Giro d’Italia: Page 219

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

Watch for Aussie champ Matt Lloyd at the Giro

Editor’s note: Watch for John Wilcockson’s Friday morning column on a regular basis, taking you inside the world of cycling. This week he introduces one of the young, unsung heroes of the European peloton. Matt Lloyd loves racing in Italy. So when he lines up Saturday with his Silence-Lotto team at the Giro d’Italia he’ll feel right at home.

91st Giro d’Italia: Another American in pink?

In Palermo, Italy Perhaps it’s only appropriate that during the 20th anniversary year of Andy Hampsten’s historic 1988 Giro d’Italia victory that another American rider could recapture the maglia rosa. While it’s too early to say if one of six U.S. riders from three teams starting the 91st Giro can survive the grueling Dolomites with a shot for final victory, there’s a very real possibility that one of them could grab pink jersey in Saturday’s team time trial.

Giro issues start list

Organizers of the 2008 Giro d'Italia have released the preliminary start list for the three-week grand tour, which begins on Saturday. LPR Brakes, (Ita)

Report: Astana to get Giro invite.

The Italian sports newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Saturday that Giro d'Italia organizers may be ready to do an about-face and invite the Astana team to this year’s race. At least one team official has confirmed that the invitation has already been extended. The team issued a statement on Sunday, confirming the invitation and that it will bring its three top riders to the event: Alberto Contador, Levi Leipheimer and the winner of the Tour of Romandie, Andreas Klöden. Astana general manager Johan Bruyneel gladly accepted the invitation.

Giro bound: A conversation with Ryder Hesjedal

Ryder Hesjedal is making the most of his new opportunity to race against the best in Europe. Following the collapse of the Phonak team in 2006, Hesjedal raced on the North American circuit last season before signing with Slipstream-Chipotle to return to Europe this year. The Canadian ex-mountain biker has quietly been posting some of Slipstream-Chipotle’s best results this spring, capped by a top-10 at Tirreno-Adriatico.

’08 Giro route announced

The 91st edition of the Giro d'Italia will begin in Palermo and end in Milan after covering 3423.8km over 23 days, it was announced on Saturday. The exact course for the 2008 Giro, which begins May 10, was presented at a ceremony in Milan's Arcimboldi Theatre. It will begin with a team time trial and end with a 23.5km race against the clock. There will also be two other time trials throughout the race, including a 13.8km mountain time trial finishing atop the famous Plan de Corones.

Gazzetta: Three Giro stage winners ‘non-negative’

Traces of drugs were found in the urine samples taken from three stage winners at this year’s Giro d'Italia, the Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Thursday. The paper said sprinter Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) and climber Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval) tested positive for Salbutamol, a substance primarily used to treat asthma, and Piepoli’s teammate Iban Mayo showed signs of an elevated testosterone level. Salbutamol is a banned substance, but riders with asthma may use it to certain levels if they possess a medical certificate. Basque television channel EITB confirmed

2007 Giro d’Italia Final Standings

1. Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas, 92:59:39
2. Andy Schleck (Lux), CSC, 1:55
3. Eddy Mazzoleni (I), Astana, 2:25
4. Gilberto Simoni (I), Saunier Duval, 3:15
5. Damiano Cunego (I), Lampre, 3:49
6. Riccardo Ricco' (I), Saunier Duval, 7:00
7. Evgeni Petrov (Rus), Tinkoff Credit Systems, 8:34
8. Marzio Bruseghin (I), Lampre, 10:14
9. Franco Pellizotti (I), Liquigas, 10:44
10. David Arroyo Duran (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 11:58
11. Emanuele Sella (I), Ceramica Panaria - Navigare, 13:08
12. Paolo Savoldelli (I), Astana, 13:30

Savoldelli wins final TT, Di Luca preserves Giro lead

Maglia rosa Danilo Di Luca's victory in the 90th Giro is all but assured after his performance Saturday, which saw him finish eighth to Astana's Paolo Savoldelli in a 43km time trial to Verona. With an enviable two-and-a-half minute advantage to Team CSC's Andy Schleck at the start of the day, Di Luca was never really in danger of losing his overall lead. The Liquigas captain finished just 29 seconds slower than the young Luxembourger, with Schleck also doing more than enough to retain his second place overall.