The first rest day marks the transition from Belgium and the first phase of this epic Giro d'Italia to the second phase -- a warmer, slightly more strenuous version of the first phase, where the riders continue to stretch their legs and lay low for the last eleven days.
Maybe there is something to having this rest day, however early. The riders arrived in Cremona for Thursday's team time trial with a full 24 hours to rest, dry out, warm up, and take their time trial rigs out for a test drive. As for the stage itself, Bici checks it out... not that there's much to say. 38 km, flat flat flat... any team (named Discovery and CSC) that can do pure TTTs will earn chunks of time on their less diverse rivals. As far as I can tell, there are no ridiculous Tour de France limitations on the amount of time a team can lose, besides the fact that the TTT is only 38km and flat. If, as the Chimp says, Simoni thinks he could lose two minutes, it's time to look in the mirror.
Some other notes:
- Tom Danielson has more time to blog than I do.
- Alessandro Petacchi speaks from the post-op: