Team time trial start

Venetian kick off for Giro

Route: A simple out-and-back course on the huge sandbar that stands guard in front of Venice. It's sure to be very high speed and, with St Mark's very prominent in the background, will be hugely spectacular.

Local Hero: It's fitting that the location of the prestigious Venice Film Festival should also be home ground for cycling's Glenn Close look-alike, Franco Pellizotti. He's actually from Latisana, 50km north-east. Expect mayhem if the Liquigas train can put him in the maglia rosa here.

Procycling's Top Tip: Garmin steamrollered this stage last year and they're sure to be in contention again. Mark Cavendish reckons Columbia will more than match them, though, and Astana will surely go better than last year's seventh. Garmin by a short head.

Savio speaks: The Venezia team time trial that will pull in the public thanks to its sitting. Venice is a city known all around the world, but if you have never been there it is difficult to understand. You are always between small side streets or water. It is a beautiful city.

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