Giro bits and pieces
Tomorrow?s 1.15 km prologue to launch the 88th Giro d?Italia is the second shortest stage in grand tour history. The shortest, 1 km, opened the 1986 Giro, according to Infostradasports.com. This latest, supershort prologue will be ridden in a straight line along the sea front of Reggio Calabria. The first rider will start at 18:45
Tomorrow?s 1.15 km prologue to launch the 88th Giro d?Italia is the second shortest stage in grand tour history. The shortest, 1 km, opened the 1986 Giro, according to Infostradasports.com. This latest, supershort prologue will be ridden in a straight line along the sea front of Reggio Calabria. The first rider will start at 18:45 CEST?.Damiano Cunego thinks this year?s Giro route suits him. The reason: it has a lot of mountains. And, Cunego revealed, he has studied the key stages in advance. But Lampre-Caffita co-captain also says he is not yet in top physical condition and is hoping that the first week?s racing will add to his form?.Joseba Beloki (Liberty Seguros) is not a happy man as he prepares to start the Giro. He has told the Spanish daily MARCA that he returned home from the recent Tour of Romandie ?halfway depressed.? Although he trained hard for Romandie, Beloki found that every time the peloton accelerated in that race he was left behind. And, this time, Beloki can?t blame his poor performance on allergies. His one consolation was that he at least finished Romandie. He will focus on supporting Liberty Seguros team leader Michel Scarponi in the Giro?.Sven Montgomery will lead Gerolsteiner in the Giro in lieu star team members Davide Rebellin and Fabian Wegmann. Rebellin isn?t starting due to his exertions in the recent Ardennes classics and Wegmann, winner of the Giro?s King of the Mountains title last year, has decided to concentrate on the Tour de France. Montgomery has apparently recovered from injuries suffered in a crash a few years back?. The severe reduction in prize money available at this year?s Giro is due to RAI, the race?s broadcaster, not getting enough money on the sale of TV rights. The 1.35 million ? prize money is being reduced by 15 %, amounting to about ?200,000. This has provoked a strong protest by the Professional Riders Association and its president, former Italian riding start Francesco Moser?.The Euskaltel-Euskadi is making a bid to get significant results in both the Giro d?Italia and the Tour de France. That?s why it convinced Halmar Zubeldia, who finished fifth in the 2003 Tour de France, to concentrate on the Giro rather than the Tour. Zubeldia says the new realities of the ProTour have brought about this shift in priorities for him. He says team management has decided to divide its forces between the two grand tours, making him the focus of the Giro and Iban Mayo the main man for the Tour de France. ?I go with all the intentions in the world,? Zubeldia says of the Giro.