Giro d’Italia 2014

14333960-U201314533001sfB-386x225@Gazzetta-Print-Milano--940x470A Giro d'Italia in the name of Marco Pantani. The edition number 97  of the pink race, which will set off from Belfast (Northern Ireland) on Friday May 9th and end on June 1st in Trieste, marks the centenary of Gino Bartali's birth and the tenth year since the demise of the Pirate. And the race that witnessed some of his greatest feats will remember him on the Carpegna climb, where the Pirate used to train when living in Cesenatico. The race will pass by here on 17th May, during the 8th stage, from Foligno to Montecupiolo. And in memory of the Pirate, there will also be the ascent to Oropa (fourteenth stage) where Marco won wearing the pink jersey in 1999. It's also worth to note the presence of the Stelvio, which was skipped this year due to bad weather. The most selective stage is the one on 31st May, the penultimate stage, featuring an uphill finish on the foreboding Zoncolan.
THE ROUTE : This is a tough but well balanced Giro, with more reasonable transfer stages for the riders. There are 8 stages reserved for spinters, 3 time trials (2 individual and one team trial on the first day of the Giro), 5 medium mountain stages and 5 high mountain stages. Climbers should have an advantage.
THE LEADERS : The presence of Vincenzo Nibali, the 2013 winner is still uncertain: the Shark could sacrifice the Giro in order to prepare for the Tour de France and challenge Chris Froome. Ivan Basso will be back with serious ambitions after being penalised by a cyst before the start this year. With him Purito Rodriguez, one of the strongest and most spectacular riders in the group and recent winner of the Lombardia. Cadel Evans is also expected to line up at the start.