The 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia in 2017 will stay within Italy's borders and feature as many of the race's classic climbs as possible
The 2017 Giro d’Italia will start in Alghero, on the island of Sardinia, organiser RCS Sport announced on Wednesday, September 14. The island will host three road stages, before the 100th edition of the race heads to the mainland.
The last visit to Sardinia was in 2007, when the race took off with a team time trial won by the Liquigas team.
This time around, there will be no time trial on Sardinia. Instead, there are three road stages: stage one from Alghero to Olbia over 203km, stage two from Olbia to Tortolì over 208km, and a shorter 148km trip from Tortolì to Cagliari on stage three. All three stages feature classified climbs, but are likely to end in bunch finishes.
As the race did when it visited Ireland for the Big Start in 2014, the opening stage will take place on a Friday (May 5) with a rest day the following Monday (May 8) to allow for the transfer of riders and equipment ready for stage four.
The full route of the 2017 Giro d’Italia will be announced on October 25 in Milan.
The Giro organiser told Cycling Weekly earlier this year that it will hit as many of the country’s 20 regions as it can while travelling from the south to the north. It wants to pay respect to the host country and the cities that hosted the first Giro in 1909: Naples, Chieti, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Genoa, Turin and Milan.
The Giro may swing by its other big island of Sicily with a stage to Messina before heading over to the heel of the boot in Puglia. Giovinazzo and Alberobello, famous for the cone-like trulli homes, will host stages.
Making a nod to the Italian and Giro greats Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi, it will pass through Tuscany’s hills and Florence and up to Piedmont, where Coppi trained in the Tortona hillsides.
A possible temptation for Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) could be the long time trial through the Franciacorta hills near Brescia. RCS Sport is continuing its trend with local wine producers after similar stages in the Barolo, Prosecco and Chianti hills.
The meat of the race will be through the Alps – where this year, Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) won the queen stage, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) crashed into a snow bank in the leader’s pink jersey and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) rebounded to claim a second Giro title.
Italian fans continue to hold Marco Pantani close to their hearts despite his drug problems. The Giro should visit two of his stomping grounds with summit finishes at the Oropa Sanctuary and the Piancavallo ski resort in the Dolomites.
The last race day should be in Bergamo, host city of the 2016 Il Lombardia this October 1. The race could cover a stage similar to Lombardia with around 4000 metres of climbing ahead of the rest day and two days later, take off for a summit finish on the Stelvio Pass at 2757 metres via the Mortirolo Pass.
Local media reported in recent weeks that the Giro’s finish could be in Rome, but insiders are uncertain and say Milan seems more likely geographically. The 2017 Giro d’Italia would instead pass through Rome on its way north early in the first week.
Milan, after all, is where the 1909 Giro began and where Luigi Ganna won the first title and RCS Sport’s home. Piazzale Loreto, Arena Civica and Vigorelli Velodrome could host the finish, but for confirmation of this and the rest of the Giro, fans will need to way until October 25.