Footage showcases 'the toughest race in the world's most beautiful place' as Giro uses social media to keep fans engaged...

If, like us, you’re suffering withdrawal symptoms following the end of the 2011 road racing season, a timely, three-minute fix to help ease your pains comes in the shape of a stunning promo video for the 2012 Giro d’Italia, which starts in Denmark in a little over six months’ time, and which features footage from this year's race.

Spectacular aerial shots and some thrilling race footage lend credence to the Giro’s claim of being “the toughest race in the world’s most beautiful place,” the short film completed by a voiceover reminiscent of the gravel-voiced tones used to tour Hollywood blockbusters.

The Giro, it has to be said, has been quicker to embrace social media than the other two Grand Tours – feedback from fans through its Facebook page and Twitter stream helped determine the design of next year’s maglia rosa, as well as the climbs to be used in the penultimate stage of the 2012 race – and we’d expect organisers to keep fans engaged through these channels and YouTube over the long winter months.

There's no reference in the video to the late Wouter Weylandt, but organisers RCS promised at the launch of the 2012 race earlier this month that the Belgian sprinter certainly won't be forgotten - the man who won Stage 3 of the 2010 race, and was killed in a descent on Stage 3 this year, will have the same stage dedicated to his memory next year, while his race number, 108, has been permanently withdrawn.

With a kinder itinerary in prospect next year and the man who dominated this year’s event, Alberto Contador, likely to be missing – whether that’s because of an enforced ban or due to his focusing on the Tour de France remains to be seen – it could end up being a very open race that isn’t decided until the final weekend.

That’s all in the future, but in the meantime, sit back and enjoy this little snippet of what’s in prospect in Il Bel Paese next May…

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.