2008 Giro d'Italia Preview
The 2008 Giro d'Italia will be a climber's race.
Romandy Tour winner Andreas Kloden and Levi Leipheimer on his squad. Either Menchov or Contador, most likely the latter, should win the 2008 Giro.
Other riders could have a determining influence on the race. Gilberto Simoni (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni) is at the head of this class. The two-time Giro winner is not as fast as he used to be, but he is still a strong climber, and a two-time champion can never be ruled out. Look for Simoni to make a strong showing in the Dolomites and the Alps.
Paolo Savoldelli (LPR Brakes), like Simoni a two-time Giro champion, should make a prominent appearance in this year's Giro, but his climbing, which has been erratic in recent years, should keep him off of the podium. Savoldelli's descending and time-trialing, however, should keep "Il Falco" in the top ten. Look for Savoldelli to impress in the race's flat time trials.
Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) should also figure prominently in the Giro. The 2007 champion got little time to savor his victory after being implicated in two doping cases and being suspended for three months. The distraction of these cases and the challenge of Menchov and Contador should push Di Luca off of the top step of the podium and probably off of the podium altogether. He will content himself with a stage win.
Riccardo Ricco (Saunier Duval) finished sixth and won a stage in last year's Giro debut. Last year, he had Simoni and Leonardo Piepoli to mentor him. Simoni is gone, but Piepoli remains with Saunier Duval. Look for Ricco to make a bid for the podium.
Follow the action in this year's Giro at www.roadcycling.com!