Stage 17: Fortune favours the brave

Summit finish, but not so hard

Race director Angelo Zomegnan describes this as one of the race's six summit finishes, but admits it's by far the least intimidating. The mid-stage Passo delle Palade is long but not excessively tough. The final climb to Peio Terme averages five per cent. Liquigas leader Ivan Basso will have happy memories of winning last year's Tour of Trentino here, his first success following his two-year ban, but the overall contenders may be happy to mark each other and let the glory go elsewhere today.

Procycling's favourite to win:

Last year HTC-Columbia won no fewer than seven stages at the Giro, and only three were down to Mark Cavendish. There is class right through the squad, so look out for riders such as Kanstantin Sivtsov and Matt Goss who may grab an opportunity on this stage to show their ability.

Pozzato says:

"Any mountain stage like this, deep into the third week and with a climb in the middle, always lends itself to breaks. If you want my prediction, the riders battling for the pink jersey at this point will be Pellizotti, Sastre and Evans. Sastre is the number one favourite on such a hard course."

Stage Details

Distance: 173km

Vertical climb: 3,390m

Highest point: 1,523m

Terrain: High mountain

Category: Mountain Stage

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