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The Giro Turns Upward

It seems at this point almost a given: that Ivan Basso will waltz to victory, that the next several days and their uphill finishes will confirm his ascension to the sport's pinnacle. But the beauty of Cycling is that nothing is accomplished on paper, nothing is earned except on the road. If Basso is on a good day tomorrow, it will be all the Simonis, Cunegos, DiLucas and Gutierrezes can do to hang with him in the day's finishing climb up Monte Bondone.

I for one see no cracks in his armor, but so much can happen in the remaining stages that we should hold off the coronation til Sunday. Look at the miles left to be ridden: Tuesday's climb to Monte Bondone includes 18km of uphill to finish off the day, which according to the map maxes out at 13% early on, and averages 8%. The weather looks pretty bad, though who that favors...?

The hardest days are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Wednesday is the climb up to Plan de Corones... check out the Giro's writeup of the stage, as well as the details of the two major climbs.

Friday's climb up to the Passo San Pellegrino should be a beaut. Again, the stage details, as well as the day's four major climbs, the worst of which is the Fedaia early on (13km, 8% avg, 18% max). Saturday's is the queen stage, capped by the Cima Coppi on the Gavia pass among the day's four brutal climbs. The Mortirolo is all of 12.8km at 10% average/18% max. Fun.