Damiano Cunego and Gilberto Simoni will lead a strong field at the start of the Brixia Tour today, which begins with a 170.6 kilometre stage to Toscolano Maderno. Also lining up are Davide Rebellin, Mirko Celestino, Igor Astarloa, Giuliano Figueras, Emanuele Sella, Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio and the new Italian Champion Enrico Gasparotto.
Last year's winner Danilo Di Luca will miss the race because of injury, as will Milan San Remo champion Alessandro Petacchi.
The first stage includes three categorised climbs, including the final one in Salo which should have a big effect on the race. Averaging 8% for 5 kilometres, the hill comes with 15 kilometres to go and is followed by a technical descent, then a short, flat run-in to the finish.
The stage will be followed by a team presentation tomorrow evening in the Terme di Boario. Starting at 8.30 pm, it will be open to the public.
Stage 1 - July 22: San Vigilio di Concesio - Toscolano Maderno, 170.6 km
Stage 2a - July 23: Esine - Darfo Boario Terme, 112.7 km
Stage 2b - July 23: Pisogne - Valpalot (Cronoscalata), 12.8 km
Stage 3 - July 24: Bettole di Buffalora - Manerbio, 180 km