This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Bluffers guide: The phoney war ends with a beautiful rolling stage. Highlight will be the climb to Cingoli, the “Balcony of Le Marche”, but this is Central Italy at its very best. The last 100 kilometres will be punch and counterpunch through the thinking man’s Tuscany, as the Giro begins in earnest. Scarponi, from nearby Filottrano, will look to deliver to his legions of Marchegiano fans.
Buon appetito: Green-hued and citrusy, Verdicchio is Marche’s best-loved (and best exported) white wine. Look out for anything from the provinces of Matelica and Jesi. And, above all else… take your time…
Local hero: Michele Scarponi (Lampre) – Alberto Contador’s disqualification last year gave the Marche region its first ever Giro winner in Michele Scarponi. The ‘Corsa Rosa” returns this year with stage which, to coin a very Italian phrase, should be “pane per i suoi denti” – “bread for his teeth”.
Pier Bergonzi says: “The finale is like a Tirreno-Adriatico stage. It’ll be beautiful, in the part of Marche famous for the shoemakers. This will be up and down all afternoon, and just stunning to look at. It’s made for attackers, but it’s one of those stages that are really difficult to call. Cipollini won here twenty years ago, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that another sprinter will win this.
© RCS Sport