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Giro d'Italia Stage 18... Live!!

Coupla subplots today. First, there will be a good deal of interest in the course, which starts with a circuit from next year's Worlds in Mendrisio (Switzerland), and ends back in Italia with two circuits of this year's Worlds course in Varese. Unfortunately, Paolo Bettini is either out of shape or doing some serious sandbagging; if the former, his obsession with the course won't amount to much. Another Varesino of note is Damiano Cunego, who might be watching the action after his daily Tour prep session, but not racing. Still, lots of riders will want to be in on the action, for future reference.

The other big subplot is the points jersey. With only four days left in this wonderful Giro, Daniele Bennati is looking like a decent bet to carry the maglia ciclamena into Milan. He can salt it away if he can make today's finale. And if he can't... Riccardo Ricco may yet claw back his 55-point deficit.

Oh, and there's a 20 second bonus to the winner. Astana will be on pins and needles all day. Should make for a great race. Enjoy!