Stage 17: Chieti - Vesuvio
Thursday, May 7, 2009 11.00pm
Danilo Di Luca's home ground
Route: There's a brief opportunity for riders to get back into the swing of things, post-rest day, as the stage heads to and then along the coast. From there, it's up all the way. Ivan Basso took the maglia rosa on this climb in 2006, but that day finished at the Lanciano pass, and that's at 1306m. Today's blast goes up to 4km from the summit of the Blockhaus
Local Hero: We're on Danilo Di Luca's patch here, and it will be mayhem on the Blockhaus if "The Killer" is in contention; in fact, it will be mayhem anyway.
Procycling's Top Tip: Looking outside the obvious favourites, Rabobank's Denis Menchov, who has climbing ability and the sprint finish to make a difference, should be in the frame today as the Russian builds his condition for the Tour.
Savio speaks: Blockhaus is another beautiful climb, one day after Monte Petrano. It will re-arrange the classification again. It is short, but it is a stage that will send the classification up flames. It's Di Luca's land, he won the race two years ago and will be out for the kill on Blockhaus.