Cycle, crash, cycle, crash, cycle thread

Re: Tour De France 2007

Very good thanks.

Re: Tour De France 2007

Does anyone know if the Giro is on television? Following story is from Eurosport.

Giro d’Italia champion Ivan Basso told a packed news conference in Milan that he had never used illegal substances or blood transfusions but was guilty of attempts at doping.

He said: "It is only attempted doping. In my career I have never used doping substances or transfusions.

“I will serve my punishment and return to racing,” said the Italian who added he was limited in what he could say for legal reasons.

The 29-year-old told the Italian Olympic Committee on Monday that he was involved in Spain’s Operation Puerto doping scandal and would collaborate fully with CONI’s probe.

Basso has been accused of violating article 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency Code concerning “use or attempted use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method”.

He was forced to miss last year’s Tour de France as one of over 50 professional riders implicated in Operation Puerto.

The Spanish investigation was launched after police raids in Madrid and Zaragoza found large quantities of anabolic steroids, blood transfusion equipment and more than 200 bags of blood.

Basso, who quit the Discovery Channel team last week, had previously stated he was a victim in the investigation and maintained his innocence.

Re: Tour De France 2007

The Giro is on Eurosport from Saturday. Not sure whether it’s British Eurosport as well but it’s on the normal Eurosport anyway.

Re: Tour De France 2007

It appears to be on British Eursport on Saturday and Sunday but none of the other days which seems a little odd. Odds for the outright winner are as follows:
D Cunego 2 - 1 E Mazzoleni 33 - 1 E Sella 80 - 1
G Simoni 3 - 1 T Hamilton 33 - 1 P Bettini 100 - 1
P Savoldelli 7 - 2 D D Cioni 40 - 1 I Parra 150 - 1
Y Popovych 8 - 1 L Piepoli 40 - 1 A Schleck 150 - 1
D di Luca 10 - 1 M Rasmussen 50 - 1 D Zabriskie 200 - 1
F Pellizotti 20 - 1 D Rebellin 50 - 1 C Wegelius 200 - 1
R Ricco 20 - 1 I Mayo 50 - 1 T Voeckler 250 - 1
V Nibali 22 - 1 P Caucchioli 66 - 1 N Roche 500 - 1
S Garzelli 25 - 1 D Arroyo 80 - 1

Giro d’Italia

It starts on Saturday. Looking forward to watching some of it. It is usually not a great indicator for the tour de france. However because both tour’s are so wide open this year I feel there is a better chance of someone doing the double.

90th Giro d’Italia - GT
Italy, May 12-June 3, 2007
90th Giro d’Italia celebrates the climbers
By Gregor Brown in Milano

The 90th edition of the Giro d’Italia will be one for the climbers. Although starting off in Sardegna with a team time trial, the parcours will contain more climbing than time trialing. Parting on May 12, the race will make its way from the south to the Alps and then to the Dolomites, before finishing in Milano, 3,442 kilometres later, on June 3.

“It is a Giro that I like a lot, for time trialists and for climbers,” said 2006 winner Ivan Basso at the presentation.

“It is suited to me; it has a lot to offer for everyone,” said 2004 winner Damiano Cunego.

There will be three stage days on the island of Sardegna, celebrating Giuseppe Garibaldi’s 200th birthday, a team time trial, stage 2 (with the first categorized climb of the event) and the flat stage 3. The 24 kilometre time trial will take the teams from Caprera, past the home of Garibaldi, over bridge Passo di Moneta and to the finish in La Maddalena.

“The team time trail will be interesting because it is on the first day, and always the riders and teams will still be adjusting,” said Paolo Savoldelli. “But the distance is short so it will not be that much of a factor.”

The Giro caravan will travel by boat to the mainland, in Salerno, while the riders will arrive by plane the night after stage 3. Tuesday, May 15, will be the first rest day. The following day the riders will immediately feel the kick of the Corsa Rosa as stage 4 from Salerno will finish on the Montevergine di Mercogliano, a 17.1 kilometre climb that touches gradients of 10%, the first of five mountain top finishes.

This climb has been used only twice, and both in recent history. The Killer, Danilo Di Luca, won on the climb in 2001 and in 2004 it was the turn of Damiano Cunego. That day in 2004 was significant for Cunego; riding in his Saeco stripes, he took the race lead from his senior teammate Gilberto Simoni and went on to win the Giro at only 22 years-old two weeks later. Over 17 kilometres long, at 5% average gradient, maybe this year the Mercogliano will give rise to a new super star.

The riders will then start their travels north, covering the Monte Terminillo in stage 6. Stage 8 will go over the Appennini mountain range and into Fiorano Modenese, where the race will finish on Ferrari’s track, celebrating the car manufacturer’s 60th year in business.

