How are the Giro favourites doing?

Before the Giro d?Italia we predicted how the top 10 would turn out.

As the race reaches it?s first brief pause before Tuesday?s monster stage to Pinerolo, we take a look at how they?ve been getting on.

1 Ivan Basso

6th at 1-14

Still looks to be the favourite for the race, and judging by the amount of work his Liquigas team has done on the climbs, they do too. Tuesday?s mountain stage and Thursday?s time trial will tell us whether he?s good enough to beat Di Luca and Leipheimer.

2 Damiano Cunego

21st at 3-37

Our single biggest mistake was believing that Cunego could challenge. What were we thinking? He simply isn?t a grand tour rider, and that?s absolutely fine. He?s even come to terms with it himself.

3 Levi Leipheimer

4th at 51 seconds

On his Twitter feed Lance Armstrong took exception to our suggestion that Leipheimer may struggle with the Italian climbs. The thing was, that we were basing our prediction on a thing called ?evidence?. Last year, Leipheimer lost bags of time on every mountain stage. And in the past he?s been a lot more comfortable on the steadier mountains, rather than the irregular gradients more common in Italy. But it?s typical of Armstrong to use one new fact to disprove a host of older, less convenient ones. So far, Leipheimer?s not been put outside his comfort zone on the climbs. Let?s see how he copes tomorrow, but our prediction still stands ? podium potential, but not the winner.

4 Denis Menchov

5th at 58 seconds

Won the stage at Alpe di Siusi, causing us to revise our prediction upwards. Looks like podium material so far, even if he is prone to losing little bits of time here, there and everywhere when you least expect it ? usually when he?s caught behind a crash, or falls asleep on a descent.

5 Marzio Bruseghin

20th at 3-24

Looks every bit his age so far. Perhaps he?ll make up ground in Thursday?s big time trial, but he?s not going to crack the top five. Might trouble the top 10 if he?s very lucky.

6 Franco Pellizotti

9th at 1-35

Had a bit of a wobble in the Dolomites, but looks like he?ll be top ten at the end of the race.

7 David Arroyo

10th at 1-49

Needs to gain more time in the mountains to make up for his shortcomings in the time trials, so seventh may have been a bit too enthusiastic a prediction.

8 Michele Scarponi

33rd at 5-31

But for the 4-46 he lost at Alpe di Siusi, he?d be right up there among the leaders. Having said that, he?d also be minus one stage win, as he?d never have been allowed freedom. Isn?t going to make the top 10 now.

9 Tadej Valjavec

13th at 2-44

Lurking just outside the top 10. If he keeps going well, and one or two others fade away, he could make it.

10 Kanstantsin Siutsou

16th at 3-02

Won a stage, rose to 16th place and is riding well, but we?re kicking ourselves for overlooking Columbia?s other two men, Thomas Lovkvist and Michael Rogers.


Danilo Di Luca ? 1st overall

How did we not see this coming? Of course Danilo Di Luca, with his chiselled jawbone and steely stare, was going to tear it up. Of course he was going to win a stage and get the pink jersey.

Thomas Lovkvist and Michael Rogers ? 2nd and 3rd overall

Whoops. Columbia has been the team of the race. And they could make the podium too.

Carlos Sastre ? 7th overall

It?s obvious now that Sastre wants to do well here, rather than just use it as preparation for the Tour de France. Now he?s in the top 10 it?s difficult to see him just fading away. It?ll take a shocker of a day for him to drop down, and we can?t see that happening either.

Giro d’Italia 2009 links

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Stage reports

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 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


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