Just five of the original nine riders remain in Garmin-Slipstream’s Giro d’Italia squad. The American team has now lost the most riders out of the 22 teams in attendance.

The Garmin squad arrived in Venice on Saturday May 9 with high hopes of early success in this year’s Giro. After winning the opening team time trial in last year’s race and putting Christian Vande Velde in the pink jersey, the squad had hoped to at least repeat the feat.

In the event, they were beaten by a well-drilled Columbia-Highroad. A defeat made all the more stinging thanks to some pre-race banter between the two US-based outfits.

The real crunch – literally – came on stage three, when the team’s hope for the general classification suffered an unspectacular yet devastating crash. Vande Velde – fifth in last year’s Tour de France – took a tumble, breaking two ribs and injuring his lower back. His Giro was over, and his 2009 Tour is looking shaky

With no overall hope and no team time trial victory, attention was now turned to the sprints, with Tyler Farrar, and individual time trials, with Bradley Wiggins.

Farrar, 24, was consistent in the sprints, coming in the top five on five occasions. But the win eluded him, and he withdrew from the race along with several of the other sprinters before the second rest day.

With Vande Velde gone, Wiggins took on a new lease of life early in the race, excelling on the climbs like never before. But it was in the stage 12 time trial that he made a mark, posting the day’s seventh fastest time over a punishing course that previously would have been out of his reach.

That Garmin-Slipstream have so far failed to win a stage is nothing for them to be disheartened about. Only six teams have had that honour so far in this year’s Giro – Columbia, Cervelo, LPR Brakes, Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni, Liquigas and Rabobank.

David Millar – still recovering from a broken collarbone sustained at Paris-Nice in March – and Cameron Meyer are the other two Garmin riders to have left the race by the end of stage 15. Both planned to retire at this point, leaving the race to concentrate on preparations for the Tour de France.

And there’s still the final time trial in Rome on Sunday that seems to suit Bradley Wiggins and David Zabriskie much more than stage 12.

“I’m looking forward to the last time trial now,” Wiggins told CW after stage 12. “That’s more of my thing.”

Tyler Farrar: Sprint finish results

Fifth, Stage 2

Second, Stage 3

13th, Stage 7 (successful break, 7th in bunch finish)

Third, Stage 9

Second, Stage 11

Fifth, Stage 13

Still in

Tom Danielson

Julian Dean

Danny Pate

Bradley Wiggins

David Zabriskie

Gone home

David Millar, retired

Tyler Farrar, retired

Cameron Meyer, retired

Christian Vande Velde, injured


Giro d’Italia 2009 links

Stage reports

Giro rest day review (May 26)

Stage 16: Sastre wins stage to Monte Petrano

Stage 15: Bertagnolli gifted stage win by Cervelo mix-up

Stage 14: Gerrans solos to win

Stage 13: Cavendish takes his third Giro win and prepares to head home

Stage 12: Menchov storms to Giro TT win and race lead

Stage 11: Cavendish romps to second Giro stage win

Stage 10: Di Luca lays down the gauntlet

Giro rest day review (May 18)

Stage nine: Cavendish blitzes rivals to win in Milan

Stage eight: Siutsou makes it two in a row for Columbia-Highroad

Stage seven: Boasson Hagen takes treacherous stage

Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break

Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey

Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey

Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash

Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win

Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin

Photo galleries

Stage 16 photo gallery

Stage 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

Desktop wallpaper photos

News

Di Luca out to topple Menchov on the Blockhaus

Bruyneel tips Menchov to win Giro

Giro Britannia: A long, hot slog in Italy

Leipheimer: Lance had to wait for me today (Stage 16)

Millar climbs off and heads home from Giro

Basso discovers he has few friends at the Giro (stage 15)

Froome agonisingly close to stage victory (stage 14)

Cavendish quits the Giro d’Italia

Cheeky Cipo sneaks a ride in the Giro

Cavendish: His most important Giro win yet (stage 13)

Comment: Lance vs the press, some things never change

Menchov’s first pink jersey (Stage 12)

Wiggins: ‘I went too hard at the start’ (Stage 12 TT)

Lance and Levi: Ready for Giro time trial

Cavendish: ‘Today brought back memories of San Remo’ (stage 11)

Is Di Luca trying too hard, too soon?

Wiggins loses time in the Giro (stage 10)

Armstrong and Basso say sorry for Giro protest

How are the Giro favourites doing?

Cavendish says ‘I’m addicted to winning’

Riders stage go-slow protest during Giro stage in Milan

Cavendish cool before Milan sprint

No sympathy for Armstrong from Giro boss

Boasson Hagen celebrates his birthday early

Cavendish overjoyed for Boasson Hagen

Armstrong ‘livid’ at dangerous Giro stage

Astana riders wear faded kit in protest over unpaid wages

Armstrong sees Leipheimer in pink

Giro news round-up: 14 May

Wiggins: ‘I can’t keep smashing away on the climbs’

Wiggins eyes top 20 finish overall

Armstrong after Giro stage 5: ‘That was hard’

Cavendish looking for Giro revenge

Armstrong happy with stage four performance

Lovkvist will fight to keep Giro lead

Giro could be last race for Armstrong’s team

Vande Velde crashes out of Giro

Petacchi claims he didn’t know of Cavendish crash

Cavendish struggles to find consolation in pink jersey

Petacchi: I’ve been working out how to beat Cav

I’m wearing pink on behalf of the team, says Cavendish

Wiggins ready to win Giro team time trial

Friday, May 8: Giro news round-up

Cavendish out to topple Garmin in Giro team time trial

Team time trial start times

Cycling Weekly’s Giro d’Italia top ten prediction

Brits in Venice for Giro presentation

Armstrong overshadows overall favourites at Giro presentation

Armstrong confident of finding new sponsor for Astana

Armstrong working to save Astana team

Wiggins in top form for Giro

Garmin Slipstream kitted out for Giro opener

Dan Lloyd gets late Giro call-up

Armstrong’s special Giro bikes unveiled

Daniel Lloyd overlooked for Giro ride

Cummings and Thomas not selected for Giro d’Italia

Cavendish tests Giro form at Tour of Romandie

David Millar confirms he’s riding in 2009 Giro

Bennati to take on Cavendish in Giro 2009 sprints

2009 Giro d’Italia to start in Venice

Evans and Silence-Lotto disagree on Giro 2009 ride

Armstrong to ride 2009 Giro

Tuttosport reveals 2009 Giro d’Italia route

Dolce & Gabbana design new Giro jersey

2009 Giro d’Italia guide and features

Find the pink jersey competition

Giro d’Italia 2009: The Big Preview

British riders to have led the grand tours

CW’s Giro top ten prediction

Brits in the Giro 2009

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

CW Classic: the 1987 Giro d’Italia


2008 Giro d’Italia archive

Giro d’Italia 2008 coverage index – race reports, photos, results

From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia

Giro 2008: The final word on this year’s race

Brits at the 2008 Giro: photo special

Five days to go, what’s in store?

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)

Giro d’Italia 2008 preview

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