Giro d’Italia – Three Favorites Declared, Another Hidden

AMSTERDAM (Netherlands), May 6, 2010 (AFP) – Three favorites, Spaniard Carlos Sastre, Cadel Evans of Australia, and Italy’s Ivan Basso, have openly declared their ambitions for victory in the Giro with two days before the start of a race. But you can also add Kazakh Alexander Vinokourov to the list of race favorites.

“I come to win,” said Sastre, Evans and Basso, in the traditional press conference before the race that brought together the favorites.

The Italians Damiano Cunego, Gilberto Simoni, and Stefano Garzelli, have expressed different objectives for their Giro, and Vinokourov has shown a little doubt on his Giro chances.

But Evans has his name mentioned as a race favorite by almost every other rider.

“The condition is there,” admitted the Kazakh, recent winner of Liege-Bastogne-Li├Ęge. “I’m ready. I’m here to win a stage, maybe wear the pink jersey a few days. I’m motivated.”

“I go into the unknown. This is the first time I have raced the Giro. I have no pressure, I will see how it goes day after day,” added Vinokourov, stating that he did not carry out reconnaissance of routes.

“I know the climbs are very steep. They are very hard,” he said while stressing: “The third week is different. It is especially important to have recovered.”

For his part, Basso, winner of the Giro in 2006 (and fourth the previous year), said to appear “in a condition somewhat lower” than he expected. But said, “The Giro is a three-week race.”

Cunego at Garzelli announced his target to get stage wins, highlighted the difficulty of the test, a very mountainous race in the last week.

“This Giro is very hard, especially the last eight days,” summed Sastre.