14
May
09

Your Belated Giro Update

Giro DItalia 1967

It’s been an exciting start to the Giro d’Italia so far this year, as riders have battled past crashes and over the mountains in search for the always illusive maglia rosa [the pink jersey]. The excitement continued with Stage 7’s thrilling 169 km ride began in the beautiful Sicilian port of Catania before winding around the base of Mt. Etna, an active volcano (in what other sport do athletes compete under the threat of molten rock?).

Franco himself

Franco himself

Although riders tried everything to close the time gap, including drafting off of spare dogs (like the Kas-Kaskol rider shown above), it still wasn’t enough to fend off Crazy Heart himself, Franco Bitossi. Fresh off a win at Tirreno-Adriatico, Bitossi could be a contender to take home the points jersey if he keeps this up.

And so, headed into a decisive Stage 8, a 218 km trek to Cosenza, Michele Dancelli holds the leader’s jersey, although Spain’s Jose Perez-Frances looks poised to strike.  Stay tuned for even more excitement from this year’s Giro d’Ita…

What’s that?

What do you mean this all happened 50 years ago? WHAT?! I just spent two hours researching all of this on Wikipedia! Yes, I’m aware anybody can edit it. What do you mean I should have known this information wasn’t up-to-date? The photos look fine — Italian cameras just have a vintage style about them. Oh, so you don’t believe me but I have to believe you? Real nice.

[Watch the 2009 Giro after the jump.]

Okay, so I was a little off before, but thanks to Universal Sports, I’ve been able to watch each stage of the 2009 Giro d’Italia and get caught up (thanks, internet!). Danilo Di Luca (LPR) has the maglia rosa, while Thomas Lovkvist (THR) sits 5 seconds back in second place; Levi Leipheimer has become the new hope of the Astana team, and is currently sitting in fourth place, 43 seconds back (and well over 3 and a half minutes ahead of Armstrong, who has been struggling on the mountain stages and sits in 25th place). The top 10 is filled out with some strong names, like Ivan Basso (whose Liquigas team did a great job on Stage 5 of setting the tempo), Carlos Sastre and Denis Menchov, so it’s really anyone’s guess who will come out on top.

If you watch nothing else, check out the finale of Stage 5, which saw a tight pack of riders (including Basso, Di Luca and Menchov), fight it out to the finish atop the brutal Alpe di Suisi.

In the meantime, I’m writing a letter to Wikipedia. Okay, an email.

[Scarponi wins Stage 6 in long breakaway – VeloNews]

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