Giro d'Italia

Giro Notebook: Millar: ‘2008 Giro was harder because of CERA’

Millar says CERA made 2008 Giro harder than this one, Contador has little to say on Hamilton, final TT shortened

NEVEGAL, Italy (VN) – Everyone is saying that this year’s Giro d’Italia is the hardest edition in a long time, but David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) said that the 2008 edition was even harder. The reason? CERA.

“I think 2008 was much harder because a lot of guys were on CERA,” Millar said after Tuesday’s time trial. Millar’s comments suggest that this year’s Giro is cleaner, but admitted that eight summit finishes in this year’s Giro have made for a grueling ride.

“The Giro’s so hard, but I don’t think it makes for such a good race. It’s not tactical at all. It’s purely physical,” Millar continued. “It’s just a race of attrition, which some people may like. But I prefer it when we actually have races. It’s too much one-sided. It’s all for the climbers. There’s nothing left for anyone else.”

Millar also said the peloton is not thinking about the presence of Alberto Contador in the Giro despite having his unresolved clenbuterol case still hanging over his head. Contador’s hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport is scheduled for June 6-8.

“We’re not really thinking about it. It’s symbolic of cycling as a whole. If he wins this and then gets banned, it just sums up what needs to be changed in the sport,” Millar said. “Let’s hope that he wins and he’s vindicated, because otherwise it would be a real big mess. The bottom line is that he’s the best rider here.”

“We’ve been trying to think about Wouter. It’s something that’s not a normal occurrence and the riders have been closer because of it. Maybe it’s solidified our position and we can build something from it. It would be a way we could credit Wouter.”

Final TT route altered, shortened

The final TT in Milano has been altered and shortened by 5.5km. According to reports in the Italian media, city officials did not want the disruption of the Giro to completly block off downtown Milan. A new start is further out of the city center, which will create fewer traffic disruptions, and the stage will still finish as planned near Milan’s central Duomo.

No comment from Contador on Hamilton doping confession

Alberto Contador didn’t offer much when asked by VeloNews during a post-stage press conference about his reaction to the recent doping confession by Tyler Hamilton: “It’s not an issue that pertains to me. We have to think about today and nothing else. All you have to do is look at the side of the road and see the fans cheering us on.”

Medical report

No report Tuesday

Jury report

Saxo Bank-Sungard Philippe Mauduit was fined 200 Swiss francs for “incorrect behavior” and team mechanic Faustino Muñoz, who is Alberto Contador’s personal mechanic, was thrown out of the race. Jury officials said that Muñoz allegedly hit fans with the door of the team car.

The jerseys

PINK: Contador won the stage and widened his GC lead to 4:58 to Scarponi, with Nibali third at 5:45 back.

RED: Contador leads Scarponi in the points jersey with 158 points to 103 in the points jersey competition.

GREEN: Garzelli retained the KoM jersey with 64 points as Contador moved back into second with 53.

WHITE: Kreuziger widened lead over Rabobank’s Kruijswijk to 2:51 in best young rider’s jersey.