Italians report from Beijing

A select Italian squad took its first glimpse of the 2008 Olympic parcours when it rode in Beijing yesterday, August 16, under the guidance of Franco Ballerini and Sandro Callari. Fabio Baldato, Gabriele Bosisio, Enrico Gasparotto, Raffaele Ferrara, Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Sabatini are in China to take part in the Good Luck Beijing Road events (August 18 - 19) and preview the Olympic Road Race and Time trial course to report back to the eventual Squadra Azzurra sent to next year's Games.

The team battled traffic to find the area, 70 kilometres from Beijing, where the road race will be contested in the shadows of the Great Wall. The parcours is composed of a loop of 23.8 kilometres with the climbs concentrated in the first part, while the middle there is a long, non-technical descent that utilizes part of a highway that leads to the final kilometres. The last kilometre contains a difficult, sharp rise.

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