The next big appointment, and mountain top finish, will be stage 10 to Santuario Nostra Signora della Guardia. The stage will depart from Lido di Camaiore, travel along Cinque Terre, though Genova and then directly up the never-before-used nine kilometre climb. The climb may not dismantle the general classification but it will be a painful precursor for the days to come in the Alps and Dolomites.

The Giro will make a quick detour in to France for stage 12. The Colle dell’Agnello, this year’s Cima Coppi at 2744 meters, will open the gate to France and the Colle d’Izoard. After the 14.15 kilometre climb, the race will scramble downwards for 23 kilometres to the finish in Brianon.

The 2007 route
Before leaving the Alps the riders will have a chance to test themselves individually up the Santuario di Oropa. For the first time in years the Giro will include a mountain TT; a 13 kilometre run that rises 718 meters from Biella to Oropa. The climb has only been used three other times in the Giro’s history, the last being in 1999 when Marco Pantani took the stage just prior to being booted out of the race.

“The mountain time trial is not really a friend of mine,” said Basso, of the climb that averages 5.5% gradient and has a max of 13%. “The last one I raced did not go so well for me. We will have to see how the stage to Oropa goes.”

“It is still a time trial, even though it is up a mountain,” said two-time Giro winner Paolo Savoldelli. “You have to prepare and take it like a true time trial.”

The next day the race makes a transfer to Cant for the start of stage 14 to Savoldelli’s home area of Bergamo. The Passo San Marco, a tough climb, will not be too decisive as it comes mid-way into the stage. However, the hum-dinger could be the next day, Sunday, to Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The Tre Cime di Lavaredo climb has been rarely used in the Giro’s history; it was last scene in 1989 when Luis Herrera took the win.

The climb, touches 18% gradient near the top, is preceded by two brutal passes, the Passo di San Pellegrino (11.6 km long) and the Passo Giau (9.8 km). The two climbs combined will weaken the contenders legs so that the fans should see a real mountain battle when the riders reach the 7.15 km run up Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

The 2007 route

The final week will take the Corsa Rosa into Austria before returning to Italia, where it will be marked by two significant stages. Stage 17 to Monte Zoncolan and stage 20 to Verona.

At the presentation in Milano, the Zoncolan was confirmed to be the climb that the riders fear the most. The climb was last used in 2003, when Gilberto Simoni took the stage on the way to winning the Giro d’Italia. The 10.1 kilometre climb, along with a long, narrow tunnel, contains sections of 22, 20 and 18% gradients, with an overall of 11.9%. Two-time Giro winner Simoni noted, “It will be a very open Giro. The arrival on Zoncolan is one I like a lot.”

The riders will approach Zoncolan after leaving Austria. The Passo di Monte Croce di Comelico gives way to a mostly downhill run to the short explosion of Ravascletto; from there the riders will descend down into the valley towards Ovaro, where they will take a tight left-hander that will lead way to the Giro’s final mountain top finish.

Any damage done to the legs on the Monte Zoncolan will have to be repaired over the following two days because on the Giro’s penultimate day will be the final 42 of 79 kilometres in time trialing; a flat affair from Bardolino to Verona. Saturday’s stage into the city of Romeo and Giulietta will be the only true individual time trial on offer in the Corsa Rosa.

Press and dignatarys
Photo : Roberto Bettini
A slight rise after departing from Bardolino is the only difficultly in the timed run. Race organizers RCS Sport will have a gem on their hands; if the classification is not locked up in the Dolomites there will be a battle for seconds into the romantic town. Or, if a mountain specialist has the race leader’s maglia rosa then we could see him fight for his life to keep the jersey.

Of note is that RCS wanted to take the Giro into Verona for the final stage, perhaps finishing inside the famed Arena that sits in Piazza Bra, but due to a previously scheduled concert in the venue there will be no such finish. Instead, the final day, June 3, the riders will close the 90th edition of the Giro with the typical sprinters’ stage into Milano.

Damiano Cunego, concluded, “there are a lot of tough stages, especially Zoncolan, and it is when you put them together that you start to realize it will a difficult Giro.”

Cunego gave a smile when before the start of the presentation he saw the maglia bianca, similar to the one he won at this year’s Tour de France. The white jersey for best young rider is making a comeback and replacing the blue Intergiro jersey in 2007. Used only 19-times in the Giro’s history, Evgeni Berzin last won the jersey in 1994 on his to claiming the race’s overall win.

