The final week... and we are kicking it off in serious style. Today marks the beginning of a string of decisive stages, three in four (racing) days, with a rest day and a transitional stage to break things up a tad. Which of the three will decide the Giro is anyone's guess, but my money is on this one. Dan's preview (below) and Gavia's total stage breakdown have said all there is to say, so all I'll add is, Monte Nerone and Monte Catria look like absolute suffer-fests. The last few km of Catria look like a great place to separate from the pack, before a rapid descent and the final climb. Just sayin. Anyway, it's Pantani Country here, so look for lots of Marco signs and some nasty, pack-shattering ascents. Game on, all the way.
Oh, and a programming note: Universal Sports says they're coming on at 8:30am Eastern (a.k.a. half past misery Pacific time). Seems like it's a slightly earlier start than normal. No sleeping!