Cadel Evans vs Michele Scarponi: this might be the big showdown of the 38th Giro del Trentino. And possibly, for the Giro d’Italia. After Vincenzo Nibali’s great year, with successes both in Trentino and in the Pink race, the four-stage event has even more established as the perfect set up to Giro d’Italia glory. Evans and Scarponi looked easy and smiling at the eve’s press conference in Arco, also featuring Italian National Team Coach Davide Cassani: the Italian former rider and TV commentator received the “Ciclismo Vita Mia” award, as a good wish for a brilliant “azzurro” career, after a whole life devoted to cycling, in different positions.
“Cadel and Michele are two champions, and will definitely shine at the Giro del Trentino,” said Cassani, who obviously hopes for a renaissance of Italian cycling after a below-par start of the season. “I respect Cadel a lot, he’s one who never gives up”, Scarponi said. “I like Michele’s attitude, he is able to joke even at,” Cadel replied. None of the two makes bold predictions: they know Trentino means big climbs, even though they only know Bondone in first person. “I have been training hard in altitude,” skinny Scarponi said – “so I might lack some rhythm and brilliancy in the first days.” Evans sounds more optimistic: “I raced Trentino last year and it was a very good experience, so I hope I will be able to perform better this year.”
Sir Bradley Wiggins is expected to be another strong contender, as will Domenico Pozzovivo, Igor Anton, Ivan Basso, Franco Pellizotti, Fabio Duarte – all riders who are not afraid of big climbs. Davide Cassani will take a close look to Fabio Aru, Damiano Caruso, Giovanni Visconti (just back from an injury), Moreno Moser, Dario Cataldo, Enrico Battaglin, Francesco Bongiorno, Mauro Finetto, hoping for good news to finally come. “Early season results were not very encouraging, but I believe our movement is worth much more than that,” Cassani said.
Both Evans and Scarponi agreed that Monte Bondone will prove to be the decisive test for the Giro del Trentino, but with every chance something significant is going to happen earlier than that. Meantime, a Team Time Trial will open the race for the third consecutive year: 13,4 km from Riva del Garda to Arco, on the same route where BMC topped the standings in 2012, while Team Sky proved the strongest in Lienz twelve months ago. BMC and Sky are top favorites this time too, together with Movistar: the Spanish outfit looks to have a good chance to contend the win to the teams led by Cadel Evans e Bradley Wiggins.
Cannondale might be a good outsider for the opening test (first start at 15.15, delayed coverage by Raisport 2 from 18 to 19). The Italian GC contenders are not likely to feature in the top positions, but this could change as the mountains come in the following days, with the three demanding uphill finishes to S. Giacomo di Brentonico, Roncone (loc. Pozza) e Monte Bondone.
38th Giro del Trentino race programme (April 22nd-25th)
Tuesday, April 22nd – Stage1: Riva del Garda – Arco 13,4 Km (TTT)
Wednesday, April 23rd – Stage2: Limone sul Garda – San Giacomo di Brentonico 164,5 Km
Thursday, April 24th – Stage3: Mori – Roncone (loc. Pozza) 184,4 Km
Friday, April 25th – Stage4: Val Daone – Monte Bondone (Trento) 175,0 Km