Gimondi critical of Giro's time trials

Italian Felice Gimondi, three-time Giro d'Italia winner

Italian Felice Gimondi, three-time Giro d'Italia winner (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Felice Gimondi has criticised the time trials in next year's Giro d'Italia, after he saw the 2010 route unveiled in Milan on Saturday. The three-time race winner said that the first stage, in Amsterdam, will be the only opportunity for time trial specialists.

"This Giro penalises the time trial riders," Italy's Gimondi told Cyclingnews. "There are not many chances, only the prologue in Holland. The final stage in Verona has a climb and doesn't suit specialists and a climber can do well in the team time trial if he has a good team."

Giro organiser RCS Sport presented a route, to run from May 8 to 30, with four time trials. The race starts with an 8.4-kilometre time trial in Amsterdam and continues in Italy with a 32.5-kilometre team time trial. The last two come in third week, the Plan de Corones mountain time trial and the 15.3-kilometre Verona trial on the final day.

The Giro d'Italia also ends with mountain stages in the Dolomites and Alps. RCS Sport will take the riders up the Zoncolan, Plan de Corones, Mortirolo and Gavia climbs in the final week.

"A time trial rider, a little heavy, will find it difficult to ride all of these mountains," continued Gimondi.

The Plan de Corones stage, May 25, comes the day after the second rest day. The 12.85-kilometre stage will start in San Vigilio di Marebbe and ends with 5.25 kilometres over sterrato ('gravel') roads, including sections of 24 percent gradient.

Franco Pellizotti won the stage the first and only time the Giro used Plan de Corones in 2008. He took 22 seconds from the overall lead of Alberto Contador. Contador defended his lead and won the Giro six days later

Gimondi was unhappy to with the scheduling of what will be one of next year's most explosive stages.

"I don't like how the Plan de Corones time trial comes after the rest day. It would be better during [continuous days of] the Giro, not the rest day and then immediately this stage."

Gimondi is one of Italy's greatest cyclists. He won his home Grand Tour in 1967, 1969 and 1976, the 1968 Vuelta a España and the Tour de France in his first year as a professional, 1965. He also took wins in cycling's biggest one-day races, the Milan-Sanremo, the Paris-Roubaix, the Giro di Lombardia twice and the 1973 World Championships.

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