The 94th Giro d’Italia opens this weekend with a 19.3-kilometer team time trial Saturday in Torino and a long trek from Alba to Parma Sunday. With several teams looking to take the first maglia rosa and the first road stage of the 3-week event, the action should be fierce.
While Saxo Bank, Liquigas, Sky, and Garmin-Cervelo will do their best to take the win Saturday, I expect HTC-High Road to deliver Marco Pinotti the first maglia rosa of his career. Pinotti was a member of the HTC squad that won the Giro’s TTT in 2009, although that year’s pink jersey went to Mark Cavendish.
Luckily for Cav, Sunday’s 244-kilometer ride suits his talents. He’s a good bet to take the win over Garmin-Cervelo’s Tyler Farrar and Lampre’s Alessandro Petacchi—if all goes well Saturday, a win Sunday should also be enough to make his teammate’s stay in pink a rather short one. But don’t discount Farrar. His team will likely finish within the top-3 of the TTT, leaving the American in shouting distance of the pink jersey should he win Sunday.
Moving north, another pink jersey will be awarded over the weekend, this time for the overall winner of the 4 Days of Dunkirk. Skil-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel has maintained a stranglehold on the race thus far, winning all three of the race’s stages—he heads into the weekend with a 30-second lead. With few difficulties on offer, there’s no reason at this point to think the young German won’t win the overall title.
That’s all she wrote—at least for this weekend. Enjoy the sensitivities, and share your picks below.