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Monday, July 4

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Cycling Thu May 21 2009

The Giro, Half Over

With only nine race days left in the Giro d'Italia, things have sorted themselves out accordingly and somewhat unsurprisingly. With Christian Vande Velde of Garmin out of the race with cracked vertebrae and all sorts of hurt due to a freak and unfortunate crash in the stage 3, the American GC hopes lie with Levi Leipheimer of Astana (or rather Team Fade). Armstrong's just support at this point -- he might have a trick up his spandex, but likely more than anything else, he's there to ferry water bottles and draw crowds. Christian's doing alright, per his Twitter he "swam in the Med Ocean yesterday. Better than any pain killer or anti inflammatory out there, and I hate swimming." CVV teammate Tyler Farrar is killing it in the sprints, coming an eternal 2nd or 3rd place to Mark Cavendish of Columbia or Alessandro Petacchi of LPR.

Today's excellent time trial on a course from Sestri Levante to Riomaggiore over terrain so hilly that time trial bikes were kept on ice in favor of regular road bikes proved to be something of a game changer. Danilo Di Luca of the LPR Brakes squad, in pink for most of the race thus far, lost it to Russian Denis Menchov of Rabobank. But Di Luca's beautiful ride in Stage 10 from Cuneo to Pinerolo was something to tell the grandkids about.

With recaps and live video on the Universal Sports website and on DTV on NBC 5.3, the access for us Yankees to an amazing race is the best I can remember. If at work, the Velonews and CyclingNews live updates are awfully nice at keeping up with what's happening in real-time.

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