Welcome to the opening week of the 2011 Giro d'Italia. At last, my friends, we have arrived. The Italian grand tour opens with a team time trial in Torino. Then, the race heads south down the length of the boot and finishes in Sicilia.
Don't make the mistake of thinking this first week is a boring assembly line of doomed breakaways and bunch sprints. The Giro would never... Instead, watch for a series of uphill finishes made for the attackers. The saavy general classification rider may find he can pick up some precious time over the course of these stages by being in the right place at the right time. The right place? Why the front, of course. The first week reaches its finale with a mountain stage on Mount Etna.
Zomes to Prudhomme: Oh yeah? You’ve got mountains? Well, I've got a Volcano. Nyah nyah nyah.
Zomes to California: Don’t even talk to me.
After a lengthy run down the length of Italy, the Giro comes to the grand finale of the first week: the climbing stage finish at Mount Etna. Not only does the Giro have a volcano, it has an active volcano. Because you know, the Giro isn’t exciting enough as it is.
Want more? Read Gavia's preview of week 1 of the 2011 Giro d'Italia.