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Like to Watch Italian Races? Feeling Nervous Yet?

Girmascot_mediumUMWolv's fanshot below there is discussion about how Versus is refusing to show the Giro d'Italia this year, in response to what Paul Sherwen described as excessive fee demands by owners RCS. Meanwhile, across the pond, Eurosport announced today that they have reached a deal for another four years of live Giro television coverage in Europe. As an American whose devotion to the race has been called "total" and "slavish" I have to ask... WTF?!?

Cycling.tv? All indications are that they won't pony up for the rights for Milano-San Remo, which is allegedly a package deal with the Giro. So no MSR probably means no Giro. Versus is distancing itself from covering the Giro -- Bobke Roll told a live audience in Seattle Friday that it wasn't happening. RAI is somewhere between partly and completely georestricted (the most evil word in the English language). Which leaves exactly... nobody. Universal Sports covers the Worlds and some very cool domestic races, but that's it. ESPN couldn't reach an agreement with RCS on a minimum number of crashes and American victories, so they're out.

I'm not even sure where to turn. Petition RCS to end georestricting? Unleash the Livestrong folks on RCS with a post about how RCS is trying to cover up Lance's Giro success? Start lobbying to get Versus some money from the stimulus bill? Get religion? Move to London? Seriously, any and all suggestions welcomed. I am getting ready to flip the switch from "worried" to "profanity-laced tirade." I may be powerless to control my Giro-watching destiny, but I Will. Not. Go. Quietly.

And I will start by making fun of Girbecco: OK, the inner tubes are cool, but why does he have two elf legs sticking out of his head? Remember RCS, Versus, Cycling.TV, and the lot of you... this is a mere sampling of the negative press you can expect if I do not get satisfaction here. It's obviously not too late -- go back to the negotiating table and hammer out a deal, or I will taunt you a second time.