A typical December day in Milano – cold and gray.
And what of the route? Smiles pretty much filled the room as the corsa (rumoured for days on Italian websites) was at last confirmed: it really is a race for everyone, with a balance of stages to suit every type of rider – sprinters, climbers, chrono men (both team and solo) and even the rouleurs.
Our full PEZ analysis is coming Monday after we’ve had a chance to chew the pancetta on the finer details, but here’s the overview:
The 2007 Giro route is more balanced than ’06 – presenting opportunities for everyone.
2007 Giro d’Italia Dates: May 12 – June 3
Distance: 3,442 km
Week 1: The race starts on the gorgeous Mediterranean isle of Sardinia with 3 stages including a 24km Team Time Trial prologue followed by 2 days for the sprinters.
After a rest/ transfer day, the race gets serious on stage 4 with a 17km (5% avg) climb to the finish at Montevirgine. It’ll shake out some of the dead wood.
Stages 5-8 transfer the race up the leg of the boot along the spine of the Appeninne mountains, but not through really mountainous routes. Stage 6 features a 22km climb to over 1800meters but in the middle of the stage.
The Christmas spirit appears to be in full swing in Milano.
Stages 9 & 10 run along the Ligurian coast – beautiful country with some small climbs that could shape GC. Stage 11 cuts through the land of the famous red wines such as the Dolcetto and the Nebbiolo and it’s hills, hills and hills.
The real race will take form on stages 12 & 13 as it charges into the Alps over the historic Tour de France route across the Colle del’Agnello – the race’s high point at 2744 meters, then over the famed Col d’Izoard and into Briancon. Stage 13 is a mountain time trial up the 13km climb to Oropa.
We’re in the right place.
Stages 14,15,16, and 17 all feature some big climbs as the race heads east across the Alps and Dolomites (but not as brutal as 2006), with stage 17 finishing atop the feared Zoncolan.- avg grade 12%, max 22% over 12km.
And to keep things interesting, there’s one more ITT on stage 19 of 42km to Verona before the traditional finish in Milan.
At the ‘teatro’ – let’s get this party started.
… drum roll, please…..
It just wouldn’t be Italian without a panel of ‘experts’.
What the Riders Said
PEZ’s Alessandro Federico was on hand to sample the hospitality, and of course get some rider reactions – here’s what they said:
• BASSO: I like this route very much. I love the Giro and I would like to start tomorrow. Never mind the Zoncolan – I demonstrated on the Mortirolo that I’m not afraid of anything if I have good legs.
• ZABEL: I would like to be present. It’s a great route and there are many chances for sprinters. My first big target of the season will be as usual the Milano-Sanremo. Then the Grand Tours and in the final the Worlds will take place in my Stuttgart. Step by step me and Petacchi will try to improve the last season results.
• PETACCHI: I’m more relaxed than last year. I see more chances for me and for my team. I would like to take part in the three Grand Tours and to win at last one stage in each race. The Giro is the first one…
• DI LUCA: I like this Giro as I liked the past one. But this is just on the paper. Last year I lost my chance. I don’t see a particular stage for me, there are many but this year I will not leave the Classics in second position for the Maglia Rosa.
• CUNEGO: It will be not just a competition between me and Basso. I don’t forget Simoni. I don’t consider him too old, but if Basso will be the same as the last Giro it will be impossible to beat him. The route is very interesting and can present some surprises too.
• SIMONI: I’ve done the Zoncolan from Ovaro some weeks ago because I heard about its possible presence in the route. It’s particular. It’s not a normal climb, it’s something more for a MTB race. I’m ready for it.
• SAVOLDELLI: It’s very difficult. Maybe too difficult. Yes, there are many important descents but I see too many important climbs! The stage with the San Marco looks at me, but it’s also very interesting the time trial on Oropa climb.
• ZOMEGNAN (Giro Director): It’s a different Giro. Not for supermen this year. It looks to men who are not afraid to suffer. The three days in Sardinia are very important for that land. For us it’s a big effort. For the people will be a great show in a beautiful land.
Now – to get a start on that Christmas shopping…
Tune In Monday for our full take on who, when, where and how this Giro will be raced and won!
2007 Giro d’Italia Stages – (Presented In Italian of course)
12 Sabato 1Є tappa CAPRERA – LA MADDALENA (cronometro a squadre) 24km
13 Domenica 2Є tappa TEMPIO PAUSANIA – BOSA 203
14 Lunedм 3Є tappa BARUMINI – CAGLIARI 195
15 Martedм riposo
16 Mercoledм 4Є tappa SALERNO – MONTEVERGINE DI MERCOGLIANO 158
17 Giovedм 5Є tappa TEANO – FRASCATI 172
18 Venerdм 6Є tappa TIVOLI – SPOLETO 181
19 Sabato 7Є tappa SPOLETO – SCARPERIA 239
20 Domenica 8Є tappa BARBERINO DI MUGELLO – FIORANO MODENESE 194
21 Lunedм 9Є tappa REGGIO NELL’EMILIA – LIDO DI CAMAIORE 182
22 Martedм 10Є tappa LIDO DI CAMAIORE – SANTUARIO NOSTRA SIGNORA DELLA GUARDIA 230
23 Mercoledм 11Є tappa SERRAVALLE SCRIVIA – PINEROLO 192
24 Giovedм 12Є tappa SCALENGHE – BRIANЗON (Francia) 163
25 Venerdм 13Є tappa BIELLA – SANTUARIO DI OROPA (cronometro individuale) 13
26 Sabato 14Є tappa CANTU’ – BERGAMO 181
27 Domenica 15Є tappa TRENTO – TRE CIME DI LAVAREDO 190
28 Lunedм riposo
29 Martedм 16Є tappa AGORDO (Dolomiti Stars) – LIENZ (Austria) 196
30 Mercoledм 17Є tappa LIENZ (Austria) – MONTE ZONCOLAN 146
31 Giovedм 18Є tappa UDINE – RIESE PIO X 182
1 Venerdм 19Є tappa TREVISO – COMANO TERME 178
2 Sabato 20Є tappa BARDOLINO – VERONA (cronometro individuale) 42
3 Domenica 21Є tappa VESTONE – MILANO 181
3.442 Totale km