Giro d'italia: Italian Excitement, Stage Hunting & Passo dello Stelvio

The Passo dello Stelvio ...stuff of legends.

The Italian excitement is building...

The Giro d'italia starts next Saturday in Herning, Denmark with the timetrial. GreenEDGE will be ready for their first Grand Tour experience with the goal for stage victories. They won't have a team for the GC but they will have a formidable squad to go stage hunting. Matt Goss will be the leader and will get the support for the sprint stages. Svein Tuft and Jack Bobridge are two track guys with plenty of gusto, grinta, and gumption to put the drag back in dragster. The TTT will be a target for GreenEDGE, and I believe they can win it.

Tuft is a seven-time National TT Champion and the 2008 World TT silver medalist. The Canadian is also well known for his incredible 200km solo ride in front of the peloton on stage 2 of the 2012 Tirreno-Adriatico. Bobridge is holder of numerous World Track Pursuit titles... and he's only 22 years old!

Christian Meier will also be indispensable for GreenEDGE's for stage four's 32.2 km TTT and a good lead up man for Goss's sprint train. Good to see that South African Dayl Impey will ride and brings good credentials: national TT champion and 2009 winner of the Tour of Turkey.

The 3-week race will no doubt have the drama, beauty and passion the Giro is known for. The 'high point' is the queen stage, having the riders climb the Mortirolo and onto the mountain-top finish of the Stelvio. The penultimate stage is on May 26th. That's 218km long, 5,900 metres of climbing. The Stelvio, 2,757 metres, is all about drama with three finishes; 1965-Graziano Battistini, 1972-Jose Manuel Fuente, 1975-Francisco Galdos. And now, this year.

The story of the Stelvio was heralded by the great Fausto Coppi (the Heron), opening his wings to win in 1953, the first year it was included in the race. He launched his attack, from race leader Hugo Koblet, at the beginning of the climb crossed the summit alone into Bormio winning the stage and his fifth Giro, tying Alfredo Binda's record.

Since that legendary exploit, the Stelvio is known as the Cima Coppi and every year the Giro honors that epic day naming the highest climb and awarding a prize to the first rider over it.

The 95th Giro d'Italia;  May 5 - May 27.

'the most beautiful race in the world.'

Shark's teeth...
Ending on top of the Stelvio!

Lovely video on the Legend of the Passo dello Stelvio!

Celebrating the mountains for the 50th edition