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.”
The Giro d’Italia will have some pretty spectacular digs for its 100th anniversary bash.
Giro officials announced that the centennary edition of the rosa corsa will begin May 9 in Venice.
The Giro will return to city of canals for the first time in 12 years. With Lance Armstrong leading an all-star cast that also will likely include 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and Damiano Cunego, the Giro couldn’t ask for a better send off to celebrate a century of history.
The 2009 Giro d’Italia looks to be shaping up into a battle of cycling’s titans, as still more big names have announced plans to race in Italy in May .
With Lance Armstrong, Damiano Cunego and Ivan Basso already confirmed, 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and longtime Armstrong sidekick José Luís Rubiera are both expected to start the centennial edition of the corsa rosa.
Sastre said last week that he’ll likely skip the Vuelta a España and race the Giro instead as preparation for his Tour defense.
Ivan Basso, whose Operación Puerto-related racing ban ends next week, is back in the spotlight and he’s hoping it will be for sporting reasons alone.
Basso faced the media for the first time in a press conference Friday in Italy and seemed anxious to put the focus on racing and not on his links to the Puerto doping scandal.
Basso’s ban officially ends October 24 and he will race for the first time since April 2007 at the Japan Cup on October 26 as part a two-year contract with Liquigas.
Lance Armstrong never raced the Giro d’Italia during his seven-year Tour de France reign, but now it’s looking likely that he might be part of the corsa rosa during the race’s centenary.
Giro d’Italia director Angelo Zomegnan officially invited Armstrong to the 2009 edition of the three-week national tour of Italy, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Armstrong has already hinted he’d like to race in the Giro. Speaking to reporters earlier this month, the Texan said skipping the Giro was one of his few regrets during his racing career.