This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Bluffers guide: Into the Alps for a genuine behemoth, the first of the Giro. The Col de Joux, a 22 kilometres trawl, precedes the mountain finish at the resort town of Cervinia, 10 kilometres from the Swiss border. In itself the climb to Cervinia isn’t steep (just under 6%), but at 27 kilometres it’s a monster, particularly given what’s gone before. Here the favourites will go to war, and the sheer length of the climbs will be the deciding factor. Survival of the fittest in the most literal sense.
Buon appetito: Piedmont is the chocolate capital of Italy, but the area around Cherasco is a wine lovers’ dream. Head to wonderful Barolo for a tasting, then to nearby Alba, the “City of 1000 Towers”. Here you’ll find Toma, a delicious, soft, creamy cheese. Pure indulgence…
Local hero: Fabio Felline (Androni Giocattoli) – Long billed as one of Italy’s brightest prospects, many even touted Felline a clone of former Classics maestro Paolo Bettini. He lost his way a little last year but here the Turin-born Androni-Giocattoli rider will be on very familiar territory.
Pier Bergonzi says: “So now we’re really into it. Whilst it’s conceivable that the guy in pink today isn’t a potential winner, whoever has it tomorrow almost certainly will be. Ivan Gotti rode away here in 1997, and went on to win the Giro overall. The winner today will be somebody similar, a genuine climber, and I wouldn’t be surprised if history repeats itself.”
© RCS Sport