to VeloNews.com's Live Updates from the second stage of the 2008 Giro d'Italia, a 207km race from Cefalu to Agrigente. This stage features two climbs, the Category 2 Gatteri, at 26km and then the Cat. 3 Polizzello at 112km. This is not a simple and easy flat sprinters' stage typical of the early days in the grand tours. This is the sort of stage that may favor a strong all-arounder, like Paolo Bettini ...
Christian Vande Velde stepped off the Slipstream-Chipotle team bus Sunday morning along the beach at Cerfalù with a big smile on his face.
Proudly decked out in the maglia rosa, Vande Velde was clearly enjoying his moment as the first American since Andy Hampsten won the 1988 Giro to wear the Giro’s leader’s jersey.
“We hope today goes just like yesterday, but we know it’s a complicated stage,” Vande Velde said. “To win yesterday’s stage was our big goal, everything else is just icing on the cake at this point.”
VeloNews staff and wire reports
David Zabriskie’s 2008 Giro d’Italia ended Sunday when he was caught at a pileup with about 55km to go in the 207km second stage from Cerfalù to Agrigento.
Zabriskie, 29, went down with several other riders as the peloton approached a railroad crossing.
Zabriskie, who started the day second overall, was knocked off his bike and was unable to rejoin the pack. Doctors immediately attended to the reigning U.S. time trial champion and transported him to a local hospital.
Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott) uncorked a tremendous sprint in the final 100 meters to win Sunday’s exciting 207km second stage, but Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) snuck into fourth to short circuit Christian Vande Velde’s run in the maglia rosa by just one second.
I have been in Sicily since Wednesday and have been watching the buildup in excitement and preparation among the teams, both riders and staff members. The atmosphere has been light and was getting less so as the race draws closer.
And here also is the first of many cool Giro bikes you will see here in the coming days and weeks.
Ivan Basso should not be held up as a model for young riders, Scottish rider David Millar said on Saturday.
Millar said that despite 30-year-old Basso — who is allowed to ride competitively again from October 24, 2008, and has agreed a two-year deal with Liquigas — serving a two-year ban for his involvement in the Operation Puerto scandal he was in no way a role model for those aspiring to become professional cyclists.
Christian Vande Velde might have the pink jersey, but it was a team victory in every sense of the word Saturday for Slipstream-Chipotle in the 23.6km team time trial to open the 91st Giro d’Italia.
Vande Velde, 31, becomes the first American since Andy Hampsten won the 1988 Giro to don the prized maglia rosa, but he’d love nothing more than to have eight more to pass among his teammates.
Levi Leipheimer was at home in California when he woke up a week ago with a surprise message. Instead of racing the Volta a Catalunya and the Dauphiné Libéré as planned, he was going to the Giro d’Italia.
Leipheimer’s Giro debut in Saturday’s team time trial might have come as a surprise, but the American promises to make the most of the unexpected opportunity.
Along with Astana teammates Andreas Klöden and Alberto Contador, the team starts with three options for the podium.
In Palermo, Italy
Rabobank is trying a new approach this year for its quiet but steady Russian GC threat, Denis Menchov.
After watching him win two of the past three editions of the Vuelta a España after racing the Tour de France, the team figures three hard weeks of racing is just what Menchov needs ahead of July’s Tour.