After one week of racing, Cycling Weekly/Cycle Sport lead in the journalists’ Giro d’Italia. Belgium’s VRT Sporza and Rai Sport trail by only five points after stage eight to Lago Laceno.
The early lead was established with a win in the opening time trial in Denmark. The Giro’s jury awards points for predicting the top five placers with extra points going to exact placings.
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The Pronostico Giornalisti stage winner is awarded on the podium with a Limar helmet and sunglasses. The overall winner receives wine from Astoria Vini, who also sponsors the daily podium ceremonies.
This year’s Pronostico is dedicated to Walter Gallone, an Italian journalist who recently died of a heart attack. Spanish journalist Ainara Hernando Nieva won the overall last year.
1. Gregor Brown (Cycling Weekly/Cycle Sport)
=2. Renaate Schotte (VRT)
=2. Francesco Pancani (Rai)
4. Gigi Sgarbozza (Rai)
Malori down and out
Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) led the Giro d’Italia for one day, losing his pink jersey to Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) on Saturday in Rocca di Cambio. He finished the stage 11-28 minutes down.
It got worse. After the stage, Malori rode to the side of the road to sign autographs when he was on his way back to the team bus. As he did, Oscar Gatto (Farnese Vini) cut him off and he crashed. “Che cosa fai!?” said Malori, who was okay.
Tiralongo goes long
Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) was the first in but the last out on Saturday in Rocca di Cambio. He won the stage, but due to being unable to urinate for an anti-doping test, needed three hours before appearing in the press room for the winner’s conference.
He dedicated his win to former team-mate, Alberto Contador. Contador is serving a suspension for doping at the 2010 Tour de France.
“He’s great,” Tiralongo said on Italian television. “I expect to see him at the Vuelta, I know he’s working hard. He’ll return as the same strong Alberto Contador.”
Michael Rasmussen joined all the favourites in the pre-Giro press conference on May 3. Though not a journalist, he sat in the room as the others answered questions.
He appeared as fit, if not fitter, as the race’s favourites. However, he has not raced for a top team since Rabobank forced him to abandon the 2007 Tour de France while wearing the yellow jersey.
The Danish cycling federation and the UCI showed that he missed out-of-competition anti-doping controls. After a two-year ban, he returned to race, this year with Christina Watches-Onfone.
Astana’s Giro numbers
2800 water bottles for Giro
250 cotton cycling caps
80 wheel sets
30 road frames (and about 18 TT frames)
Cipo in Verona
Mario Cipollini was on hand to welcome the Giro d’Italia into Italy after its opening three stages in Denmark.
A lean-looking Cipo was seen riding on one of his own-brand bikes in Verona. The former sprint star has said that he wants to return to racing.
Giro d’Italia 2012: Latest news
Giro d’Italia 2012: Live coverage
Giro d’Italia 2012: Stage reports
Stage eight: Pozzovivo takes another Giro win
Stage seven: Hesjedal moves into Giro lead
Stage six: Rubiano solos to epic Giro stage win
Stage five: Cavendish bounces back for another stage win
Stage four: Garmin-Barracuda win TTT to take lead
Stage three: Goss wins in Horsens as Cavendish and Phinney crash
Stage two: Cavendish wins in Herning
Stage one: Phinney wins time trial
Giro d’Italia 2012: Photo galleries
Giro d’Italia 2012: Teams and riders
Giro d’Italia 2012: TV guide