1:20 to second-place Denis Menchov (Rabobank) on a day that saw quite a bit of reshuffling in the overall standings.
A motorcyclist escorting media at the Tour of Italy died after being involved in a traffic accident Tuesday morning, race organizers announced.
Fabio Saccani, 69, was driving to the start of the race's 10th stage at Cuneo in the Italian Alps when the accident occurred near the town of Bra in the north-west of Italy.
Organizers held a minute's silence for the veteran motorcyclist, who was participating in his 33rd Giro d'Italia, at the awards ceremony following stage 10.
Michael Rogers (Columbia-Highroad) is poised to leap back into the spotlight of a grand tour for the first time since crashing out of the 2007 Tour de France.
Rogers was the “virtuel maillot jaune” on the road in stage 8 before crashing on the descent of the Cormet de Roselend. That was nearly two years ago and after a bumpy road back, Rogers is returning to peak form, just in time for a run at maglia rosa.
Lance Armstrong defended Sunday’s rider protest and called for stronger representation among the peloton to protect its interests.
Speaking in a seven-minute video posted on his personal web page late Monday night during the Giro d’Italia’s first rest day, Armstrong described his role in helping forge the controversial rider protest in Sunday’s ninth stage.
In one of his latest Twitter entries, Lance Armstrong said that the “real” Giro begins after Monday’s rest day. And his Astana teammate Chris Horner confirmed in his blog for The Oregonian, “the real battle to become the winner of the … Giro will begin to build” with Tuesday’s epic stage 10 through the Italian Alps.
One team that’s been uncharacteristically quiet so far through this Giro d’Italia is Saxo Bank.
The former CSC squad is usually at the sharp end of the Giro peloton, riding to victory with Ivan Basso in 2006 and second with Andy Schleck in 2007.
This year, however, the team came without a strong GC candidate and is taking a different approach to the season’s first grand tour.
Mark Cavendish kept the Columbia-Highroad party rolling on Sunday, delivering the team’s third consecutive victory in the controversial stage in Milan.
Cavendish out-kicked Allan Davis (Quick Step) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) to win for the first time in the 2009 Giro.
Here’s what Cavendish had to say after the victory:
How important was it for you to win today?
What was supposed to be celebration of cycling in the heart of Milan turned into a bitter farce Sunday after riders angrily neutralized the 165km ninth stage for what they labeled a dangerous circuit.
Mark Cavendish gave Columbia-Highroad its third consecutive victory, but the protesting peloton only raced the final 10km as all sides started pointing fingers at one another.
A day after Spanish rider Pedro Horrillo plummeted nearly 150 feet into a ravine and spent the night in a medically induced coma, a week’s worth of nervous racing reached the boiling point for the rattled peloton.
Times taken from the ninth stage of the Tour of Italy will not count towards the race's general classification following a protest from the peloton on Sunday, officials said.
The 165km ninth stage is being held on a 11km circuit inner city circuit, but after riding at the relatively slow speed of 33kph (20.5 mph), the bunch stopped six laps from the finish to protest at unsatisfactory security measures.
Spanish cyclist Pedro Horrillo was brought out of an artificially-induced coma on Sunday the day after he sustained serious injuries in a crash Saturday during the Tour of Italy, race organizers said.
The 34-year-old Rabobank rider crashed on the descent of the Culmine di San Pietro pass about 70km into the 209km eight stage and was airlifted to hospital in Bergamo.
Horrillo sustained fractures to his thigh bone, knee and neck and had difficulty in breathing properly.
A hospital scan however showed that there had been no brain damage.