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de France. But for many, it is considered the harder Grand Tour. The Italian landscape is simply more consistently hilly. And this year race, which has been called is one of the most daunting in recent history with eight mountain stages.
The race starts in the northern industrial city of Torino with a team time trial, before edging down the western coastline to rustic Sicily. It then moves up the coast of the Adriatic Sea with one last fling in the Dolomites and Alps before finishing in Milan for its traditional finish.
Nibali Liquigas teammate Ivan Basso, who won the race for a second time last year, is skipping this edition to focus once again on the Tour de France.
2011 Giro d'Italia Preview
Other challengers for the distinctive maglia rosa, the pink leader jersey, include veteran Italian climber Michele Scarponi and up and coming Czech rider Roman Kreuziger. After winning prestigious one week stage races such as the Tour of Romandy and Tour of Switzerland, the 24 year old leads the Astana team at the Giro and hopes to challenge Contador.
Giro is much harder than the one in 2008, Contador said Wednesday. The Spaniard added that, as far as the course, this year Giro will likely be his hardest Grand Tour ever.
He made it clear that he will be in peak condition for the great race. After all, he Nike Long Sleeve Shirt With Hood
While Contador has garnered the spotlight before the start, numerous other riders promise to have their say. Few have spoken about Russia Denis Menchov, winner here in 2009. The Russian will be supported by 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre, and they have both made the Giro a top priority after their Geox team was not selected for the Tour de France.
sure that this year Giro will be anyone race right up to the last day. There will be a lot of tricky situations, demanding finishes, and potential pitfalls, said Alberto Volpi, Nibali director on the Liquigas Cannondale team. preparations are over so let the long hunt for the maglia rosa begin.
The second half of the race promises to be lethal, with a Nike Pink Tracksuit
Many look to local hero Vincenzo Nibali on this day; he hopes to win this year Giro after his victory in the Tour of Spain last September.
While there will be plenty of nods to history along the 3,524.5 kilometer route, the racing itself promises to be intense.
Yet even without Basso, the competition will be significantly stiffer this year as three time defending Nike Mens Tracksuits Tour de France champion Alberto Contador returns to Italy in hopes of winning a second Giro after victory here in 2008.
still awaits the final verdict regarding his positive drug test during the 2010 Tour de France.
mountaintop finish on the epic Monte Zoncolan and a rare dirt road finale to Sestriere. But already on stage seven, barely a week into the race, riders tackle their first mountaintop finish, with the 17 kilometer climb to Montevergine di Mercogliano. And then just two days later they climb up two sides of the Mont Etna volcano for a relatively short but intense day of climbing in Sicily.
What better way to celebrate a birthday party than with a bike race? That what Tour of Italy organizers are planning to do this month as the historic three week Giro d celebrates the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.
Historically, the Giro rides in the shadows of the Tour Nike Tracksuit Burgundy
the beginning of the year one of the big objectives has been the Tour of Italy with Roman, said Astana director Giuseppe Martinelli. is a young rider but I really believe in him and know that he has really trained for this race. Cold, wet springtime weather can instantly transform the race into a hellish morass, calling on riders to use more than their legs to survive, let alone dominate.
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