David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) won the 2011 Giro d’Italia’s final time trial in Milan today but the overall result will have to be kept on ice.
Millar’s win capped a superb weekend for British cycling fans as Geraint Thomas won Bayern-Rundfahrt in Germany today, after Bradley Wiggins won the race’s time trial on Saturday ahead of Fabian Cancellara.
Thomas’s result, the best of his career so far, may not compare to a Grand Tour win, but at least we can be confident the result will stand. Sadly the same can’t be said for the Giro.
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) was presented with the winner’s pink jersey and gold trophy but with a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) still pending the result of this year’s Giro cannot be validated.
If Contador is banned by CAS it will render the last three weeks a huge waste of time. Contador’s effect on this race has been enormous, and it’s not as simple as taking him out of the results and promoting everybody else.
Incredibly this year’s Tour could go exactly the same way now that CAS has postponed the hearing.
Contador – who is showing more and more of the traits that Lance Armstrong did at his most ostentatious – has refused to bow, or show a modicum of sympathy for the race whose result will be rendered meaningless if CAS decide to ban him and strip him of all results since last July due to his positive test for Clenbuterol.
“Sincerely?” he responded to Cycling Weekly’s question in a press conference last week. “Those are things that don’t even warrant a moment of my time.” Believing he is innocent is one thing, showing no respect for the race and the situation he has put it in is quite another.
Contador has even tried to fool people in to thinking that the fans love having him here, but no one with any sense is listening.
But perhaps Contador is the winner this race deserves. Organiser Angelo Zomegnan said there was nothing he could do to stop Contador riding when asked at a press conference in London earlier this year, but his lack of conviction when trying to look hard done-by was laughable.
And who else would have pulled the Spaniard out? His team? That’s a joke.
Bjarne Riis, the man who doped to win the 1996 Tour de France and then showed no remorse when admitting it years ago, had the temerity to suggest he runs a clean team. Before the race started in Turin the man who once coached Tyler Hamilton and Ivan Basso said; “I think people know what sort of team I run.” Yes Bjarne, we know exactly what sort of team you run.
The Spanish Cycling Federation certainly weren’t going to stop him. Out of everyone involved, they’re the ones who have come out of this whole sorry situation the worst. Not only did they roll over and clear Contador for no good reason, they have helped him beat the system every step of the way.
In February Pat McQuaid, President of the UCI, told us how the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) had sent the UCI their overly complex and overly long documents concerning the case just days before Christmas – as late as they possibly could.
Translating the documents from Spanish meant the UCI had to wait until well into the new year to come to a decision on their next move, meanwhile RFEC complained about the delay.
Now it looks like they’re doing the same with CAS so their star rider can ride the Tour. Considering Contador’s only argument is ‘it was the steak’, and considering he has no proof to back that up, there seems little need for 100 page documents written in complex Spanish legalese.
So who does that leave to protect the race? The UCI? The sport’s governing body is in fact powerless to stop Contador from riding, and have kept a very low profile during this year’s Giro. Unfortunately for them, as they’ve fanned the flames of the Contador case, they’ve been completely engulfed by the Armstrong inferno.
All of which leaves the sport in a very sorry state. Thankfully FIFA has stooped so low that it’s managing to make cycling look good at the moment, but they’re much better at covering up scandals and corruption than cycling, and will do so again.
So, will the last person to leave please turn out the light.
Giro d’Italia stage 21, Milan-Milan 25.5km
1. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo 30-13 minutes
2. Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad at 7 secs
3. Alberto Contador (Esp) Saxo-Bank at 36 secs
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo-Bank at 43 secs
5. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack at 55 secs
6. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank at 1-02 minutes
7. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-04 minutes
8. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad at 1-08 minutes
9. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack at 1-12 minutes
10. Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad at 1-16 minutes
Final overall classification
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Sungard in 84-05-14
2. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 6-10
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 6-56
4. John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:04
5. Joaquin Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katushaat 11-05
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 11-28
7. Jose Rujano (Ven) Androni Giocattoli at 12-12
8. Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC at 12-18
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank at 13-51
10. Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad at 14-10
87. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky at 2-54-07
100. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 3-14-39
140. Russell Downing (GB) Sky at 4-09-56
Stage winner David Millar
Overall winner Alberto Contador
Giro d’Italia 2011: Latest news
Deignan still learning in sixth Grand Tour
Giro changes again as final Milan time trial shortened
What riding the Giro has done for Peter Kennaugh
Millar’s time trial practice run
Nibali gives up hope for Giro d’Italia win
Contador ignores Armstrong doping investigation
Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 24)
Controversial Crostis climb removed from Giro route
Sky leader Lofkvist loses more time at the Giro
Giro contenders struggle with Contador’s dominance
Contador widens Giro advantage but Tour doping case waits
Porte reflects, one year after Giro success
Le Mevel goes on attack for Giro’s pink jersey
Giro fines Contador for missing press conference
Cavendish responds to ‘team car’ accusations at Giro
Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 15)
Giro’s Sicilian cyclists proud to face Mount Etna
Contador surprises at Giro with attack ahead of mountains
Contador minds food at Giro as CAS decision nears
Weening supported by Rabobank and model Kroes
Local lad Appollonio bears fruit in Fiuggi
Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 12 edition)
Blythe finding way in second Grand Tour
Leopard-Trek withdraws from Giro d’Italia
Leopard-Trek uncertain to continue in Giro
Tuesday’s Giro stage in memory of Weylandt
Giro doctor describes actions to save Weylandt
Wouter Weylandt killed in Giro crash
Giro news shorts (May 8)
Cavendish likely to take Giro lead tomorrow
Giro 2011: Who will win?
Giro d’Italia 2011: Stage reports
Giro d’Italia 2011: Photo galleries
Stage 20 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 19 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 18 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 17 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 15 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson
Giro d’Italia 2011: Live text coverage
Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list
Giro d’Italia 2011: TV schedule