Giro shorts: Stage 8 review

Stage 8 – Sulmona to Lago Laceno, 229km

Stage profile:  The second-longest stage of the 2012 Giro features just two categorised climbs but is constantly undulating throughout. The final climb of the category two Lago Laceno represents the most southerly point of this year’s race. The 14.25km climb has a steep middle section which exceeds 10%, and then a flat 4.4km run to the finish.

Top three: 1. Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF), 2. Benat Intxausti (Movistar) +0:23, 3. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) +0:27.

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Taxi! Take me to Hoogerland!

Johnny Hoogerland: attacker, escape artist, hard man. How hard? So hard that when he was thrown into that barbed wire fence on stage nine of the 2011 Tour de France, he rode to the finish line with blood-soaked bandages swathing his legs – injuries that would result in 33 stitches when he finally made it to the hospital later that evening. Oh, and despite the pain, he carried on all the way to Paris. Now that is a hard man – and we all know a hard man is good to find. Happy birthday, Johnny – 29 today!

Heeeerrrreeee’s Johnny

A lovely little film about Mr Hoogerland:

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Amgen Tour of California preview

The seventh edition of the eight-day Amgen Tour of California kicks off on Sunday in Santa Rosa and finishes a week later in Los Angeles. The only UCI 2.HC race in the US, the Tour of Cali brings world-class riders and teams to American fans.

What kind of race is it?

A healthy balance of sprints and climbs – often within the same stage – the Tour of California is popular with riders who want to test their climbing legs in anticipation for their summer in the Alps and Pyrenees. This is also one of the few opportunities for American-sponsored teams like Garmin-Barracuda, RadioShack-Nissan and BMC to show off their best riders to their US fanbase. Continue reading