The Giro d’Italia got underway this past weekend, with the top riders in the world competing over the next three weeks in one of the biggest events in all of cycling. This year the Giro will run from May 9th to the 30th, and although this is the 92nd race in its illustrious history, it has been 100 years since the race began.
Coming out of the weekend, Mark Cavendish of Team Columbia-Highroad is in the lead thus far, but with 18 more stages to go, it is of course far too early to make any bold predictions. The race will start to heat up tomorrow, as the first of the mountain stages arrives after a time trial and two sprint stages kicked things off. One of the more interesting stages that riders can look forward to is a the 19th over all stage, which has a finish line at the top of Mount Vesuvius. The overall course his year began in Venice and will end in Rome.
Of course, Team Astana is expected to do well, despite the fact that last year’s Giro winner Alberto Contador is not riding with them. Lance Armstrong is with the team however, and competing in the Giro for the first time in his career. Traditionally, while many of the top riders took part in the event, Lance was focused on the Tour de France and preparation for that race, which gets underway in July.
Look for more Giro updates in the days ahead. The race is a long one, and the course really mixes up the challenges with sprints and mountain legs coming at regular intervals. With Lance in the crowd, it is also likely to get more attention here in the States than ever before, which is a shame considering how great an event it is. Good luck to all the riders!
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