Giro d’Italia: Page 212

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

Contador watching Giro on TV as he prepares for Tour

Defending Giro d’Italia champion Alberto Contador will be watching this year’s corsa rosa on TV. That’s just fine for Contador, who has bet everything on winning the Tour de France. “I’m going to be able to enjoy it from home, even though good memories from last year will make me feel a little nostalgic. This year my objective is the Tour. There’ll be a time for going back to Italy,” Contador explained in a press note. “It’ll be a lovely Giro, with lots of very good riders fighting for victory. It’ll be quite interesting for the spectator.”

Vande Velde to lead Garmin in Giro

Garmin-Slipstream’s Giro d’Italia starts upside down, with the team’s most important stage coming on day 1 and everything else after that being a bonus in the three-week Italian grand tour starting Saturday. With that in mind, the American team lines up with a loaded squad that should bring more firepower in the team’s quest to defend its title in the team time trial in the opening stage in Venice.

A bitter Simeoni returns national jersey

Filippo Simeoni thought winning the Italian national championship last year would help him salvage the final years of his career. He was wrong. The prestigious tricolore jersey didn’t help him find a ride with a larger, better-funded team and Simeoni was forced to stay with bottom-rung Ceramica Flaminia during 2009. At least he was holding out hope on wearing the distinctive Italian jersey during the Giro d’Italia. But those dreams were dashed when race organizers overlooked Simeoni’s modest squad when handing out wild-card invitations.

Rodriguez leads Caisse d’Epargne for Giro

After strong performances in 2008, Joaquim Rodríguez has finally earned the confidence of his team and rolls into the Giro d’Italia as team leader for Caisse d’Epargne. With four Giros under his belt, including 17th last year, he will carry the Caisse d’Epargne hopes into the season’s first grand tour. “I hope to be up front in the GC and win a stage,” Rodríguez said. “That’s my objective, but in the Giro, the most important thing is to do well and enjoy being on the bike last year.”

LPR readies for Giro

The Italian L.P.R. Brakes team appears to have its bases covered for the upcoming Giro d’Italia. The team will boast the firepower of Alessandro Petacchi in the sprint stages and then work for 2007 champion Danilo Di Luca for the overall title. Sprint ace Petacchi will be back in his first grand tour since the 2007 Vuelta a España following his controversial ban for high levels of the asthma medication Salbutamol. A winner of 19 Giro stages, Petacchi will also take aim for the points jersey.

Astana names Giro squad

The Astana cycling team on Tuesday named an international line-up to support Americans Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer in the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Venice on Saturday. Six nations are represented in the group containing Leipheimer and seven-time Tour de France champion Armstrong, who has returned to the sport this season after retiring in 2005. Leipheimer and Armstrong took first and second place in last week's Tour of the Gila in New Mexico, where they competed alongside compatriot Chris Horner.

Racing this week: The calm before the Giro storm

With the season’s first grand tour clicking into gear this weekend, there’s not a lot on the international calendar this week. Stage races in France and Poland are the main highlights, along with the fifth leg of the women’s World Cup this weekend in Switzerland. Otherwise, all eyes will be on the buildup for the Giro d’Italia, starting Saturday in Venice. Tuesday to Sunday

Christian Vande Velde: To the Tour, via the Giro

Christian Vande Velde relished a day at the beach with his two young daughters over the past weekend because he knew it would probably be his last quiet day for a long time. The Garmin-Slipstream captain is entering the heart of his racing season, with the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France looming as his main targets of the year. For the Giro, Vande Velde wants to help his team defend their victory in the team time trial and get another crack at the pink jersey.

Fuji-Servetto gets an invite to the Giro d’Italia

The Fuji-Servetto team, has been invited to race in next month's Giro d'Italia, the team announced this morning. The team also announced its long team for the event. The team will bring nine riders to the race, chosen from among: Juanjo Cobo, Fredrik Kessiakoff, Eros Capecchi, Ricardo Serrano, Jesus del Nero, Ermanno Capelli, Alberto Benitez, Iker Camano, Hector Gonzalez, Josep Jufre, Javier Megias and Angel Gomez. Other teams for this year's Giro: Organisers published the list of 22 teams for the Giro and Fuji, whose team director is Italian Alvaro Crespi, were included