June 1, 2009 (Use j/k keys to navigate)   Email to a friend    Permalink

The 2009 Giro d'Italia

Along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana, the Giro d'Italia is one of three prestigious "grand tours", annual stage races that cover thousands of miles over three weeks. The 100th anniversary of the Giro provided all the excitement, scenery, and drama that fans hoped for. Team Rabobank's Denis Menchov became the third Russian to win the Giro, beating last year's Italian champion Danilo Di Luca of the LPR team by only 41 seconds total over the course of the three-week race. Menchov survived a fall on rain-slicked cobblestones during the final day time trial, putting his narrow victory margin in peril. But he rose quickly and finished with another bike provided by his alert mechanic at the scene. ( 29 photos total)

Russian Denis Menchov of the Rabobank team celebrates after winning the 92nd Giro d'Italia May 31 at the end of the last stage in Rome. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

The peloton takes a curve at Passo Rolle downhill on the fifth stage from San Martino di Castrozza to Alpe di Siusi May 13. Denis Menchov won the stage while Italian Danilo Di Luca took the leader's pink jersey. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

The peloton snakes over Passo Rolle during the fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia May 13. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati) #

The peloton climbs during the fifth stage May 13. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

Danilo Di Luca (center) rides next to Italian Ivan Basso of the Liquigas team (left) to take the overall lead during the fifth stage May 13. (DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images) #

Didi Senft, the world's most famous cycling fan, cheers the peloton during the 248-km sixth stage, from Bressanone to Mayrhofen im Zillertal May 14. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

The peloton starts the seventh stage in Innsbruck, Austria on the way to Chiavenna May 15. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati) #

The peloton braves the rain during the seventh stage May 15. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati) #

A rider from the Barloworld team puts on a rain jacket during the seventh stage May 15. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

The peloton races downhill during the seventh stage May 15. Norway's Hagen Boasson won the stage while Danilo Di Luca retained the leader's pink jersey. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

British sprinter Mark Cavendish (center) takes the ninth stage, a multi-lap circuit in Milan, May 17. Riders staged a protest during the race over dangerous conditions. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

The peloton leaves Duomo Square on the ninth stage May 17. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati) #

"Antler Man" Dore Holte runs beside the peloton during the 10th stage between Cuneo and Pinerolo May 19. Daniele Di Luca tightened his grip on the race leader's pink jersey by winning the 262km stage, attacking on the descent of the Pra Martino climb. (DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images) #

The peloton starts in Turin during the 11th stage from Turin to Arenzano May 20. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

The peloton rides the 11th stage May 20. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati) #

Lance Armstrong pedals during the 12th stage, an individual time trial from Sestri Levante to Riomaggiore May 21. Denis Menchov won the stage and took the leader's pink jersey. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati) #

British rider Bradley Wiggins of the Garmin team and the gold medallist on the cycling track at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, races during the 12th stage individual time trial May 21. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

Danilo Di Luca rides the 12th stage individual time trial May 21. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

Danilo Di Luca is chased by photographers during the 12th stage May 21. He lost the leader's "maglia rosa" or pink jersey to Denis Menchov. (DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images) #

The peloton strings out during the 13th stage between Lido di Camaiore and Florence May 22. (DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images) #

Danilo Di Luca (left) climbs followed by Italian Stefano Garzelli (right) and Denis Menchov during the 14th stage from Campi Bisenzio to Bologna May 23. Di Luca could not shake Menchov to get the lead back. (REUTERS/Alessandro Trovati/Pool) #

The peloton races the 14th stage from Campi Bisenzio to Bologna May 23. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

The peloton climbs the steep hills of the 16th stage between Pergola and Monte Petrano May 25. (ALESSANDRO TROVATI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Cervelo team rider Carlos Sastre of Spain climbs during the 147-mile 16th stage from Pergola to Monte Petrano May 25, 2009. Sastre won the stage, described by many in the peloton as one of their toughest races ever because of the heat, hills, and distance. (REUTERS/Pool) #

The peloton passes through the picturesque Amalfi coast during the 19th stage from Avellino to Vesuvio May 29. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

The peloton races the 19th stage between Avellino and Vesuvio May 29. (DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images) #

With the winner's trophy nearby, Denis Menchov releases balloons before the start of the 20th stage from Naples to Anagni May 30. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini) #

Denis Menchov gets up after falling on the wet cobbles during the last stage, an individual time trial in Rome May 31. (AP Photo/Roberto Bettini, Pool) #

Denis Menchov passes the Colosseum on his way to win the Giro d'Italia in Rome May 31. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito) #


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what a amazing tour !
looking forward to Tour de France.

Posted by fans June 1, 09 09:57 PM
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brilliant shots!! #1's the best.

menchov rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by sveta June 2, 09 04:03 AM
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Simply awesome.

Posted by Cycling Fan June 2, 09 12:52 PM
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Whew! Quite the variety in weather conditions, from the snow to the sunny shore.

Great assembly of pictures...

Posted by Chris June 2, 09 04:41 PM
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Great photo's!

Posted by J. Vreugdenhil June 2, 09 05:02 PM
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Belissimo
Exquisite shots of the beautiful sport of cycling, and the gorgeous Italian countryside.

Posted by chaoscyclingclub June 2, 09 07:39 PM
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After this Giro the Tour may be 2nd fiddle this year. The Giro was the fastest on record with incredible heat and climbs.

Posted by T. Robert June 4, 09 04:20 AM
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