Geox-TMC riders worked over the weekend to prepare for the upcoming Giro d’Italia, the team’s first major goal of the 2011 season.
On Friday, the team hit the wind tunnel to perfect their time-trial positions and then headed north into the Dolomites to scout the decisive climbs that will be featured in the final week of the Giro. Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre were joined by teammates David Blanco, Fabio Duarte and Gianpaolo Cheula.
On Saturday, the riders were impressed with what they saw, especially a 70km portion from Monte Crostis to Monte Zoncolan.
“We all know how hard Zoncolan is, but I also think that the Crostis is going to be grueling as well,” Menchov said. “It’s a new climb that I wasn’t familiar with and I really wanted to see it before the Giro.
“It’s extremely challenging, but the real problem is coming off the top with a steep, technical downhill on a narrow road with ruined asphalt. We are going to have to be very careful. It’s going to be a problem to feed, drink and recover before attacking on the Zoncolan.”
The next day, the team rode 80km to check out the Passo Giau and Passo Fedaia before riding the new climb at Gardeccia at Val di Fassa.
“Giau and Fedaia are two important climbs, always worth of respect,” Sastre said. “The Giau is especially hard in the final stretch and the Fedaia has a central part that seems endless. I wasn’t familiar with the Gardeccia climb. It has some extremely challenging stretches and you need to take into consideration that you get to the final climb after racing more than 200km.”
The team said there wasn’t enough time to preview the route of the climbing time trial at Nevegal, but said there would be a chance to check it out during the Giro’s second rest day.