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92nd Giro d'Italia - GT
Italy, May 9-31, 2009
Stage 12 - Thursday, May 21: Sestri Levante - Riomaggiore (ITT), 60.6km
Route: The Cinque Terre is beautiful if challenging cycling country, but not the kind of terrain you'd expect to find a time trial. The roads twist tightly up and down – they simply don't do straight and flat in this region. Many riders have said they will be using a normal road bike for this test, although Lance Armstrong has said his is likely to have a few aero features.
Local Hero: Perhaps there's something in the Ligurian water that helps turn out sprinters. As well as Petacchi, Liquigas's Francesco Chicchi hails from not far down the coast in Camaiore, but the race organisers haven't done him any favours with this stage.
Procycling's Top Tip: The main contenders should dominate, but it's hard to predict who'll have the edge. If Armstrong is fit, we'd back him to rinse his rivals today, but if he's not it will open the door to Basso.
Savio speaks: The Cinque Terre time trial clearly favours riders like Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso, but, attention, this time trial will not penalise riders like Cunego and Simoni. It would be a different story if it was all flat, Cunego and Simoni would be out of the game.
This time trial is very abnormal, just like the Giro is an abnormal Giro. That first climb is very tricky, and then a technical decent... I only hope it does not rain that day. If it rains the stage will be come a nightmare.
We will have to see what the differences are like afterwards to know if this stage changes the entire Giro. The classification men will hope to avoid any incidents, any mechanicals. I always tell my riders to follow their sensations. It is better to be safe and lose a few seconds than crash and lose it all.