First mountain finish

Croce d'Aune and San Martino di Castrozza to climb

Route: The first summit finish of the race, although not one that will have the main contenders quaking. The climb to San Martino has its tough sections, but overall it's not a tough ascent on what is the main road up the Cismon valley. Time gaps won't be too big here; the finish could be contested by quite a large group.

Local Hero: If Ivan Basso is going to ride off with the maglia rosa for a second time, he's likely to be leaning heavily on Manuel Quinziato. A time trial specialist, the Bolzano man is very strong and versatile and is sure to be allocated plenty of hardcore domestique work on stages like this.

Procycling's Top Tip: No one could touch Emanuele Sella on stages like these last year, but he's now sidelined by a doping ban that contributed to his CSF Navigare team's non-selection this year. If a sizeable group comes to the finish, 2000 champion Stefano Garzelli is a good bet in an uphill sprint.

Savio speaks: San Martino di Castrozza is the first stage in the mountains, I Dolomiti. We will get the idea of who is not up to the task of winning the 2009 Giro d'Italia. Simoni will try to stay with the front men, but on this stage we are going to aim for the maglia rosa with Davide Rebellin.

If we can maintain a safe distance in the team time trial then in this stage and the next stage we have a chance, they are adapted to Rebellin. We are talking seconds here, but Rebellin can aim to give his all in these stages, unlike the classification riders. [The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Rebellin positive for Erythropoietin (EPO) April 29 - ed.]

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