At one point yesterday I started on a CyclingRevealedian journey through every Giro to determine if in fact this is the earliest rest day in the history of the race. The answer, if 15 years out of 90 is a statistically valid sample, is probably yes. On at least a few occasions including last year, the race has rested after a mere four days, with a normal calendar usually pitting the first riposto around day 9.
But in Cycle Sport's just-out ( and eerily timely) interview with Damiano Cunego, the Kid points out that this year's second rest day will make a world of difference, coming between the Alps and the Dolomites. Last year the resting was over on day 11, and the race took another 11 days of punishment to name a "champion." Even Angelo Zomegnan now admits that was too stressful, and this year's second rest day, on day 15, breaks up the race's most terrifying stages rather nicely-- coming immediately after Tre Cime di Lavaredo and two days before the Zoncolan stage. So while you''re likely to read lots of quotes in the media today about riders being anxious to get going, the quotes on rest day 2 are likely to sound more appreciative.
No doubt the pause gives the Italian media time to re-adopt Alessandro Petacchi. I'm no expert on who the in thing is back there, but there's little doubt that Petacchi was seen over the last year as stale goods. Words like "ritrovato" (rediscovered)" and "rivincita" (reconquering) can be found at La Gazzetta. Also, as for favorites, I love the headline at Il Ciclismo: "Cunego dopo la caduta: tutto ok!" Cunego OK after crash... I seem to recall Simoni coming down too, right? Ah, well, when Simoni starts to complain about something, then he's news. Surely that day can't be far off.