This is a special edition power poll/PdC preview of all 22 Giro squadre. Ranking is largely determined by GC competence first, though other factors come in after the first few major GC teams. Grab some gel shots, this might be an endurance test.
Lineup: Armstrong, Brajkovic, Horner, Leipheimer, Morabito, Navarro, Popovych, Rubiera, Zeits
Special Powers: Gently ushering a very serious grand tour GC threat or three past the peloton, crashes, and other distractions to the precise stage, or moment on a stage, where that person must win the race themselves. Sometimes this moment doesn't occur until the trophy presentation, when the team has ripped the legs off everyone even before Popovych swings off the front. But since the time trials will matter very much, it's safe to say that whoever they're coddling will have to bust out of their coccoon before long.
Kryptonite: Stage wins. Timely paychecks. French fans.
Girbecco says: "World domination!"
For more of this nonsense, keep reading.
Lineup: Basso, Agnolli, Carlstrom, Miholjevic, Pellizotti, Quinziato, Stangelj, Szmyd, Vanotti
Special Powers: Glorification of Italian Cycling. Climbing. Roster depth. Presence of a serious secondary GC threat. Home field advantage.
Kryptonite: Pressure? Maybe. Responsibility may be a hangup. Time trialing too.
Girbecco says: "Girded for battle!"
3. Serramenti Diquigiovanni
Lineup: Simoni, Bertagnolli, Scarponi, Serpa, Bertogliati, De Bonis, Ochoa, Bertolini, Rodriguez
Special Powers: Climbing, overall depth, dual GC threats, home field, veteran-ness, and yet probably won't be asked to take much responsibility.
Kryptonite: Karma (damn you Rebelliiiiiiiiiiinnnnn!), age, time trials.
Girbecco says: "Won't go down without making someone suffer first!"
Lineup: Menchov, Ardila, Ten Dam, Van Emden, De Groot, Horrillo, Kozontchuk, Stamsnijder, Tjallingii
Special Powers: Following wheels, time trialing, Menchov!
Kryptonite: Organization, coherent planning, team depth.
Girbecco says: "Are you allowed to hitch a ride all the way to the podium?"
Lineup: Cunego, Bono, The Edge,... er, Bruseghin, Da Dalto, Gasparotto, Gavazzi, Marzano, Mori, Tiralongo
Special Powers: Italian-ness, stage-stomping, Bruseghin's stealth threat.
Kryptonite: Really hard climbs. Expectations.
Girbecco says: "See you in the fall. Cunego owns the fall."
6. Cervélo Test Team
Lineup: Sastre, Deignan, Gerrans, Gustov, Hunt, King, Konovalovas, Lloyd, Pauwels
Special Powers: Climbing, aggression, exceeding expectations.
Kryptonite: Time trials, the maillot jaune. This is a July team.
Girbecco says: "Testing! 1... 2.. 3..."
7. LPR Brakes
Lineup: Di Luca, Bosisio, Chiarini, Ermeti, Golcer, Montaguti, Petacchi, Pietropolli, Spezialetti
Special Powers: Aggression, trickery, teamwork, home field, stage-stomping, and the occasional sprint win too.
Kryptonite: Overly hard stages. Lack of bunch sprints.
Girbecco says: "You will know them by the trail of the dead."
8. Garmin Chipotle
Lineup: Danielson, Dean, Farrar, Meyer, Millar, Pate, Vande Velde, Wiggins, Zabriskie
Special Powers: Cronosquadre (TTT), individual time trialing, sprinting, hammering.
Kryptonite: Killer climbs, July ambitions.
Girbecco says: "Too strong not to make an impact somewhere."
9. Caisse d'Epargne
Lineup: Arroyo, Jeannesson, Kiryienka, Lastras, Lopez, Perez, Perget, J-Rod, Charteau.
Special Powers: Winning races in Spain. Climbing, stage attacks.
Kryptonite: Races outside Spain, time trials.
Girbecco says: "A top ten and a stage. Happy now?"
Lineup: Barry, Boasson Hagen, Cavendish, Lövkvist, Pinotti, Possoni, Renshaw, Rogers, Sivtsov.
Special Powers: A little of everything: sprints, TTT, ITT, some climbing. Stage-stomping. Multiple options. World's fastest human. Karma.