Re: Giro d’Italia

If anyone is looking to have a punt on this I’d say you could do worse than Riccordo Rico. He rides for Saunier Duval and at 23 looks a good prospect. He will have to work for his team leader Gilberto Simoni but Ricco has shown great promise this year and he appears to climb well which is crucial for the Giro. He won two stages at Tirreno-Adriatico beating Andreas Kloden and Alexander Vinokourov to a stage victory. His team looks strong this year which will obviously be an advantage for the team time trial on Saturday and at 25 /1 after doing some research I think he is worth a few bob.

Re: Giro d’Italia

Just looking at that and I see Mayo has left Euskaltel to join Saunier Duval as well. Is Mayo riding in the Giro? If he is that might leave Ricco too far down the pecking order to do anything major - though it’s more likely that Mayo will be in Le Tour and the Vuelta.

Might have a small punt on Ricco though - but I’ll do some reading on it later.

Re: Giro d’Italia

Mayo is riding in the Giro yes. He is 50/1. Saunier Duval team manager wants all his riders to work for Simoni though. Simoni has won the Giro twice before but I am hoping that because of his age he will crack and Ricco will take over the mantle. A bit like Ullrich and Riis in the Tour in 1998 when Riis went into it as T Mobiles leader. At 23/24 Ricco is probably a bit young yet but thats probably why he is 25/1. Following report is from Eurosport.

Saunier Duval director sportif Pietro Algeri is backing Gilberto Simoni to make it a hat-trick of Giro victories.

The 35-year-old won the race in 2001 and 2003 and has been on the podium in each of the last three years without making it onto the top spot.

But he will lead the strongest team in this year’s race featuring rising star Riccardo Ricc, a double stage winner at Tirreno-Adriatico, Leonardo Piepoli, who won two mountain stages last year, and Iban Mayo, sixth in the Tour de France in 2002.

“Of course, our prime goal is to see Simoni as the Giro winner. I’m sure he can do it because he’s become vastly experienced,” Algeri told the team website ahead of Saturday’s opening team time trial.

"Moreover, he told me that his physical condition is better now than in 2006. The whole team will work for him, including Ricc, who can learn a lot from Gibo.

"This doesnt mean we wont fight for stage wins: Ricc has a good chance to take mountain top finish stages, and Piepoli or Mayo can win stages with difficult climbs.

“Then, men like (David) Caada or (Manuele) Mori on the mountains and (Angel) “Litu” Gmez or (Rubens) Bertogliati on flat terrain will certainly be on the front.”

Re: Giro d’Italia

I’m tempted by Danilo di Luca.

He won Liege-Bastogne-Liege already this year so he has form. He’s won a few stages in the Giro before and was 4th overall 2 years ago. He’s the leader for the Liquigas team. At 10-1 he might be worth a bet.

I’m not going near Simoni, Cunego or Salvodelli. Their odds are simply too short.

Re: Giro d’Italia

Di Luca is certainly in good form though I’m not sure he has the duabillity for a long tour. Any idea of how strong his team is? He seems optimistic about his own chances anyway from what I’ve read.

Re: Giro d’Italia

I can’t check the teams or anything in work but I think he has one “super-domestique” and the rest are all average. So he’s sort of dependent on one guy (who’s very good) to help him through most of it.

I might back your lad as well. Of the team leaders I think Di Luca has the best chance - but it might be worth having a little interest on an outsider as well. The big turnoff, as we discussed yesterday, is that each way only pays out on 3 places which is frankly pathetic given the size of the field.

Re: Giro d’Italia

It turns out TMobile’s HOnchar might have had something other than a cold when he withdrew from the Giro. In fairness though there is a real clamp down on drugs and there doesn’t seem to be anything being swept under the carpet. The fact there are so few high profile riders can’t be good for the Giro but at least a concerted effort is being made.
Serhiy Honchar will not ride for 30 days, following questionable results from blood tests taken at Lige-Bastogne-Lige and the Tour de Romandie, T-Mobile Team has announced.

The blood test results are all within UCI limits and no doping violation has taken place, the team emphasized on its website, The 36 year-old Ukrainian will now undergo follow-up tests and a medical evaluation.

Re: Giro d’Italia

I did laugh when you told me one of the favourites had withdrawn from the Giro because of a cold.

There’s a real clampdown on drugs though and what’s encouraging for the future of the sport is that much of it is coming from the teams themselves and not from outside parties.

