Team time trial will kick off the 2015 Giro d'Italia in the Liguria region in north-west Italy

The 2015 Giro d’Italia will start in Liguria, north-west Italy, and with an 18-kilometre team time trial, organiser RCS Sport announced at its headquarters today in Milan.

Next years edition, May 9 to 31, will stay in the coastal region for three days with stages to San Remo, Genoa and La Spezia. It marks two years since Italy’s biggest race, the second biggest race behind the Tour de France, began at home. In 2012, it kicked off in Naples and in 2013 in Belfast.

“The big starts are not just linked to money,” the organiser’s general manager, Paolo Bellino told Cycling Weekly in May. “It’s about finding a city that wants the project and wants to make money from it.”

Liguria is partly using the project to promote cycling. The 18-kilometre team time trial from San Lorenzo al Mare to San Remo will run entirely on the Riviera dei Fiori bike path it created from a former coastal rail route.

The second stage, the first road stage, will cover about 150 kilometres from Albenga to Genova and use the Via Aurelia that Milan-San Remo takes in the opposite direction. The stage ends with four 7.5km city circuits.

The third stage will cut through Cinque Terre, take in the panoramic views and likely split the group with its moderate, but repetitive climbs to La Spezia. The final Biassa climb leaves around 10 kilometres to the finish.

“The three stages in Liguria, we are sure, will be a great success,” Race Director Mauro Vegni said. “This land is double-knotted to cycling and its passion has never ceased.

“Next year will be the fifth start from Liguria, and countless towns and villages have hosted the Giro’s stages throughout its history, either as stage starts or finishes. And this is on top of prestigious events such as the Milan-San Remo. We therefore expect a lot of people and a lot of love.”

The Giro began three times in Genoa – 1980, 1992 and 2004 and in San Remo in 1987.

2013 Giro winner Vincenzo Nibali won the 2014 Tour de France on Sunday and immediately went to race in post-Tour criteriums. He sent a video message during the announcement indicating the 2015 Giro could be on his programme.

“The Giro d’Italia is very important for me,” Nibali said. “I have a very special bond with the Giro because it’s the race that launched me onto the Grand Tour scene. I can say I wish to come back in 2015.”

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) won the 2014 edition of the race.

Giro d'Italia 2015 start

Giro d’Italia 2015 start