Just one week remains before the start of the Giro d'Italia, and the protagonists are making their final preparations to take on the biggest challenges of this year's course. Liquigas' Danilo Di Luca and Alessandro Spezialetti took in many kilometres to preview the decisive climbs of stage 15 and 17, despite cold, rainy weather.
Danilo 'The Killer' Di Luca, who recently won the Classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège, previewed the Giau Pass by car, then rode from Cortina d’Ampezzo over the Passo Tre Croci and up the finishing climb of stage 15 to Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
After another transfer by car, the pair rode up the Tualis finally up the demanding Monte Zoncolan. DI Luca enjoyed the day, finding no problem with riding the courses, "except for the cold (only 1 degree) on the Tre Cime DI Lavaredo and the rain climbing the Zoncolan. I rode the Tre Cime with a 36x26 and the Zoncolan with a 36x29 - there are five and a half kilometres where you risk falling over because of the slope."
After previewing the climbs, DI Luca summed up his view of the hardest climbs in Italy. "As far as the maximum slope, the Angliru beats the Zoncolan 1-0, but on the whole, the Zoncolan is more difficult." And what about the Mortirolo? "Well, that is even worse..."
DI Luca will be watching his fellow Italians on these decisive stages, and he tipped Simoni, Cunego and Savoldelli as the ones to watch. "Me? Fourth again, but before then I will win three stages...".
Liquigas for the Giro: Danilo DI Luca, Enrico Gasparotto, Vladimir Miholjevic, Vincenzo Nibali, Andrea Noè, Franco Pellizotti, Alessandro Spezialetti, Alessandro Vanotti and Charles Wegelius.
Team manager Stefano Zanatta will be supported in the first week by Mario Scirea, then by Mario Chiesa.