Giro d'Italia chief Angelo Zomegnan said he will not retroactively test samples from the 2008 race in a bid to weed out possible users of CERA, the latest generation of the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin).
According to Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday, Zomegnan believes none of the riders on the race - won by Spaniard Alberto Contador - used the drug.
"The Giro has already made the necessary checks and the laboratories, as well as the UCI, have affirmed there is nothing to suspect," said Zomegnan. "It would be useless to ask for new tests."
Now Alberto Contador can go back to the beach.
After interrupting a vacation a month ago to pack his bags to head to Italy, the defending Tour de France champion secured one of the most unlikely victories in cycling history to claim the 91st Giro d’Italia on Sunday.
“It’s never been so worth it to leave a vacation early,” Contador said. “I didn’t know I was coming to the Giro until eight days before the race. This Giro has a special flavor and perhaps means more to me than last year’s Tour.”
Alberto Contador (Astana) is 28.5km from winning a Giro d’Italia he never expected to start.
The Spanish climber deflected a flurry of last-gasp attacks from arch-rival Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott) over the Gavia and Mortirolo in Saturday’s 232km mountain shootout to retain the maglia rosa and roll into Sunday’s final-day time trial with the narrowest of margins.
Alberto Contador (Astana) might be wishing he was back at the beach after fending off relentless attacks from Danilo Di Luca (LPR) and Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott) in Friday’s wild 19th stage that saw him save his maglia rosa by the narrowest of margins.
Contador saw his grip on the pink jersey trimmed to four seconds to Riccò and 21 seconds to Di Luca and looks vulnerable going into Saturday’s epic stage over the Gavia and the Mortirolo.
It was a world championship-style victory for Jens Voigt (CSC) in Thursday’s 147km 17th stage that traced the routes of the 2008 and 2009 worlds courses.
Voigt attacked an all-star group that included two-time world champ Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) and the national champions of Italy and Spain with 35km to go at the start of two finishing circuits on the Varese worlds course the peloton will see in October.
Chasers left it too late and never saw Voigt again as the German diesel hammered home to one of his most impressive victories of his head-banging career.
Levi Leipheimer came to the Giro d’Italia as part of the last-minute invitation for Astana that included Alberto Contador and Andreas Klöden as co-leaders.
Leipheimer was at home in California when he got the call and he quickly made arrangements to fly to Sicily. No one knew what to expect. The team wanted nothing more than to make the most of the unexpected situation.
Flash forward three weeks and Contador is poised to become just the second Spanish rider to win the Giro.
Is Mark Cavendish so good that he’s already gifting sprints?
In the manner that High Road teammate André Greipel sprinted to victory ahead of Cavendish and Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) ? when Cavendish looked back to Bennati at least three times to check that the Italian wasn’t pulling through ? it would seem so.
No way, says Greipel. The burly 26-year-old bristled at the suggestion that the biggest victory of his professional career was handed to him by his younger teammate.
At least there were two riders who were in high spirits after Monday’s grueling 12.9km climbing time trial up the spectacular summit at Plan de Corones.
While nearly the entire peloton was a chorus of complaints over the difficulty of the controversial 16th stage up slippery gravel roads with grades as steep as 24 percent, Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) and Alberto Contador (Astana) both had plenty of reason to celebrate.
Under normal conditions, Alberto Contador (Astana) claiming the maglia rosa might bring some certainty to the 91st Giro d’Italia. But there’s nothing predictable about this explosive and unpredictable race with a week still to go.
The defending Tour de France champ faltered in Sunday’s six-climb, 154km 15th stage, but had just enough spin in his legs to slink into the overall lead by 33 seconds — a lead that by his own admission might be only temporary.
Emanuele Sella (CSF-Navigare) swapped tears of frustration for tears of joy Saturday after winning a blockbuster stage as the overall favorites squared off up the grueling 7.7km climb to the Alpe di Pampeago summit in the 91st Giro’s first clash in the Dolomites.
The 195km, two-climb stage lived up to expectations to deliver big surprises as Sella pulled away early as part of a 13-man breakaway at 13km that also included Christian Vande Velde (Slipstream-Chipotle).