2006 Giro d'Italia Preview

News & Results

05/5/2006| 0 comments
by Gerald Churchill

2006 Giro d'Italia Preview

The 2006 Giro d'Italia will be a test of all-around skills for riders and teams.


Stage 15 will be a flat, 182-km run from Mergozzo to
that should see the sprinters face off, but Stage 16 will be no such thing. The 180-km ride from Rovato to
Trento will see the riders over the Lodrino and the Passo d?Ampola before a mountaintop finish on Monte Bondone. The contenders will battle on the slopes of the day?s final climb.


Stage 17 will be harder than Stage 16. The 133-km ride from Termeno to Plan de Corones Kronplatz will take the riders over the Passo di Plose, Passo di Eores, and the Passo delle Erbe before ending with a mountaintop finish. Look for fireworks on the day?s final climb.


Stage 18 will take the Giro into
. The slightly downhill, 227-km ride from Sillian to Gemona del Friuli will take the riders out of the Alps, over the Passo di Monte Carnico, back into
, and over the Cuel de Forcia before ending in Gemona del Friuli. The stage could see a group of no hopers escape and battle for the day?s honors.


Stages 19 and 20 will be torture. Stage 19, a 200-km calvary from
to Passo di San Pellegrino, will feature 4,000 km of climbing.
These will include the Forcella Staulanza, the Passo di Fedaia, the Passo Pordoi, and the Passo di San Pellegrino. This stage will be a penultimate chance for Savoldelli, Basso, and others to nail down the Giro.


Stage 20 will feature 4,000 km of climbing as well. The 211-km slog will run from
Trento to Aprica and will take the riders over the Passo del Tonale, the Passo di Gavia, the Passo del Mortorolo, and will conclude with the finishing ascent to Aprica. The winner of the Giro will be determined on this stage.


Stage 21, a 140-km run from Ghisallo to Milan, will begin at the Madonna del Ghisallo Museum and will run downhill into
. A procession for the winner will take place before hostilities commence.


Who will the winner be? Ivan Basso (CSC) is the writer?s bet to win the Giro. During the season, Basso has won the Criterium International and has finished well in the classics. He has improved his time trailing, and his climbing is first-rate. Defending champion Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) will probably not be able to stay with Basso all the time in the
Alps and in the Dolomites. Look for the CSC man to win his first Giro.


Savoldelli is not nicknamed Il Falco (The Falcon) for nothing. His descending is second to none. He is not the strongest climber in the race, however. Basso is. That should put Savoldelli firmly in second place. The Falcon can dive and time trial, but he will not climb well enough to beat Basso.


If Basso or Savoldelli fail to win the Giro, Damiano Cunego (Lampre) should. He is a one-trick pony, but what a trick! Cunego is a specialist climber who should be able to outclimb everyone except Basso and Savoldelli. This

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