Route: A very straightforward opening road stage that concludes with three laps of an 11km circuit in Trieste. There's a climb halfway around it that offers the first mountains jersey points on the second pass. The infamous local Bora wind could prove a bigger menace to riders.
Local hero: The last half of the stage runs along the corridor of Italian territory that looks back over Venice. Bordering Slovenia is a growing cycling power, and support for Slovenes Janez Brajkovic and Tadej Valjavec will be very apparent.
Procycling's top tip: It'll be extremely rapid on the downhill run into the finish, which will make for a frantic, nerve-jangling finale. 2009 form suggests a straight fight between Columbia-Highroad's Mark Cavendish and Garmin-Slipstream's Tyler Farrar, who should be battling for bonus seconds toward the maglia rosa. While Farrar pipped Cav in a similar sprint in Tirreno-Adriatico, our money's on the Manxman.
Savio speaks: Trieste is certainly a stage for sprinters, there's a 99-percent chance that it arrives in a sprint. The sprinters will control the race for Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Cavendish. Trieste is a historic zone and one of the big cities this year's Giro will visit.