The Polsa time trial will hold the key to this Giro d’Italia if snow forces the high mountains out. With only a one minute and 26 second lead, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is not taking any chances above Lake Garda tomorrow.

“We’ve previewed it twice. I drove up it, Nibali rode it,” Astana team manager, Giuseppe Martinelli told Cycling Weekly. “We took note of every corner and detail.”

Cadel Evans (BMC Racing), a noted time trial rider and 2011 Tour de France winner sits in second overall and Sky’s Rigoberto Urán is in third at 2-46 minutes.

They eye the 20.6-kilometre test in Trentino, north of Verona, to make a difference. Their gains or losses could be final as snow is threatening both mountain stages to Val Martello and Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the following two days.

The Giro d’Italia ends on Sunday in Brescia with a flat stage that should do little to the overall classification.

“I think that both Nibali and Evans will be there without any big differences between them,” Martinelli added. “Evans has more experience than Nibali, but Nibali has shown to be in good condition at this moment.”

Martinelli said the time trial, rising from 187 to 1205 metres, suits a true time trial rider. It is more a flat test with a mountain top finish than a mountain time trial.

“The hardest bit is 7-8 per cent and there’s a descent, a false flat. You can ride a 25 to 30 average, so you can’t say it’s a mountain time trial.”

Martinelli ran off to look after Paolo Tiralongo, who needed a chest x-ray. At the BMC Racing bus, Baldato said his team was just as focused.

Before competing in the Giro del Trentino, Evans rode the time trial twice with Baldato in the car behind. At the top, they took in the views of Lake Garda and the valley below.

“It’s a nice road, really fast, you can take it at 25-27 an hour for the first six to seven kilometres,” Baldato said. “The second part is around eight per cent, a little steeper. It’s a nice climb, not just for a climber, but for a time trial rider too.”

Is it enough for the Australian to make up the difference?

“Nibali is going well, you saw that in the Saltara time trial,” Baldato added. “So far, Nibali has been going stronger. I hope that changes for the time trial.”

Giro d’Italia 2013: Previews and race info



Giro d’Italia 2013: British TV schedule



Giro d’Italia 2013: 10 things you need to know



Giro d’Italia 2013: The Big Preview

Giro d’Italia 2013: Stage reports



Stage 16: Intxausti continues Movistar’s successful Giro with stage win



Stage 15: Visconti wins Galibier stage



Stage 14: Santambrogio wins and Nibali strengthens lead



Stage 13: Cavendish takes his fourth stage win of 2013 Giro



Stage 12: Cavendish takes 100th win as Wiggins’ Giro bid faltrs



Stage 11: Navardauskas wins as favourites enjoy day off



Stage 10: Uran wins as Wiggins and Hesjedal lose time



Stage nine: Belkov takes solo win as Wiggins put under pressure



Stage eight: Dowsett wins as Nibali takes race lead



Stage seven: Wiggins crashes as Hansen wins



Stage six: Cavendish wins stage six of Giro



Stage five: Degenkolb avoids crash to take win



Stage four: Battaglin sprints to first Giro stage win


Stage three: Paolini takes charge



Stage two: Sky wins team time trial



Stage one: Cavendish wins opener

Giro d’Italia 2013: Photo galleries



Photos by Graham Watson



Stage 16 gallery



Stage 15 gallery



Stage 14 gallery



Stage 13 gallery



Stage 12 gallery



Stage 11 gallery



Stage 10 gallery



Stage nine gallery



Stage eight gallery



Stage seven gallery



Stage six gallery



Stage five gallery



Stage four gallery



Stage three gallery



Stage two gallery



Stage one gallery



Team presentation gallery




Giro d’Italia 2013: Videos



Giro final week preview



Giro week two preview



Giro first week video preview

 

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