Enter the climbers

One for Simoni?

Five years ago, Gilberto Simoni took control here before going on to win his second of two Giro d'Italia victories. In fact, the Italian will be back again this year and has named this stage as his target.

"I think that my stage is here, Alpe di Pampeago," Simoni noted in a March interview of the 195-kilometre stage that ends with the 7.65-kilometre romp up Pampeago, averaging 9.8% over its 753-metre rise. "I won there in the past [stage 14, 2003], and then also finished second there behind behind Pantani [stage 19, 1999 - ed.]. I have some good memories, even if there is a lot of strain associated with that climb. To be able to come out and win it would truly be a beautiful thing."

As this is the opening stage of a mountainous weekend, look for the overall contenders to be a little reserved, feeling out their legs, or fire at full force. 

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