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

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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