Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) has started his 2006 Giro campaign in the best possible way, winning the first stage in Seraing by a very healthy 11 seconds from Bradley McGee (Française des Jeux). The Italian two-time Giro winner averaged 47.49 km/h over the testing 6.2 km parcours, and was the only ride to go under eight minutes. In third place was José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Phonak), who was 13 seconds down.
There were no real surprises among the other general classification riders, except for Ivan Basso, whose 13th place at 23 seconds was a little slower than expected. But Gonchar (5th at 16 seconds), Di Luca (10th at 19 seconds), Cunego (15th at 25 seconds) and Simoni (16th at 26 seconds) are still all within striking distance of each other.