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).
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.
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.
Team Astana will wear a new kit in either Thursday or Friday's stage of the Giro d'Italia to signal upcoming changes at the team, sources told VeloNews.
The team's special kit will include the names of all of the current sponsors, but the design itself will be changed.
"There is no sponsor change, just changes to how the jersey looks to represent the significant changes that are ahead for the team," said a source who is in close contact with the team.
Wednesday’s short but explosive climbing stage across the heart of the Dolomiti lived up to its dramatic backdrop at the Giro d’Italia.
The serpentine 24.9km climb up the snow-choked Alpi di Suisi summit at the end of the 125km fifth stage played executioner for some big names and culled the list of would-be winners down to a baker’s dozen.
Race vehicles are critical for team success at a grand tour.
Astana, for example, has in its stable 15 cars, two fully-rigged race-service trucks, one big bus, one medium bus, one small bus, one camionette, and one camper. Not all of them are used in a single race, but the garage the team uses is huge, in order to accommodate the entire fleet.
While the Tour de France is formulaic in its structure, the Giro is a mishmash of stages.
Four days into the race and there have been three different leaders, challenging finishes and varied terrain. The Tour doesn’t reach the mountains until the end of the first week whereas here, in Italy, we rode into the sharp white-faced Dolomites today. And from here on, the race will not relent.
VeloNews Photo Director Don Karle, in Italy for the Giro d'Italia, decided Tuesday to go on a ride to get a feel for "what the riders were up against and what it was like for the spectators on a mountain-top finish."
So Karle hooked up with top Italian racer Amy Rasic for some guidance, and the pair ended up doing what Karle called "a sweet ride, probably the coolest in my life so far."
Tuesday’s first mountain stage provided an interesting antipasti of who’s going to be the main attraction in this centenary Giro d’Italia.
Danilo Di Luca (LPR), the 2007 Giro champion, sprinted to victory ahead of 2000 Giro winner Stefano Garzelli (Acqua e Sapone) out of an elite group of about 40 riders to remind everyone that he’s still a force to reckon with.