Simoni knows all 2006 Giro climbs

Lampre-Caffita's Gilberto Simoni is this year's early bird in having ridden all of the decisive climbs of the 2005 Giro d'Italia already. "Of all the 2005 Giro climbs, I was only lacking the Plan de Corones," Simoni told Italian website last Saturday, before taking his bike out for a spin up the Plan de Corones, which will be the final ascent of stage 17 taking place on Wednesday, May 24, 2006.

Although Simoni had to change for a mountainbike at one point, as there was already snow on the Dolomites ski resort, Sunday proved to be a perfect day for reconnoitring the course under blue skies. "It's a truly demanding climb," the two-times Giro d'Italia winner said on the 17 kilometres-long climb averaging 7.5 percent gradient. "Even though with the snow I couldn't discover it properly. But I'm close to home here so I can come back during the beautiful season!" Simoni will be riding the event in the colours of his new team Saunier Duval.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1