Giro stage wins in the Rainbow Jersey

Giro Stage as World Champion

The 2012 Giro d’Italia isn’t a week old yet and Mark Cavendish has, perhaps unsurprisingly, already won two stages. But his first Grand Tour stage wins of the year are even more distinguished than usual, because he has taken these victories while clad in the rainbow jersey of world champion.

As tiny nuggets in the annals of cycling history go, winning a stage of the Giro d’Italia as world champion actually isn’t that uncommon. Cavendish’s wins means this is actually the 22nd year in which this has occurred. As it’s only been possible in 79 different years, it’s better than a one in four chance that any given world champion will win a stage of the Giro.

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Cycling and Football

Cycling is a strange sport. It’s a sport for individuals organised under the guise of teams. Spectators aren’t required to pay to go and watch it. It’s very difficult to sit down and watch a race if you have no idea who the main protaganists are or haven’t a notion of which riders are there and for what reasons.

Cycling fans, for the most part don’t support teams, they simply have a selection of favourite riders. Even if a cycling fan was to build up an affinity with a particualr team, that team may be called something different next year, or it may be based in a different country or it may be gone altogether.

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When is the leader of the Tour of Italy not the leader of the Tour of Italy?

Stage Three of this year’s Giro d’Italia ended in a massive crash caused by Roberto Ferrari. The two highest profile victims of the crash were the leader of the points competition Mark Cavendish and the leader of the entire race, Taylor Phinney.

The young American looked to have seriously hurt his ankle in the fall and actually didn’t cross the line with his bike to finish the stage. But he did climb out of an ambulance at the stage finish to collect his third Maglia Rosa of this year’s race. It remains to be seen whether Phinney will recover sufficiently to take part in the Stage Four team time trial. The rest day tomorrow will be of great benefit to him, but on viewing the pictures from the finish line, it does not look good.

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