Stage 13: Lido di Camaiore - Faenza
Thursday, May 7, 2009 11.00pm
Pan flat stage across Tuscany
Route: A couple of straightforward climbs early on in the stage apart, this is a pan-flat day's cycling that looks guaranteed for a sprint finish. In fact, it would be no surprise to see several of the sprinters pull out after this stage with so few opportunities for them in the last week, which only makes a sprint even more certain.
Local Hero: AG2R's Rinaldo Nocentini, winner of a stage at the Tour of California in February, is from Montevarchi, just south-east of Florence. This terrain won't suit this Classics specialist, but he'll be his French team's main hope for a stage win.
Procycling's Top Tip: It's hard to see past Cavendish and Petacchi in the sprints, but Lampre's Danilo Napolitano has been going well this season and is sure to be in contention in the bunch finishes.
Savio speaks: Stage 13 to Firenze is a day for the sprinters. I was talking with some there team managers and we noted how more and more over the years the unknown men have a hard time getting free in escapes. I don't know if that is due to race radios or the strong presence of the sprinters' teams.
It's great that the Giro combines cycling with Italy's historic cities. Firenze is a city of art, but in cycling it is known for the famed Gino Bartali, who comes from nearby Ponte a Ema. It is a stage dedicated to him and it will pass through his city.