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Rei

09 Giro D'italia -9/31 May

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I don't know how many are interested in Giro or cycling in general at this moment especially after all the turmoils of recent years anyway the one which will start this saturday will celebrate its centennial anniversary.

For the special occasion the race itself presents some main changes.

Infact it will start in Venice to finish in Rome breaking the longtime tradition of Milan as the finale's host (Milan will have a crucial leg, though).

As the race of the centennial it will obviously reach some of the most renowned places through the peninsula such as Venice's lido, Torino, Ligurian riviera, Bologna, Naples and the Vesuvius, the Abruzzi etc..

The race will also include legs outside national borders in Austria, Switzerland and France.

Sadly, mostly cause logistic reasons, some of the historic legs have been cut out such as the traditionals Stelvio and Dolomites and most of the south. Quite north-centric.

The race of the centennial will also see the first appearance of Lance Armstrong and the retour of Ivan Basso after his 2years long disqualify.

Besides, the potential favourites seem to be among Cunego, Di Luca, Leipheimer, Menchov and Sastre. Big absent the titleholder Contador.

The legs.

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The special rose shirt designed by D&G

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the official site in english: http://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/Giroditalia/2009/en/

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Cavendish takes the first pink jersey

The British sprinter’s team dominates the team time trial at Venice’s Lido, also aided by a change in the wind during the trial that opened the centenary Giro. Armstrong and Leipheimer gain on the other top racers

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Menchov seals Giro victory in Rome

Russia's Denis Menchov survived a fall on a rain-hit final stage to win the Giro d'Italia in dramatic fashion in Rome.

The Rabobank rider looked certain for victory in the world's second biggest stage race with a 20-second lead before Sunday's 14.4km time-trial, which was better suited to him than nearest rival Italian Danilo Di Luca.

But the home fans were given hope of a shock win when it started to rain while both riders were out, making the going hazardous on Rome's slippery cobblestones.

The Russian tumbled on a straight stretch in the last kilometre, but kept his cool and crossed the finish line near the Coliseum with a faster time than LPR's 2007 winner Di Luca.

Menchov had a 41-second margin of victory, according to provisional results, as the 31-year-old added the Giro to his honours list after winning the Tour of Spain in 2007 and 2005.

The stage was won by Cervelo's Lithuanian Ignatas Konovalovas, who set his time of 18:42 before a light rainfall that forced riders to slow down, although conditions had dried out a lot by the time the leaders went out.

Britain's triple world track cycling gold medallist Bradley Wiggins finished a second behind Konovalovas and would have gone quicker had the rain not hampered the end of his ride.

General stand

eurosport.com

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