Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2012 Giro d'Italia, Stage 4 Preview

Tomorrow, Wednesday, the Giro returns to Italy. Stage 4 will be a 33.2 km team time trial starting in the San Zeno neighborhood of Verona and finishing in the heart of  Verona at Piazza Bra by the Roman coliseum (L'Arena).
The most difficult part of the the course for teams will be the section between the two intermediate timing points of 9 and 21.8 km; this would be the twisty part of the course that also has some elevation gain in the upper left of the top image. The road is narrow and there are many turns that will require the teams to constantly accelerate out of the turns in order to maintain their speed. An effective performance will require a high degree of coordination.

The start order, teams will depart at 3 minute intervals (click to enlarge):

I'm expecting a mega-battle for the Maglia Rosa between mega-teams BMC and Sky; BMC currently holds the pink jersey with Taylor Phinney by a slender 9 second lead over Geraint Thomas of Sky. Cavendish, who had some very bad road rash was able to train today on the course, said it hurt to shower:

Phinney of BMC needed three stitches to close the wound to his right ankle. He has said he will race tomorrow.

Here the Sky mechanic, Diego Costa, talks about aspects of the Pinarello Graal TT bikes and their preparation, including the geometry, the sculpted downtube for aerodynamics, the behind the fork front brake, the measurements to comply with the UCI rules, and the Shimano electronic shifters on the handlebars and the aerobars:

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