Columbia-Highroad’s juggernaut at the 2009 Giro d’Italia continued Saturday as Kanstantsin Sivtsov used a bold solo breakaway late in the 208km stage to deliver a stunning solo victory 21 seconds clear of the hungry pack.
Columbia almost made it a podium sweep, with Friday’s winner Edvald Boasson Hagen taking his second runner-up spot in three days while Michael Rogers was pipped by race leader Danilo Di Luca (LPR) for third.
The days have been long but fruitful. We have ridden more kilometers in the last week than most cyclists ride in a month, yet the hours in the saddle still seem to be passing quickly.
The stages raced are slowly becoming a blur as our travel is incessant and every movement begins to blend together. What highlights the stages and separates them in my memory are our triumphs.
It seems that all we have been doing the last week is eating, riding, sitting in the bus and sleeping. And, somehow, it seems we are eating and riding more than we are sitting or sleeping.
The motorcycles, helicopters and stationary cameras of RAI Television bring you the Giro d’Italia up close — the video taken from right next to the riders and from the air and the long shots from the finish line.
Columbia-Highroad knew its young steed Edvald Boasson Hagen would probably win a stage in his Giro d’Italia debut, they just didn’t expect it so soon.
Sport director Ralf Aldag thought Boasson Hagen, who turns 22 on Sunday, would be a factor in breakaways in the second half of the Giro. But just a day after sprinting to second, the tall Norwegian outfoxed a veteran group of five riders to hand Columbia-Highroad another stage victory.
Lawyers for top German cyclist Andreas Klöden on Friday spoke out to reject claims that the former Tour de France runner-up was involved in doping with his former team, T-Mobile.
Experts who spent two years investigating the procedures of two Freiburg University Clinic doctors who worked for T-Mobile (formerly Deutsche Telekom) alleged Wednesday that Kloeden doped during the 2006 Tour de France.
Despite the turmoil surrounding the Astana team finances, manager Johan Bruyneel assured VeloNews on Friday that the squad will be at the Tour de France in July.
Astana rode with new jerseys Friday that virtually fade the team sponsors from view, a gesture that the team is hoping will trigger a reaction from the Kazakh sponsors.
As the 92nd Giro d’Italia heads into its second week, Lance Armstrong will find himself racing on terrain he knows very well, even though this is the first time he has raced the Italian grand tour. The Texan is still in training mode at the Giro, but knowing many of the road he’ll be racing on through Wednesday should help him in his quest to bid for a stage win later in the race — perhaps as early as next Thursday’s 60.6km time trial along the Cinque Terre coast.
The connections with Armstrong are intense and frequent over the next five stages of the Giro.
The sun hasn’t set on Astana yet, but the glow of the team’s sponsors has certainly dimmed.
Following a long-running row over the non-payment of the team’s wages, eight of nine riders on the Kazakhstan-sponsored squad started the Giro d’Italia’s seventh stage Friday wearing race jerseys and shorts Friday with the names of the team’s major sponsors virtually faded out.
Astana manager Johan Bruyneel said the protest is the team’s way of demonstrating its frustration that Kazakh sponsors are not fulfilling its contract obligations to the team.
Mechanics need the right tools to do their jobs. While of course their trucks are stocked with myriad good bike tools, sometimes they choose to use tools they made themselves. Or they appropriate a tool that was made for a different purpose. And the truck itself is a tool that is critical to doing their job.
Lance Armstrong will target a stage win in the Giro d'Italia after falling off the pace in the overall standings, race leader Danilo Di Luca claimed on Thursday.
"You mustn't forget that he stopped competing for three years and fractured his collarbone a month and a half before the race," the Italian said after completing the sixth stage.
"I saw the footage of the Alpe di Siusi stage (on Wednesday) on television and he gave everything," Di Luca added. "He's doing his best, he's honoring the Giro. I think he'll focus on a stage victory."