The Giro is here!

Haaaa Amsterdam, even if you're not a hashish or prostitute user, it's a city that's worth visiting, there's a lot more to it than that! The city has one of the best commuting system in the world, there are bikes everywhere and almost everyone is a regular cyclist, people are nice, friendly and open-minded, the girls are beautiful as is the city itself.

For those who don't know the city much, it's where this year's Giro starts, tomorrow. First will be a prologue, then the following two stages also start from Amsterdam. The Giro is my favorite grand Tour, the route is often harder and the participating riders more aggressive than in the Tour de France.

It is worth noting that Gilberto Simoni, the man who won twice but finished on the podium many times and made the Giro the center of his career will be racing the Giro for the last time this year, in fact, it will be his last race. Hopefully he can light up some climbs like he used to.

Okay I must admit, I mentionned Gibo only to post this picture of Yolanthe. Mr. Giro interviewed by this year's Miss Giro...

I'm not 100% sure who's my favorite to win, I hesitate between Carlos Sastre and Cadel Evans with Ivan Basso also in there. With limited TT time, Sastre and Basso are better off. The crazy mountain stages, especially the last week, are well suited to Sastre and while some say he hasn't raced enough to be ready, his freshness might help him being stronger in that crucial last week.

Evans is strong, he's in good shape right now and he really has been much better since late last year, he attacks and is showing better tactics than in the past. He wont be able to use his superior time trial ability much and on the steepest slopes, I'm not convinced he will be able to follow the explosive accelerations that Sastre can do. And while it may be better than Lotto was, his BMC squad has not been impressive so far. And maybe he got into top shape too soon? He may start to suffer when his rivals are getting stronger.

Basso will be the clear leader of Liquigas without Pellizotti so it may help him compared to last year. He probably has the strongest team among the favorites but I hope they remain calm, they were going to hard too soon last year, probably wearing themselves out before they actually needed to. Basso is not as explosive as Sastre either but he can climb and even when he's at his limit, he shouldn't lose too much time at once, he's good at managing himself and limiting his losses. But if he wants to win, he need to attack at the right moment, make sure those attack stick.

Whoever wins, it should be a great race to follow, I listed those three but Vino, Garzelli and others will make whoever finishes on the podium work for it, not a one attack seals the deal boredom like last year's Tour de France.

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