Giro d’Italia: Page 208

Giro d’Italia news, results, commentary, and photos from Italy’s grand tour.

Klöden’s lawyers say reports contain no proof he doped.

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.

Inside Cycling – Armstrong racing on familiar ground

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.

Astana changes jersey over money row

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.

Tools of the ProTour mechanics

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.

Homemade truing stand

Di Luca predicts Armstrong will target a stage win

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."

Michele Scarponi wins stage in a long breakaway, Di Luca retains the maglia rosa.

Michele Scarponi (Diquigiovanni) soloed home an impressive victory Thursday to leave the chasing peloton in his rear-view mirror in the 2009 Giro d’Italia’s first successful breakaway.   Despite a frenetic chase by Quick Step and Katusha, the sprightly Italian held out after 198km in a five-man move in the 248km sixth stage over two rated climbs to the posh Austrian ski town of Mayrhofen. He won by 32 seconds clear of an impressive Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-Highroad).  

Armstrong relaxed and philosophical

Lance Armstrong just wants everyone to calm down. Some over-eager fans and media accustomed to watching Armstrong crush the climbs were dismayed Wednesday at the sight of him being dropped on the 24.9km summit finish to Alpe di Suisi, but on the day after, Armstrong was keen to put things in context.

I Am Ted King: For the love

To start, it might be worth pointing out that these entries are being written via BlackBerry, so I apologize for their sometimes-rambling nature.

Explainer: Can Astana change its kit mid-race?

Under a strict interpretation of UCI rules, teams are only allowed to ride with “a single design for clothing (colours and layout) which may not be altered for the duration of the calendar year.” However, teams have made changes in the past, with the prior approval of the UCI. The UCI approved, for example, the Discovery team’s switch to a green-themed team kit for the 2007 Tour de France, a change designed to highlight an initiative undertaken by its title sponsor.