Wow. What to say about today's stage. Ummm, boring? At least up until the sprint at the end. It was flat and most relaxed for a bit today. As seen in many pictures, smiles, catching up, fancy lunches (ha ha just love the ones with Pate and Millar) today wasn't about to be too exciting. You can take a read on our PodiumCafe chatter and see we had all sorts of time this morning. We even tackled excel help questions - gotta love it!
The excitement was there at the end with Bennati and Bettini having a photo finish. It was also AWESOME to see Julian Dean up in the top 10. As the Argyle moved up in the last couple K's it what great. Sutton was there along with Dean and others. I had emailed Briggs not thinking Julian was over the crash earlier in the week and I replied back tonight with a huge "nevermind". :-) Very cool to see him up there. He's such an amazing lead out man that I am really hoping he gets to take some victories himself this year on Slipstream.
Huge HTFU award today has to go Filippo Savini (CSF Group Navigare). This kid crashes into a ditch (neither coverage this morning or VS this afternoon had the crash) and he looked pretty beat up. Most talk is his race being done while were watching it. He gets out of the ditch and we assume he's going to crawl into the ambulance... nope!?! The kid gets on his bike to try and pedal through it. Now he didn't make it very far but huge juevos to him for even trying. Just another reason these guys rock. They take more beatings and yet their drives to keep going come from so far within that you can't possibly not cheer for them. I haven't read any updates on him but I hope he turns out okay.
The race was on Versus this afternoon which in the past I had always loved. Now that my love for this sport has gotten a bit bigger, I live to watch the stuff live in the mornings when I can. For those not that nuts, being able to watch it on tv is great. And I have to say it is nice to be able to sit back and watch the big tv screen versus the computer for a couple hours. I love a clear pic so for me, I tend to keep the streams in the morning small. This morning I had a couple open and going and it got a little funny as I can't speak Italian or Norwegian yet I'm learning to pick out a few key words. Scary.
Live Chatter: CN - VN - DP - PodiumCafe
Stage 9 - Sunday 5/18: Civitavecchia - San Vincenzo, 218km
1 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas 5.30.06 (39.624 km/h)
9 Julian Dean (NZl) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30
18 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30
34 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30
56 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 0.04
101 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30
105 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana
130 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC
132 David Millar (GBr) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30
133 Jason McCartney (USA) Team CSC
159 Jonathan Patrick Mc Carty (USA) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30 7.36
163 Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30
170 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30 10.00
General classification after stage 9
1 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quick Step 42.14.16
8 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 7.56
20 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30 9.13
22 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 9.14
70 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30 27.57
90 David Millar (GBr) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30 37.46
98 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 43.56
104 Jason McCartney (USA) Team CSC 47.13
152 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30 1.12.05
157 Julian Dean (NZl) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30 1.13.48
163 Jonathan Patrick Mc Carty (USA) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30 1.22.02
171 Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30 1.29.19
173 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Slipstream Chipotle p/b H30 1.33.05
Slipstream: Dean 9th in sprint, Vande Velde holding steady
PEZ: Bravo, Bennati!
CW: Cavendish: "I still feel good"
CW: Cavendish misses out in Giro d'Italia sprint
Graham Watson Photos: Stage 9
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