Mark Cavendish was cool as a cat as he watched team after team fall short of besting Columbia-Highroad on the flat 20.5km course in Lido di Venezia.
The Cannonball had plenty of time to consider he was about to become the first British rider to wear the maglia rosa.
Columbia started first among 22 teams and he had to wait nearly two hours to secure the victory until Giro rookie Lance Armstrong led final-team Astana across the line 13 seconds short.
With Mark Cavendish primed for the sprints, and Michael Rogers and Thomas Lövkvist riding with no pressure for the GC, Columbia-Highroad has its bases covered on the eve of the Giro d’Italia.
The squad brings a balanced team with a heavy emphasis on stage victories and breakaways with no pressure but quiet ambition to perform well in the GC.
Saxo Bank strongman Fabian “Spartacus” Cancellara wants an even faster bike on which to trounce into submission those mere mortals who do their best simply to survive a race against the clock.
Cancellara may now have the ideal weapon in the Specialized S-Works TTR, a sleek rig you will see raced for the first time in Saturday’s stage 1 team time trial at the Giro d’Italia.
Most distinctive is the TTR’s stem/nose cone, which extends straight forward from the top of the top tube, covers the head tube and front brake and is integrated with the aero bar.
In a crowded boat full of tourists, nine of us, dressed in our bright yellow team kits sat together as a calm wind blew our hair. The sun was low in the sky and the Adriatic a murky turquoise. School kids touring Venice with their class pushed, laughed and sang songs to beats tapped out on the boat rails while we spoke about the race course, our effort in training, the fluidity needed to win the team time trial, and the coming three weeks of racing.
The most recent in a series of customized Trek bikes for Lance Armstrong will debut this weekend at the Giro d’Italia. Part of an “artist bike” series, production of which was coordinated by Jamie O’Shea of Supertouch (an art and culture blog), the latest bikes are especially eye-catching.
Weeks of hype and anticipation culminate Saturday as the centennial celebration of cycling’s most colorful and emotional race finally clicks into gear.
The Giro d’Italia is celebrating its 100th birthday with all the raw emotion, intense passion and hard-edged racing that makes the Italian grand tour one of the season’s highlights.
Stepping center-stage with aplomb is Lance Armstrong, back in his first grand tour since winning the 2005 Tour de France.
Mavic’s TraComp carbon-spoke system, in which the spoke works in both traction and compression, has had a somewhat rocky beginning. A recall this year of all R-Sys front wheels was a black eye for Mavic, a company that has always prided itself on the reliability of its wheels.
In an eleventh-hour deal, Universal Sports secured rights to the Giro d’Italia and will be airing live, start-to-finish coverage of each stage of the 2009 race.
Fans in America will be able to watch complete daily coverage live online at universalsports.com and a taped, same-day show on cable, if Universal’s station is available in their region.
After months of negotiations seemed to fall apart between RCS Sport — the Giro’s parent company — and Universal Sports executive producer David Michaels, a deal was completed Thursday morning.
A spokesman for Lance Armstrong says he and his team will start the Giro d'Italia this weekend wearing Astana uniforms, despite ongoing financial difficulties at the team.
Armstrong's spokesman Mark Higgins told VeloNews one thing is certain: "It will be Astana colors for the Giro when it starts on Saturday."
Of all the major players, Carlos Sastre has been the quietest so far through the 2009 season.
While riders such as Alberto Contador or Andy Schleck have notched impressive victories, the defending Tour de France champion has been in an early-season hibernation.
Sastre insists that he’s fully awoken from his spring slumber and vows to come to life in the three-week Giro d’Italia, starting Saturday in Venice.