Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Contador secures Giro with stunning time-trial victory

Alberto Contador stormed to victory during stage 16’s mountain time-trial and stamped his authority on the 2011 Giro D’Italia.

Contador looked to be struggling during the middle section on the climb and had to come out of the saddle on several occasions. El Pistolero came home over 30 seconds ahead of closest rivals Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi. Nibali seemed to have the stage wrapped up with his time of 29:29, which Scarponi couldn’t match.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Alberto Contador attacks on Mount Etna to take over the Maglia Rosa

Alberto Contador claimed his first victory of the 2011 Giro D’Italia, on the slopes on Mount Etna, and the pink jersey with it on stage nine.

Contador left it until 7km to go and left Michele Scarponi and Jose Rujano in his wake, as he powered up the side of the volcano. The Spaniard started the day 13 seconds behind leader Pieter Weening, but the win gives him a bigger 59 seconds over Kanstantsin Sivtsov. Some of Contador’s main rivals, including Vincenzo Nibali, weren’t able to respond and lost almost a minute on the man from Pinto.

The day’s route was one of the most punishing of the tour and scaled Etna twice, while also descending down towards the sea. Peter Kennaugh and Danilo Di Luca were part of a series of brief and unsuccessful attempts at a breakaway. Eventually it was a group of nine riders, including Mathias Frank and Yaroslav Popovych, who made the decisive move. The nine riders managed a maximum break of 5 minutes, but the gap yo-yoed for most of the day.

Oscar Gatto takes his first Grand Tour victory, ahead of Alberto Contador

Oscar Gatto launched a late attack to take his first Grand Tour victory, by holding off a chasing Alberto Contador on stage eight.

Gatto made his move as the race hit the final 700 metre climb, as the peloton began to slow. Contador quickly followed suit and began to close him down, but ran out of road and had to settle for second best. Gatto’s fellow Italian Alessandro Petacchi gained some important points for the sprint Jersey, as he crossed the line in third. The victory will help Farnese after they were snubbed for last year’s tour.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Video highlights of De Clercq just about holding on to Stage 7

Bart de Clercq holds off a charging Michele Scarponi for his first proffesional victory on Stage 7

Bart de Clercq started his professional career off with a bang by beating the Giro’s finest on Stage 7.

The Belgian attacked, as the peloton collected the breakaway with 7km to go, and managed to hold on to win on the first mountain top finish of this year’s Giro, going in to Santuario Di Montevergine. His teammates Sebastian Land and Francis de Greef took their chance, before De Clercq, taking advantage of the leaders watching each other. Michele Scarponi launched a late attack and almost spoilt the part for the debutant, but there wasn’t enough road for the Italian. Following close behind were Roman Kreuziger, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and maglia rosa wearer Pieter Weening.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pieter Weening takes the pink jersey in a crash filled Stage 5

Pieter Weening held of a charging group the take victory in stage five of the Giro D’Italia and claim the pink jersey.

The Rabobank rider attacked with only 7 km left to go, leaving Martin Kohler and John Gradret in his wake. Gradret and Weening joined forces to track down Kohler, who’d been away since the early stages of the race. The Dutch rider holds the lead by only two seconds in front of Italian Marco Pinotti, after only his second grand tour victory.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Riders pay tribute to Wouter Weylandt on Stage 4 of the Giro D'Italia

Tyler Farrar lead the Leopard-Trek riders and the rest of the peloton across the line, as cycling paid tribute to Wouter Weylandt during stage four of the Giro D’Italia.

Weylandt lost his life during stage three, after a crash on the final decent on the Passo del Bocco. It is believed that the Belgian’s pedal clipped a wall, as he turned to look back up the hill. Riders paid tribute, along with viewers around the world, to Weylandt with one minutes silence before the stage.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wouter Weylandt: A career cut short

For Wouter Weylandt cycling was in the blood, hailing from Ghent in Belgium it was little surprise that he turned professional.

Weylandt showed early promise and at the age of 20, only his second year as an U23, by winning three world cups. Probably his toughest challenge that year was the Paris-Roubaix Espoir where he finished third, despite suffering two punctures. He was signed up in the same year as a stagiaire, by the Quick-Step Davitamon team.

Wouter Weylandt Dies after Giro Crash

Cycling is in mourning today after the sad news of Wouter Weylandt’s death, during the third stage of the Giro D’Italia.

The Leopard-Trek rider fell on the decent of the Passo del Bocco, just 25 km from the finish in Rapallo. It is unsure what caused the accident, but early reports indicate one of his pedals jammed and stopped him from releasing himself. Medical staff tried to resuscitate Weylandt, who was lying motionless on the ground, for 40 minutes, but were not able to. The few television pictures showed blood coming from the Belgian’s head, while he received cardiac massage.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

UCI begins court proceedings against Floyd Landis

Things seem to have gone from bad to worse for cycling’s resident mad hatter Floyd Landis, as the UCI start legal proceedings.

Landis has been attacking members of the cycling fraternity since he was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title and banned. The American was tested positive for abnormal levels of testosterone and since then it has been difficult to tell the truth from lies. It seems that Pat McQuaid has finally had enough of the nonsense and has lodged the case with a Swiss court.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

2011 Giro D'Italia Start List Announced

Stefano Garzelli
1 Stefano Garzelli (ITA)
2 Massimo Codol (ITA)
3 Claudio Corioni (ITA)
4 Alessandro Donati (ITA)
5 Ruggero Marzoli (ITA)
6 Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO)
7 Danilo Napolitano (ITA)
8 Cayetano Sarmiento Tunarrosa (COL)
9 Fabio Taborre (ITA)