Giro d'Italia 2012: Stage 8 Preview - Sulmona to Lago Laceno 229 km
The most southerly point of this year's race and a day for a break says Geraint Thomas...

Finishing at the most southerly point of this year’s Giro, this stage heads south east from the mountains 100km to the east of Rome to those inland from Naples, and with the first ascent taking up the opening 20km of the stage, attacks are likely from the moment the flag drops.

The day’s other main climb, the Colle Molella, comes at the tail end of the stage. The Category 2 ascent is just under 10km long with an average gradient of 6 per cent, but features a 3km stretch with a gradient of between 10 and 12 per cent. After that summit is crested, it’s a short descent then a pretty flat 3km run to the line.

GT: This will probably be a breakaway day with it starting on a drag, where generally it’s strong guys who can climb who can make the break. Obviously, it depends whether anyone is a threat on GC. If they’re not, then it can probably go all the way there.

For more on this year's race read our full Giro d'Italia Preview.

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.