This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Bluffers guide: An odyssey through flat, fertile Emilia-Romagna, synonymous with the co-operative movement, socialism and… cycling. Giro legends like Ercole Baldini (Forlí), Vittorio Adorni (Parma) and Arnaldo Pambianco (Bertinoro) all hail from these parts, as did Cesenatico’s Marco Pantani, Italian cycling’s greatest martyr. Expect big crowds, and a boatload of bandanas.
Buon appetito: Where to start with the jewel in Italy’s culinary crown? Just about the finest cheeses under the sun, Piadina Romagnola, Balsamic vinegar, Tortellini, Prosciutto di Parma, the list goes on and on. Every town here has a speciality, and so in the interests of diplomacy it’s probably best if we simply re-arrange the following phrase to form everybody’s favourite pasta dish. Bolognese Spaghetti. Phew…
Local hero: Federico Canuti (Liquigas) – 26-year-old Canuti will have to ride well in the spring to earn a place on Liquigas’ Giro roster. If he makes it he’ll get a fantastic reception when the race passes through Pesaro, his home town just 15 kilometres from the traguardo.
Pier Bergonzi says: “They said it’s a really balanced Giro, and I think they’re right. On the surface this looks like a sprint, but there’s a climb, La Siligata, close to the finish. It’s made for attacks, and so the sprinter’s teams will need to be vigilant. If they don’t we could see a surprise here. Last time the race came to Fano was 1983. It ended in a sprint, and on balance I expect the same this year.”
© RCS Sport