Kryptonite: Responsibility/aggression. Fake abs on kits. Unconvincing GC threats.
Girbecco says: "Them dogs will (stage) hunt!"
Lineup: Soler, Augustyn, Bellotti, Caccia, Cardenas, Cheula, Froome, Hunter, Longo-Borghini
Special Powers: Stealth quality, Soler's ability to pwn a stage, good roster depth.
Kryptonite: Inexperience on the big stage. Might be looking toward July.
Girbecco says: "Ignore at your peril!"
12. Acqua e Sapone
Lineup: Garzelli, Andriotto, Codol, Donati, Failli, Marzoli, Masciarelli x 2, Palumbo
Special Powers: Italian-ness, stage hunting, freedom to launch all sorts of silly attacks
Kryptonite: The whole concept of the GC.
Girbecco says: "What time do the RAI cameras come on?"
13. Xacobeo Galicia
Lineup: Martinez, Cesar, Garcia, Isaichev, Rabunal, Fernandez, Mayoz, Garcia, Vorganov
Special Powers: Climbing. Cesar's low profile and ability against the watch.
Kryptonite: The big stage.
Girbecco says: "Buckle up: the Giro ain't no regional one-week tour!"
Lineup: Barla, Förster, Fothen x 2, Müller, Rohregger, Russ, Scholz, Schröder.
Special Powers: Two stealth leaders, the occasional crono, sprints, umlauts.
Kryptonite: Kits. Support back home. Milram's inexperience with the whole credible GC threat thingy... it's been a while.
Girbecco says: "More serious than they look!"
15. Saxo Bank
Lineup: Cancellara, Voigt, Lund, McCartney, Haedo, Van Goolen, Bak, Goss, Sorensen
Special Powers: Team unity, stage wins, the supernatural force of Jens!
Kryptonite: July ambitions. Also, at some point the bull's-eye on their backs is permanent.
Girbecco says: "World domination! Just not this month."
Lineup: Valjavec, Efimkin, Hinault, Krivtsov, Loubet, Pliuschin, Senac, Sonnery, Turpin
Special Powers: Climbing, stealthyness, healthy dose of Eastern European hardness.
Kryptonite: Le Tour. Not that Hinault.
Girbecco says: "More stage hunters? Get in line."
Lineup: Visconti, Gatto, Cioni, Stannard, Grivko, Grabovskyy, Huzarski, Scarselli, Pidgornyy
Special Powers: Two guys with a nose for the line, in Italy at least. Stage-stomping on all the middlin' courses.
Kryptonite: The Giro has a lot of stage-hunters on board, including guys with far less pressure. Also, what's with all the "yy"s?
Girbecco says: "Home of the Italian Champion! Oh, wait..."
Lineup: Pozzato, Brutt, Eskov, Ignatiev, Klimov, Mazzanti, Petrov, Serov, Swift
Special Powers: Cobbled classics.
Girbecco says: "Ben be Swift... or this won't be pretty."
19. Beat-Box Bweeg
Lineup: Belgy, Chainel, Gene, Haddou, Quemeneur, Sokolov, Sprick, Tschopp, Voeckler
Special Powers: Voeckler's motor.
Kryptonite: Another French team getting in its miles for July.
Girbecco says: "Man, French people sure get a lot of vacation time."
Lineup: Camano, Capecchi, Vigano, Gomez Gomez Gomez, Del Nero, Gonzalez, Fernandez de la Puebla, Kesiakoff, Serrano
Special Powers: long breakaways. Reminding people of recent scandals.
Girbecco says: "Do I have to acknowledge you?"
21. Quick Step
Lineup: Davis, Cataldo, Devenyns, Engels, Facci, Reda, Seeldrayers, Hulsmans, Malacarne
Special Powers: Sprinting, including at the end of hard stages.
Kryptonite: Everything else. Can't help that Malacarne is Italian for "bad meat".
Girbecco says: "The long slow runout to transfer season begins..."
Lineup: Brandt, De Greef, Dockx, Gilbert, Jacobs, Ljungblad, Kaisen, Vanendert, Wegelius
Special Powers: Stage hunting.
Kryptonite: Getting any value out of its roster through organization and seasonal planning.
Girbecco says: "This can't end well."