Giro Stages 1, 2 & 3, Some Doping News

May 14 2007

Sorry for the weekend blackout, folks. I was out of town, watching my grandmother turn 90, which is coincidently the same age as the Giro. I even stayed at a Hampton Inn, which, as you should all know, is the sponsor of OLN’s Versus’ cycling “coverage”. Apparently, there’s a fair amount of money in bringing this sport to Americans, but Versus treats cycling the way I treat my day job. Maybe all the guys at Versus spend their work hours on sweet blogs about telecommunications billing software documentation, but somehow, I doubt it.

Anyway, I did manage to catch a few bits of the opening TTT on Cycling.TV this weekend. The course looked gorgeous and technical (though not so technical as to justify Matt White’s pottymouth – just search for “f***ing”), but I had all sorts of trouble with the feed. That, combined with the fact that Cyclingnews keeps timing out as I try to type this post, gives me the impression that demand for the Giro is outstripping supply. As it is, I’m watching on Velonews‘s feature rich Live Report window; fancy, but, with its Google Maps mashup, slow to refresh.

Ok, so from what I can tell, Petacchi won. And he’s very emotional about it, since he’s been, uh, not so good since that whole kneecap thing last year. I kind of wondered at the guy’s motivation when he said his goal was to get “a” stage win after yesterday’s result. Like yesterday, when a crash inside the protected 3km mark somehow forced a change in the GC, some riders went down, most notably Credit Agricole’s Thor Hushovd, as his teammate and the world’s most Irish Frenchman (or is it French Irishman?), Nick Roche, was blowing his leadout.

Let’s see, other news…oh yeah, doping. The Landis hearing starts today, mere hours after The Floyd called for Dick Pound’s removal, and days after he revealed that USADA officials had offered him leniency for rolling over on Lance. The trial should be an interesting few days. Meanwhile, Johan Bruyneel, perhaps the least ingenuous man in cycling, has cast himself (and Lance) as ingenue in the Basso Affair. Serhiy Honchar, who we were told had a cold has perhaps come down with something more virulent. CSC, the other team foxing its own hen house this season, has noted irregularities in two of its riders. No comments or voluntary suspensions yet, but they say they’ll be keeping an eye on the riders in question.

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