200 places available on Gran Corsa with funds going to Prostate Cancer Charity

Cyclists are being offered the chance to take part in what is being described as a “once in a lifetime ride” to accompany riders from British pro cycling team Rapha Condor Sharp and take on the exact route of the 2011 Giro d’Italia next summer.

Called the Gran Corsa – the ‘Great Race’ – the ride starts in Turin on 29 May – the day the Giro d’Italia ends in Milan – and will follow each of the Italian Grand Tour’s 21 stages, announced last month, which together make up a 3,496km itinerary that Team Sky sports director Sean Yates has described as “brutal.”

According to a page set up for the ride on the social networking website Facebook, places on the ride will be limited to 200, with participants able to either ride individual stages, or become a ”lifer” – a nod, perhaps, to the description of early Tour de France riders as the “convicts of the road” – and ride the entire route.

The endeavour is aimed at raising money for The Prostate Cancer Charity and will be fully supported by Classic Tours and Phil Deeker, with a different pro rider from Rapha Condor Sharp rider appearing as a guest each week.

The Gran Corsa gets its official launch next month at the London bike café Look Mum No Hands, and ahead of that former British National Road Race Champion Kristian House and team manager John Herety – himself a former holder of that title – will be undertaking a recce of the much anticipated Stage 9, which starts in Messina before a twin ascent of Mount Etna.

House and Herety will be accompanied on that ride by photographer Camille McMillan, who supplied the pictures for Michael Barry’s book Le Metier, and who will be filming a documentary of the pair’s exploits.

We'll bring you further news about the Gran Corsa here on road.cc as soon as we are able to.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.