The 2007 Giro d?Italia looks set to be a battle between the climbers after race organisers unveiled a mountainous route with only one flat time trial at the official presentation in Milan on Saturday. To ease the suffering the organisers have mixed the big mountian stages with easier days in the saddle but the final ‘maglia rosa’ in 2007 will surely be a climber.

The 90th edition of the Giro will start in Sardinia on Saturday May 12 and end three weeks later in Milan on Sunday June 3. Total distance is 3442km with two rest days.

The action starts with a 24km team time trial in the north of Sardinia from Caprera to La Maddalena, with two other stages in Sardinia before a transfer to Salerno near Naples on the first rest day.

The hilly stages begin on stage four to Montevergine and continue on stage six to Spoleto and on stage ten to Santuario Nostra Signora della Guardia near Genoa. The mountains begin on stage 12 with the highest climb of the race the Colle dell?Agnello before the Col d?Izoard and the finish in Briancon. Stage 13 is a 13km mountain time trial to Santuario di Oropa, where Marco Pantani won in 199 after puncturing at the foot of the climb.

The mountains continue in the Dolomites with finishes at the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and then on a steep road to the summit of the Monte Zoncolan. Each mountain stage is separated by a hilly stage to give the riders a break and there are two other easier stages before the final time trial to Verona on stage 20. As tradition the Giro finishes in Milan with a flat stage for the sprinters.

All the Italian favourites were all impressed with the route.

Ivan Basso: ?I like it a lot. There?s something for everyone and so it?ll be a spectacular race. I don’t know the Zoncolan and I suffered when I last rode the L’Alpe d’Huez mountain time trial in the Tour de France but I think it’s going to be a good race.”

Gilberto Simoni: ?I think it?s a complete race with time trials but also uphill finishes. It?s an open Giro but the uphill finishes are very tough and the thing that is special are the two finishes at Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the Zoncolan.?

Alessandro Petacchi: ?I think there are a lot of finishes for the sprinters. There are some hills in some stages and so it will be important to have a strong team to keep the bunch together.?

Race director Angelo Zomegnan admitted he had created a more humane route to hopefully avoid doping scandals in 2007.

?It?s not as hard as editions in previous years, perhaps we can say it?s more humane but one which I hope will create an entertaining race. I hope the riders will be honest and give us a great race,? Zomegnan said.

2007 Giro d’Italia stages (May 12-June 3)

Stage 1: Caprera-Maddalena (Team time trial) 24 km
Stage 2: Tempio Pausania-Bosa 203 km
Stage 3: Barumini-Cagliari 195 km
Rest Day
Stage 4: Salerno-Montevergine 158 km
Stage 5: Teano-Frascati 172 km
Stage 6: Tivoli-Spoleto 181 km terminillo
Stage 7: Spoleto-Scarperia 239 km
Stage 8: Barberino-Fiorano 194 km
Stage 9: Reggio Emilia – Lido di Camaiore
Stage 10: Lido di Camaiore- Santuario Nostra Signora della Guardia km 230
Stage 11: Serravalle Scrivia- Pinerolo km 192
Stage 12: Scalenghe-Briançon 163 km
Stage 13: Biella- Oropa (cronoscalata) 13 km
Stage 14: Cantù-Bergamo 181 km
Stage 15: Trento-Tre Cime di Lavaredo 190 km
Rest Day
Stage 16: Agordo-Lienz 196 km
Stage 17: Lienz-Zoncolan 146 km
Stage 18: Udine-Riese Pio X 182 km
Stage 19 Treviso-Terme di Comano 178 km
Stage 20: Bardolino-Verona (ind TT) 42 km
Stage 21: Vestone-Milano 181 km

TOTALE: 3442km