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Evans, Simoni, Pellizotti scout Plan de Corones course

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Gilberto Simoni came in third in the 2008 time trial at Plan de Corones.

Gilberto Simoni came in third in the 2008 time trial at Plan de Corones.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans (BMC)

Cadel Evans (BMC)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Beautiful views and tough racing make it an appealing stage for spectators.

Beautiful views and tough racing make it an appealing stage for spectators.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas Doimo) will look to repeat his 2008 win on the Plan de Corones

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas Doimo) will look to repeat his 2008 win on the Plan de Corones
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The steep gravel switchbacks provide quite a spectacle and a challenge in equipment choice.

The steep gravel switchbacks provide quite a spectacle and a challenge in equipment choice.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabio Baldato is a director for BMC for most of the Italian races.

Fabio Baldato is a director for BMC for most of the Italian races.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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There is nothing to stop the winds as the top approaches.

There is nothing to stop the winds as the top approaches.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti, winner of the 2008 Plan de Corones TT, and Cadel Evans (BMC), the world champion.

Franco Pellizotti, winner of the 2008 Plan de Corones TT, and Cadel Evans (BMC), the world champion.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans clears the trees and heads up to the barren slopes above.

Cadel Evans clears the trees and heads up to the barren slopes above.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans heads toward the steepest section.

Cadel Evans heads toward the steepest section.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Snow-capped mountains in front of and behind Evans on the climb.

Snow-capped mountains in front of and behind Evans on the climb.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lampre's Matteo Bono and Gilberto Simoni on the Plan de Corones.

Lampre's Matteo Bono and Gilberto Simoni on the Plan de Corones.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The riders and some guests prepare to preview the Plan de Corones time trial course.

The riders and some guests prepare to preview the Plan de Corones time trial course.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Scarponi and Pellizotti check out the unpaved portion of the climb.

Scarponi and Pellizotti check out the unpaved portion of the climb.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans answers some questions at the press conference.

Cadel Evans answers some questions at the press conference.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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It isn't much to look at now, but in May the Plan de Corones will be packed with spectators and media

It isn't much to look at now, but in May the Plan de Corones will be packed with spectators and media
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Gibo Simoni and Cadel Evans get ready to preview the Plan de Corones.

Gibo Simoni and Cadel Evans get ready to preview the Plan de Corones.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti and Michele Scarponi relax before the ride.

Franco Pellizotti and Michele Scarponi relax before the ride.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Will Gilberto Simoni will ride the Giro d'Italia?

Will Gilberto Simoni will ride the Giro d'Italia?
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Simoni and Bono work their way up the climb.

Simoni and Bono work their way up the climb.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans on the Plan de Corones

Cadel Evans on the Plan de Corones
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti gets ready to ride

Franco Pellizotti gets ready to ride
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The start of the climb is already marked.

The start of the climb is already marked.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The unpaved climb of the Plan de Corones is a vicious test.

The unpaved climb of the Plan de Corones is a vicious test.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans (BMC) answers some questions.

Cadel Evans (BMC) answers some questions.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans starts up the Plan de Corones

Cadel Evans starts up the Plan de Corones
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans tackles the Plan de Corones

Cadel Evans tackles the Plan de Corones
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The paved portions below the tree line are a bit more tame.

The paved portions below the tree line are a bit more tame.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Riders roll out to get a preview of the Plan de Corones

Riders roll out to get a preview of the Plan de Corones
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The view from above gives a perspective on the climb's difficulties.

The view from above gives a perspective on the climb's difficulties.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans, Franco Pellizotti and Michele Scarponi at the Plan de Corones.

Cadel Evans, Franco Pellizotti and Michele Scarponi at the Plan de Corones.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

With the Giro d’Italia set to start in Amsterdam in just over one week’s time, some of the Grand Tour’s overall hopefuls have commenced final reconnaissance on one of the event’s key stages to Plan de Corones. World Champion Cadel Evans was one of the riders scouting the key climb on Friday, as were Gilberto Simoni, Franco Pellizotti, Matteo Bono and Michele Scarponi.

While the Tour de France remains Evans’ main focus for 2010, the BMC Racing Team rider will mount a serious challenge at the Giro. The Australian is in good form having won last month’s La Fléche Wallonne, one of the Spring Classic season’s final races.

Pellizotti was shocked at Evans’ approach to the climb, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Evans took off after three kilometres. Just like that. A man solo and in charge."

Lampre-Farnese Vini's sport director Fabrizio Bontempi said the nature of the climb means a thorough reconnaissance is required in order to approach the stage correctly on race day. "Only if you try to pedal on the Plan de Corones climb can you understand how tough it is,” he told tuttobiciweb.it. “So this training will be very important in order to understand the proper way to face this stage.”

The Plan de Corones stage will play a vital role in the Giro’s outcome, with riders taking on the 12.9 kilometre route from San Vigilio di Marebbe in the Stage 16 individual time trial. The stretch of road not only includes 5353 metres of dirt road but also reaches 24% in gradient in parts.

RCS Sport attempted to use Plan de Corones in 2006 however it didn’t debut until 2008 after it was removed at the last minute due to destabilisation of the roads caused by snow. When it was finally included in the Italy race’s route, Pellizotti claimed the stage victory.