Fabian Cancellara is the kind of rider who could slip through the cracks - while the GC contenders battle it out - and take the stage win, photo Sirotti

The second time trial of the 2016 Giro d’Italia is a 40.4km stretch that will be a good indicator of who will arrive at the race’s finale in the pink leader’s jersey.  It is the ideal opportunity for the strong time trial riders to gain significant time over the mountain specialists.

Stage 8: Chianti – Chianti.  40.4km

The ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia is where a rider like Tom Dumoulin will need to rise up if they are to lay a serious challenge to the maglia rosa.  This is their stomping ground, 40km of rolling road, not steep enough for the climbers to be in real contention.  The roads contain a bit of everything, with a small handful of straight drags intermingled with tight and technical turns to keep things interesting before the reasonably straight run into the finale after the second check point.  There are three in all at 11.5km, 22.3km and 33.7km before the finish line in Greve in Chianti.

Looking at the GC contenders it is definitely Tom Dumoulin who stands to gain the most from this stage, the GIANT-Alpecin rider won four time trials last season; and stepped into the red leader’s jersey at the Vuelta a Espana with his time trial performance.  This year he has ridden just one race against the clock where he finished second to Michael Matthews in the Paris-Nice prologue.

If Dumoulin isn’t to win it, then you can’t look past a rider like Fabian Cancellara.  Spartacus had a disappointing spring campaign by his own lofty standards.  Despite finishing in the top five in E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem and Tour of Flanders, a win eluded him; leaving him with ‘just’ four wins to his name so far this season.  Two of those wins though have come in time trials – albeit perfectly flat ones – but he is likely to want to redeem the season.


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