• Giro d’Italia 2012

    The 2012 Giro d’Italiagets underway in Herning, Denmark on May 5 and finishes in Milan three weeks later. The queen stage comes on the penultimate day, with the gruppo facing no fewer than five climbs, including the Mortirolo and a gruelling summit finish atop the Stelvi.

      • Stage 5Thursday, May 10 2012  Modena – Fan Distance 199 km
      • Stage 6Friday, May 11 2012   Urbino  – Porto Sant’Elpidi  207 km
      • Stage 7Saturday, May 12 2012   Recanati – Rocca di Cambio  202 km
      • Stage 8Sunday, May 13 2012   Sulmona – Lago Laceno  229 km
      • Stage 9Monday, May 14 2012   San Giorgio nel Sannio – Frosinone 171 km
      • Stage 10Tuesday, May 15 2012   Civitavecchia – Assisi 187 km
      • Stage 11Wednesday, May 16 2012   Assisi – Montecatini Terme  243 km
      • Stage 12Thursday, May 17 2012   Seravezza – Sestri Levante 157 km
      • Stage 13Friday, May 18 2012   Savona – Cervere 121 km
      • Stage 14Saturday, May 19 2012   Cherasco – Cervinia 205 km
      • Stage 15Sunday, May 20 2012   Busto Arsizio – Lecco/Pian dei Resinelli 172 km
      • Rest day 2Monday, May 21 2012  Lecco – Limone sul Garda
      • Stage 16Tuesday, May 22 2012   Limone sul Garda – Falzes/Pfalzen 174 km
      • Stage 17Wednesday, May 23 2012   Falzes/Pfalzen – Cortina d’Ampezzo 187 km
      • Stage 18Thursday, May 24 2012   San Vito di Cadore – Vedelago 139 km
      • Stage 19Friday, May 25 2012   Treviso – Alpe di Pampeago 197 km
      • Stage 20Saturday, May 26 2012   Caldes/Val di Sole – Passo dello stelvio 218 km
      • Stage 21Sunday, May 27 2012   Milan (ITT) 31.5



    Lance Armstrong on stage eight of the Tour de France

    VeloNewshas learned that Lance Armstrong will make a return to the pro peloton later this season in a bid to sharpen his form ahead of the Ironman world championships in October.

    Sources have confirmed to VeloNews that the seven-time Tour de France champion will race the three-week Vuelta a España (August 18 to September 9) to hone his cycling legs ahead of the three-event Ironman finale on October 13.

    Armstrong could not be reached for comment, but a source close to his inner circle confirmed the story.

    “Lance was fourth in the 1998 Vuelta and he wants to race it again, mainly for conditioning, but who knows with Lance?,” the source said. “He’s still mad about what happened in the 2010 Tour, and you know what happens when Lance gets mad.”

    Officials from RadioShack-Nissan would not comment on the story, but it is believed that Armstrong will return with the team in what will be yet another highly anticipated comeback for Armstrong, who will turn 41 a week after the Vuelta concludes.

    Armstrong has reportedly quietly signed on with anti-doping controls in order to meet guidelines that require athletes to be in the anti-doping control pool at least six months ahead of competition. UCI officials would not comment.

    Officials said the return to cycling is temporary and it’s not likely that the peloton will see Armstrong for very long.

    “He’s doing this to get in top shape for the Ironman,” another source said. “It’s a risk in that he could crash or get sick, but there’s no better training than racing.”

    The mountainous edition of the 2012 Vuelta likely discounts any GC ambitions and Armstrong is expected to ride as a “special” domestique, though the idea of him not trying to win at least one stage or go on the attack is unlikely.

    Armstrong returned to triathlon in February, finishing second in the Ironman 70.3 Panama race, only getting passed by eventual winner Bevan Docherty in the final two kilometers.

    “Lance is going to win Ironman. And he’s going to race the Vuelta to get in the best absolute shape,” the source said. “I don’t know what the odds are, but if I were a betting man, I would bet the house on that.”

    As of late March, Armstrong still had not qualified to start the Ironman world championships, so there were no odds posted on the online betting sites. Docherty’s odds, however, were 51-to-1.

    So if Armstrong almost beat him in his comeback, it might be worth putting a Ben Franklin on him no matter what happens.