Tour of Italy Preview
This year?s 86th edition of the Giro d'Italia promises to be the most exciting race with spectacular finales unseen in recent years.
This year?s 86th edition of the Giro d'Italia promises to be the most exciting race with spectacular finales unseen in recent years. The Management has officially admitted 19 teams to the 86th Giro d'Italia; 11 Italian teams and 8 foreign. After falling to ruins and rebuilt for this occasion, on May 10 th, the Velodrome of Lecce will be brought back to life by the starting salvo sending off the 19 participating teams, totaling 171 riders.
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The first Giro, initiated in 1909 by Gazetta dello Sport together with bicycle manufacturer Atala was a pure panic reaction. Atala found out Bianchi also had plans for a race with Corriere dello Sport, the competitor of Gazetta. This shows the influence of corporate Italy still apparent in today?s race with teams like CIARROCCHI IMMOBILIARE, CERAMICHE PANARIA ? FIORDO and DOMINA VACANZE ? ELITRON.
This year?s Italian teams:
CERAMICHE PANARIA - FIORDO
DE NARDI - COLPACK
DOMINA VACANZE - ELITRON
FORMAGGI PINZOLO FIAVE' - CIARROCCHI IMMOBILIARE
MERCATONE UNO - SCANAVINO
SAECO-MACCHINE PER CAFFE'
VINI CALDIROLA - SIDERMEC
And the foreign teams:
CCC POLSAT (POL)
COLOMBIA - SELLE ITALIA (COL)
KELME - COSTA BLANCA (SPA)
LANDBOUWKREDIET - COLNAGO (BEL)
LOTTO - DOMO (BEL)
TEAM FAKTA (DEN)
This year?s course is more an opportunity for climbers than sprinters and ?rouleurs.? Packed into the final week of the 2003 Giro d'Italia are 3 mountain top finishes (Alpe di Pampeago, Chianale and Cascata del Toce) and 2 individual time trials, with the final race of truth saved for the final stage into Milan. There will also be 3 flat stages for the sprinters.
The "pink jersey chase" begins close to the south Italian region Apulien d'Italia in Lecce and ceases after three weeks by Lombardia in the shadow of the Mail?nder Dolomites. 21 stages stand on the program, under it two time trials of 40km and 42km length, the second on the final day. The maximum elevation of the 2003 edition of the Giro being 900 meter lower than that of last year?s Giro, this year?s Giro is "flatter", but it features two more climbs, totaling five, in Terminillo, Zoncolan, Alps di Pampeago, Chianale and Cascata del Toce with inclines of 20 percent.
The Giro enters the Dolomite mountain range with the toughest stage of the race, 162km and 4 cols from Marostica to Alpe di Pampeago, including the famous climbs of the Passo Rolle, Passo Valles, Passo San Pellegrino and the climb to the ski station of Alpe Pampeago.
Only 4 days from the finish of the 86th Giro d'Italia, the mountains return, but this time it?s the Alps, with a brutal 175km stage from Santuario di Vicoforte to the ski station of Chianale. En route they will face the two highest mountains in this years Giro, the 2,366mt Colle di Esischie (Cima Coppi) and the 2,284mt Colle di Sampeyre. The last chance for the sprinters is the short flat 126km stage from Cannobio, following the shores of beautiful Lago Maggiore, to Cantu.