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
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
Stages 19 and 20 will be torture. Stage
Stage 20 will feature
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
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