The 2009 Giro d’Italia promises to be a star-studded affair, with defending Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre expecting to be one of the favorites duking it out for the maglia rosa.
The Cervélo captain has some unfinished business of sorts with the Giro.
Boasting podium spots in both the Tour (1st in 2008, 3rd in 2006) and Vuelta (2nd in 2005, 07 and 3rd in 2008), the Spanish climber only lacks a top three in the corsa rosa to join an elite club of grand tour podium finishers.
Australian cyclist Cadel Evans announced on Monday that he would not compete in the Giro d'Italia this season because he was determined to win the Tour de France in July.
The 31-year-old, who was second in last year's Tour, explained that while he would have liked to compete in the Giro it simply did not fit into his plans as he prepares to take on Alberto Contador and seven-time winner Lance Armstrong.
"There has been a lot of talk about the Giro in the press," said the Silence team leader.
Italian national road champion Filippo Simeoni, who famously had a run-in with Lance Armstrong during the 2004 Tour de France, is not among the riders invited to this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Simeoni’s Flaminia Bossini team was not on the preliminary list of 20 teams announced Wednesday. Other teams absent from the initial list include Cofidis, Euskaltel, Française des Jeux and Fuji, formerly Saunier Duval.
Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre wants more than to defend his yellow jersey in 2009.
The 33-year-old Spanish climber revealed an ambitious racing calendar that includes taking aim at the Giro d’Italia podium and the world championships as well as a defense of the Tour along the way.
First up will be the Giro, where Sastre said he has some unfinished business with the season’s first grand tour.
Organizers for the Tour of Italy said on Friday that Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara will join former seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong on the start line for the centenary 2009 edition.
It promises to be one of the strongest Giro line-ups in recent history with Italian former winners Ivan Basso — returning from a two-year doping suspension — Damiano Cunego and Danilo Di Luca as well as Spaniard Carlos Sastre, the current Tour de France champion, amongst the riders.
Lance Armstrong may have seven Tour de France victories under his belt, but he’s not predicting victory for himself when he tackles the Giro d’Italia for the first time in May.
Organizers unveiled the route for the centenary edition on Saturday, and Armstrong said that while he taps Ivan Basso as the favorite for overall victory, he’s nonetheless looking forward to competing.
The Giro d’Italia, which in 2009 will welcome seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong for the first time, will start its centenary edition in Venice on May 9 and finish in Rome on May 31, organizers said in unveiling the 3395.5km route on Saturday.
The race, which Spaniard Alberto Contador won this year, will comprise 21 stages and take in major cities including Milan, Turin, Florence, Bologna and Naples.
Cadel Evans has denied he will ride in next year's Giro d'Italia, putting him at odds with his
Silence-Lotto team, reports said.
Race organizers on Wednesday announced that the 31-year-old runner-up in the past two Tours de France was set to take on seven-time Tour champion Lance Armstrong in the Giro next May.
The race director of his Belgian team, Roberto Damiani, also said that Evans would ride in the three-week Italian stage race.
But Evans, who is currently in Australia preparing another assault on the Tour de France, on Friday denied he would be taking part.
Australian cycling ace Cadel Evans is set to take on seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong in the Giro d'Italia next year, race organizers announced Wednesday.
The 31-year-old — runner-up in the past two Tours de France — will also face Italian stars Ivan Basso, Damiano Cunego and Danilo Di Luca in what will see the race in its 100th year since its creation.
Evans wore the overall leader's pink jersey for a day during the 2002 edition and eventually finished 14th overall.
With Lance Armstrong, Carlos Sastre, Damiano Cunego and Ivan Basso already confirmed to start the centenary celebration of the corsa rosa, another big name has announced that he will race the 2009 Giro d’Italia.
Denis Menchov (Rabobank) is the latest to confirm his presence in the Giro, set to begin May 9 in Venice.
“Why would we want to change the program?” asked Rabobank sport director Erik Breukink in the Dutch daily De Telegraaf. “We saw last year the double worked well, so this year we’ll follow the same program, with the Giro before the Tour.”