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Team power play
The team time trial has become a favourite of race director Angelo Zomegnan. The TTT always tended to be the preserve of the Tour de France, but the last three editions of the Giro have kicked off with one. This first Italian stage of the race is a team time trial with a difference.
The distance is moderate, the roads almost dead straight, but it's unusual to see a TTT that climbs as much as this. The rise in altitude of more than 200m is significant and will allow the best-organised teams to gain crucial time gaps.
HTC-Columbia won the Giro's TTT last year and will be favourites again. But it's already clear Team Sky are among the best-prepared outfits around. Their powerful mix of strong time triallists and track-honed pursuiters gives them an edge. Some of the weaker teams could finish over three minutes down today.
"This is steadily uphill all the way, but not enough for climbing ability to be a factor. Wind shouldn't matter too much in this part of Italy, either.
"Of the teams with overall contenders, Liquigas are one of the best equipped, but my HTC-Columbia team, Saxo Bank and Garmin should all be better, depending on who they bring."
Vertical climb: 250m
Highest point: 543m
Terrain: Steadily climbing
Category: Team Time Trial