By Gregor Brown in Locarno, Switzerland
Defending Giro d'Italia champion Danilo Di Luca of Team LPR Brakes considers the race "open" with four stages left, including two decisive mountain stages this Friday and Saturday. "The Killer" noted his his knowledge of the parcours, something which could help him combat Spain's Alberto Contador (Astana), who is leading the race by 2'18" over the Italian.
"I think it is still an open Giro," said 32 year-old from Pescara before the start of stage 17 to Locarno, Switzerland. Di Luca lost 1'23" on the mountain time trial stage of Plan de Corones.
"We are all there, within two minute. There are still two very important stages. ... It is still open, two minutes is not a lot and there are two important stages."
Earlier this year he previewed the never before climb of Monte Pora, northeast of Bergamo. "I have seen Monte Pora, I know the two stages of Friday and Saturday very well," he confirmed. Contador has never raced the Giro d'Italia and could suffer on the unknown roads.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia.