Cycling: Menchov Crashes in Last Stage - Still Wins Giro

The 2009 Giro D' Italia was decided today, with Denis Menchov and Danilo Di Luca pushing to the limit on wet, cobblestoned roads in Rome. Denis started with only a 20 second lead over the final 14 odd kilometer time trial, with Di Luca Menchov crashed in the final kilometer, and showed great guts (and top class a mechanic) to get straight back on a new bike and get home in time. I tried to cut together a video of this from my tv tuner, but windows movie maker does rather suck, so you'll have to do with the youtube version, with the Pommy comentator who sucks so much that SBS put a pair of local commentators on after the first couple of stages. Seriously, he sounds like he's trying to be monotonous, like he's describing a historical parade, not a bike race. And the Youtube video spells Menchov wrong on the title (even when it's displayed during almost the whole video) and has an odd pause around the crash. All credit to Denis, he deserved to win. Di Luca threw everything he had at him up Vesuvius and couldn't shake him from his back wheel.

Next stop Paris for the Tour (which SBS shows close to full stages of) and then the Vuelta (which I hope SBS will do the same thing as the Giro and show daily highlights). Armstrong started to show some good form towards the end of the Giro and should be strong enough for a top 10 in the Tour, but I don't reckon he has the legs to match Contador and will be stuck in a supporting role to him. Be interesting to see how Astana handle their riders in the Tour, with definately Armstrong and Contador and possibly Leipheimer contenders. They might get stuck like Liquigas did in the Giro, supporting too many riders and getting 3rd and 4th instead of 1st and 10th. CSC Saxobank showed how 2 leaders can work with Schleck and Sastre last year though.

Finally, Mick Doughty has done enough in his recent tagging roles to get off the Shit list, and Denis Menchov gets on the legends list for his effort as shown above.

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