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Verona last hosted a Giro d'Italia stage in 2010 (big photos), the final (TT) stage that wrapped up Ivan Basso's his second overall win in the Roman amphitheater.
This year's team time trial features flat urban roads at the start and finish in downtown Verona while the central part has a few short technical uphill climbs and descents through vineyards.
The course starts with several bends before crossing the Adige river followed by 8 km of straight, fast roads with a bunch of roundabouts to make things interesting. After the rolling vineyard section in the northwest part of town, the course loops back into the city along wide and straight roads up to the finish on Piazza Bra. The 2010 Giro d'Italia also had a 32 km TTT on stage 4 after returning from the Netherlands. Liquigas won it while the last place team lost almost three minutes so this stage could break some GC dreams.
Judging by the opening individual time-trial, Garmin-Barracuda will be the team to beat. Orica-GreenEdge, Sky and BMC also have a good shot at winning this stage. It's hard to pass by Liquigas, whom often do well at Giro d'Italia TTTs, but I don't see them finishing higher than fourth this year. — Steve
Stage 4 TTT Start Order and Times (CET, subtract 6 hours for ET) — rcs