Re: Giro d’Italia

That is true rock. This will probably be the cleanest Grand Tour in years. The following story from Landis is quite amusing. I don’t believe it though. If I am to be honest I’d like to see them both get done for drugs as I think they both cheated.
Landis says offered deal for information on Armstrong
Fri 11 May 2007, 5:49 GMT
MIAMI, Florida (Reuters) - American cyclist Floyd Landis, battling to maintain his 2006 Tour de France title after a positive doping test, said on Thursday he had been offered a reduced sentence by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) if he gave “incriminating evidence” about Lance Armstrong.
“It was characterised for me that if I gave information that would incriminate Lance then I would be given a shorter sentence,” Landis told a teleconference before a public hearing into his case, due to start on May 14.
Landis said the offer concerning compatriot Armstrong, the record seven-times Tour de France winner, had been made to his lawyer by USADA general counsel Travis Tygart.
Tygart told Reuters that rules stopped him from discussing matters relating to a case but added: “If Mr. Landis wishes to waive the rule and allow USADA to comment I will be more than happy to address his nonsense – otherwise I can’t comment.”
Landis said that he had not given any answer to the alleged offer.
“I don’t think that offer justified a response,” Landis said.
“I didn’t do what I am accused of doing and none of this has anything to do with Lance,” he said, adding that he had not spoken to Armstrong about the offer.
If found guilty of doping, Landis faces a two-year suspension and the possibility of becoming the first Tour winner to be stripped of his title.
Armstrong, who won seven tours in a row, was cleared last year of charges of using illegal substances during the 1999 race.

Re: Tour De France 2007

Odds for the tour de france are up at last. Sastre looks decent value at 9/1. He could take time out of others in the mountains and has a strong team.
A Vinokourov 7 - 4 M Rogers 25 - 1 T Valjavec 66 - 1
A Valverde 9 - 4 A Contador 25 - 1 B Kohl 66 - 1
A Kloden 6 - 1 A Kashechkin 28 - 1 H Zubeldia 66 - 1
L Leipheimer 8 - 1 O Pereiro Sio 33 - 1 D Millar 80 - 1
C Sastre 9 - 1 M Fothen 33 - 1 P Caucchioli 100 - 1
F Schleck 16 - 1 I Mayo 40 - 1 C Dessel 100 - 1
D Menchov 16 - 1 D Cunego 40 - 1 J Voigt 100 - 1
C Evans 18 - 1 M Rasmussen 50 - 1 A Merckx 100 - 1
Y Popovych 20 - 1 C Moreau 50 - 1 T Boonen 500 - 1
T Danielson 20 - 1 M Boogerd 50 - 1 R Mcewen 500 - 1

Re: Tour De France 2007

Well looking at the guys ahead of him in the betting:

I don’t think Vino will be consistent over Le Tour. He’s struggled to recapture his earlier form in the Tour de France the past couple of seasons and he’s ridiculously short odds at 7/4.

Valverde looks a quality rider but he hasn’t finished Le Tour in 2 years.

Kloden I don’t like. He looked a great prospect in Ullrich’s shadow but did nothing of note without him.

Re: Tour De France 2007

7/4 is bad value for Vino all right. Kloden will never win the tour in my view. He looked decent three years ago supporting Ullrich but two years ago he didn’t support Ullrich at all and paled into comparison to some of Discovery rivals. Last year when he was the main T Mobile man he was poor again. I think Sastre has the chance to make serious time on his rivals in mountains so I’m tipping him at this earlt stage.

Re: Giro d’Italia

Starts tomorrow with a team time trial. CSC are favourites at 1/2 which means Cancellera is likely to take the pink jersey with discovery next favourites at 4/1. Saunier Duval came 18th last year so not optimistic of getting off to a good start.

Re: Giro d’Italia

The Italian team Liquigas were the surprise winners of the stage today. Discovery came fifth despite Popovych crashing at the end. That probably cost them about 25 seconds. A decent performance from Saunier Duval improving on their second last finish yesterday. Sean Kelly made the point on British Eurosport that having a team time trail as the opening stage in a grand tour seemed a bad decision and I agree with him. Surely it would have been far better to have it sometime in the middle of the first week before the mountain stages when nearly all riders are still in the tour.
Liquigas 33.35
Astana 33.51
CSC 34.08
Lampre-Fondital 34.17
Discovery Channel 34.27
Acqua & Sapone-Caff 34.38
Tinkoff Credit Systems 34.42
Crdit Agricole 34.51
Caisse d’Epargne 35.01
Quickstep-Innergetic 35.01
Saunier Duval-Prodir 35.03
Predictor-Lotto 35.06
Gerolsteiner 35.10
Milram 35.11
Cofidis 35.16
T-Mobile 35.23
Rabobank 35.23
Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 35.39
Bouygues Telecom 35.45
Ag2r Prvoyance 35.55
Euskaltel-Euskadi 36.28
Franaise Des Jeux 36.28

Re: Giro d’Italia

Di Luca is in pink after today’s stage.