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Giro D'italia 2006 preview...

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I think this race is wide open with at least 5-6 contenders able to win it. Basso, Cunego, Simoni, Savodelli, Di Luca and Rujano can win it. With only 38km of TTT and 56 km of ITTs in total, the pure mountain goats like Cunego, Simoni and Rujano won't be at much disadvantages, and i can't help but tend to think that Savo and Di Luca will struggle in the steepest mountains.


Regarding thier teams, CSC probably has the strongest team but they will need that because everyone will expect them to work. Discovery also sends a strong team. They owed it to Paolo after last year's Giro really. In Danielson, they also have an extra tactical card to play. Lampre has the strongest mountain support, on paper at least. On the other hand, Rujano clearly has disadvantages here. He didn't really need his team that much last time, but this time he can't hide and will be marked.


I'd really like Savodelli to win because he's one of my favourite riders, but i think it's unlikely given the course. My prediction for top three is Basso, Simoni, Cunego...


Stage one. 6.2 km Individual time trial....


This short prologue doesn't tell much how contenders will fare in this long Giro, but it provided some indicaion on riders' conditions.


1. Great ride by Savodelli, he's clearly on top of his form after some stomach concern at last week's Tour de Romandie, where he had to pull off after three stages.


2. I'm surprised that Basso did not place in the top 10. He should have done a lot better in my opinion.


3. Di Luca proved he had improved in time trial. I think he will be either 3rd or 4th come the end of the race. He can clim well and TT well, but just not great in any areas to finish top.


4. Cunego and Simoni did their damage limitation well. Will be intereseting to see how they fare in the longer TT and the team time trial.


Stage 2


well, Petacchi had his train up and running well until the last 250m. Apparently he just didn't have the leg to do it. Great decision by McEwen though. Hanging on Ale Jet's wheel then change to Pollock's at teh right moment.


Stage 3


Built forclassic rider like Bettini and Rebellin to fight it out. bettini did try before the last hill but couldn't get clear. Chechu surprised a few by attacking the last climb alone, but Schumacher did very well to bridge up and sprint past him. Schumacher is now in pink. Disco boys will be pleased as they won't have to work too hard tomorrow.


Bad news for petacchi though... someone crashe into him 50km before the finish and despite carried on to finish, he won't be starting tomorrow's stage as it was revealed the he has broken his kneecap. (ouch...and he still rode 50km after that... these cyclist are tough!)


Ok that's first three wrap up from me. Any opinions are welcome!


Btw, Basso, Di luca and Cunego lost 13 secs to Savo today as there was some congestion before te last climb. Simoni lost 20 and Rujano lost almost a minute!


My heart says Savo can win this again!

My head starts to say (1st to third) Cunego, Basso, Savodelli

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