Stage Four - Wednesday 9 May
32.2 kilometres, team time trial
Bluffers guide: Back in patria for a cronosquadra in one of the true heartlands of the Giro. Lots of testosterone today, the big teams go head to head for bragging rights. Verona is rightly famed for its arena, but the city also has a great cycling tradition. Twice Oscar Freire has won the rainbow jersey here, but most famous was the 1984 Giro. Francesco Moser famously clinched it with a bravura time trial performance concluding in the arena, on one of the Giro’s most iconic days.
Buon appetito: Bollito con pearà, without question. It’s a variety of boiled meats (usually lamb, steak and chicken) in a thick breadcrumb broth with onion and spices. It’s heavy duty stuff, so we recommend a brisk walk to help you digest it all.
Local hero: Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini) Dubbed the “Italian Cavendish” on account of his blistering finishing speed and compact, punchy sprinting style. Born in Tregnado, ten kilometres to the north-east of Verona, Guardini won’t win today, but he will be noisily supported.
Bergonzi says: “Verona is profoundly attached to cycling, and its relationship with the sport can be traced back to the times of Girardengo and Binda. It doesn’t finish in the Arena this year, but nearby. It won’t be super-fast, but there will be important time losses here for the GC riders whose teams aren’t equipped for it. Individual time trials have been reduced over recent years, so days like this have assumed more significance…"
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