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When the Giro d’Italia last started in Abruzzo in 2001, Rik Verbrugghe produced the quickest time trial in Grand Tour history as he clocked 58.874kph along the seafront in Pescara to claim the first maglia rosa.
The length of this opening test, not to mention the climb to the finish in Ortona, means that record is unlikely to be under threat here, but another Belgian will expect to make a fast start to his Giro along the Adriatic.
Remco Evenepoel will see this 19.6km effort an obvious opportunity to gain some early ground on his GC rivals, though Primož Roglič will also feel at home on this course, while it’s also an early gauge of Geraint Thomas’ prospects.
Filippo Ganna, meanwhile, returns to the Giro looking to maintain his remarkable 100% record in time trials across his two previous appearances. The Italian was the first maglia rosa in both 2020 and 2021, and he will fancy his chances here.
The 176 riders will set out from Fossacesia Marina and follow the Ciclovia Adriatica cycleway, taking in six short tunnels along the way. That flat opening is relatively straightforward, but the day’s complication comes with the two-part climb into Ortona inside the final 3km. Even on the opening day of the Giro, there is scope for significant time gaps here.
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