Grandest Tour

CS talks exclusively to the riders who made this year's Giro d'ltalia the best Grand Tour since the legendary 1989 Tour de France

Words Gregor Brown Photos Graham Watson, Yuzuru Sunada and Peter Witek

The cycling world woke up on Monday May 31 with a yawning sense of emptiness. For the first time in three weeks, there was nothing to look forward to — no strade bianche, no impossibly steep mountains, no race-changing attacks, no team time trial, no spirited defence of a pink jersey. The Giro d'ltalia was over.

The 2010 Giro was the best Grand Tour since the 1989 Tour de France.

It was exciting, unpredictable, open and innovative and the highlights were many: Wiggins's stage-one win, the carnage of the Dutch stages, the Liquigas TTT, the strade bianche stage, that attack by Sastre, and Arroyo, Basso and Evans going head to head in the mountains, Arroyo's stubborn defence of the pink jersey, the unique mountain time trial on the Plan de Corones, the huge natural amphitheatre of the Zoncolan and the nice touch of having the riders freewheel through the Arena di Verona to be received by the public after the final time trial.

The Giro had a controversial winner in Ivan Basso, who has returned to the very top after a doping ban. But the sum of the parts was greater than the whole, and CS has spoken to the heroes who made it what it was. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the 2010 Giro...

Above Stage 13 finished in Cesenatico, home town of the late Marco Pantani, via his favourite hilly roads

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