Giro shorts: Stage 1 preview

Stage 1: Herning to Herning, 8.7km individual time trial

Stage profile: An 8.7km individual time trial around the streets of Herning, the home-town of Saxo Bank team owner Bjarne Riis. The first part of the course is twisty and technical, suiting strong bike-handlers and explosive riders comfortable with continuous hard accelerations. The stop-start nature may also dull the legs of the more traditional time trial specialists, preventing them from fully using their power to exploit the more flowing second half of the course. The fastest finishers should duck just under 11 minutes. Continue reading

Giro d’Italia preview: Contenders for the maglia rosa

The 95th Giro d’Italia starts tomorrow (Saturday) without the man who won last year’s race ‘on the road’: Alberto Contador. Indeed, the race begins with only the newly crowned Michele Scarponi present of the three current Grand Tour champions – the 2011 winners of the Tour de France (Cadel Evans) and Vuelta a Espana (Juan Jose Cobo) are also absent. Continue reading

Giro d’Italia preview: Five key stages

This year’s Giro d’Italia, which starts on Saturday, covers a total of 3,504km in 21 stages over 23 days. But which stages are most likely to provide the most spectacular racing and have the biggest impact on the final general classification?

Below we have selected five stages which we think will have the biggest impact on the battle for the maglia rosa. In a race designed to start small and build to a crescendo, unsurprisingly our chosen stages all take place in the final nine days. Continue reading