Giro broadcasted in USA by Universal Sports

Lance Armstrong's battle against the best in the world of cycling for the Giro d'Italia's maglia rosa will be shown in the United States, announced broadcaster Universal Sports.

Two American teams – Columbia-Highroad and Garmin-Slipstream – and 10 Americans will race in the 2009 Giro d'Italia. Garmin won the opening team time trial last year and put its rider Christian Vande Velde, from Chicago, in the leader's maglia rosa.

Vande Velde is back this year with another top American favourite, Armstrong's Astana teammate Levi Leipheimer.

American fans had expressed concern that they would miss Armstrong's Giro d'Italia debut when the Versus channel, which broadcasts the majority of cycling events in the USA, chose not to carry the Giro this year.

Universal Sports will carry every stage live, but has yet to announce the exact times of each stage. Italy's Rai will have up to 12 hours of Giro d'Italia coverage daily (includes live feed, pre- and post-coverage and sideshows).

Universal Sports is a joint venture between NBC and InterMedia Partners. Its cable channel reaches more than 45 million homes across the US.

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