Gilberto Simoni (Saunier Duval) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Fondital) will compete against each other for the first time after the elder Giro d'Italia winner left the Italian team to move to Spain. The two riders, whose sporting fight culminated during the 2004 Giro d'Italia, won by the younger Cunego, will be in the main attractions at the Giro del Trentino. The Italian stage race, taking place around Lake Garda, starts today, Tuesday, April 18 and finishes on Friday, April 21.
Simoni was victorious in this race in 2003, and Cunego in 2004 - in both years, the Giro del Trentino paved the riders' way for their respective Giro d'Italia victories. This year, Venezuelan climber José Rujano (Sella Italia) will also be one of the favourites on the mountainous course. 2005 winner Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Panaria), his teammate Emmanuele Sella, Liquigas' Franco Pellizotti, Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Félix Cárdenas (Barloworld) and Przemyslaw Niemiec (Miche) are also expected to show themselves. In a race which has seen more important line-ups in the past, only three of the participating teams have ProTour status.
The most difficult climb of the 30th edition of the Giro del Trentino will be the Campo Carlo Magno (1682 m, 15 km at 6,1 percent), some 50 kilometres from the penultimate stage finish, but a major selection will already be made on the first day: a mountaintop finish on Passo Forcella (9,2 km at 4,8 percent).
The full parcours outlines as follows:
Stage 1 - Tuesday, April 18: Arco-Castello Tesino, 162 km
Stage 2 - Wednesday, April 19: Castello Tesino-Clès, 174 km
Stage 3 - Thursday, April 20: Romeno-Tione, 168 km
Stage 4 - Friday, April 21: Tione-Arco, 172 km