Pre-race favourite for the overall is Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador, seeking the first Giro-Tour double since the late Marco Pantani in 1998, but he faces some stiff competition – not least from an in-form Richie Porte of Team Sky, although last year'schampion, Nairo Quintana of Movistar, isn't here.
Here’s the promotional video for this year’s race, plus another of the Top 10 riders to watch and a preview of the first day’s team time trial stage.
Here’s a look ahead to the rest of the Grande Partenza in Liguria – you can find maps, profiles and much more on the race website.
Sunday 10 May
Albenga – Genoa 173km
Today’s stage mainly follows the historic Via Aurelia coastal road in the reverse direction to when it’s ridden in Milan-San Remo, La Classicissima di Primavera. The San Damiano climb early on will sort out who’s going to be wearing the mountains jersey tomorrow, but it’s a nailed-on bunch sprint.
After that, other than the climb to Prato Zanino, crested with a little more than 50km left, it’s pretty much a flat run towards the city that is one of Italy’s four historic maritime republics – the others are Venice, Amalfi and Pisa – where the peloton’s fast men will fight it out for the win.
Monday 11 May
Rapallo – Sestri Levante 136km
Three days in, and it’s a testing stage for the peloton as the race heads up into the mountains above the Ligurian coast east of Genoa before heading back down to finish a little further along the Tyrrhenian coast at Sestri Levante.
A short stage and one in which the break could form early – assuming no-one’s there perceived as a threat for the overall – and stay away. There are still 20km to go after the final big descent, but with the sprinters likely to have been distanced, there’s little incentive for their teams to lead the chase.
Tuesday 12 May
Chiavari – La Spezia 150km
The fourth and final day of the Grande Partenza in Liguria looks like another short but taxing one. Again, the stage starts and ends on the coast, but like yesterday, there’s plenty of climbing for the peloton to deal with.
The last of the day’s three categorised climbs is just 10km from the finish, so it could be a similar scenario to Stage 3 of the 2013 race when the remains of the peloton reeled in the final rider of the break on the last climb, only for Luca Paolini to jump clear for a solo win.
Help us to fund our site
We’ve noticed you’re using an ad blocker. If you like road.cc, but you don’t like ads, please consider subscribing to the site to support us directly. As a subscriber you can read road.cc ad-free, from as little as £1.99.
If you don’t want to subscribe, please turn your ad blocker off. The revenue from adverts helps to fund our site.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, then please consider subscribing to road.cc from as little as £1.99. Our mission is to bring you all the news that’s relevant to you as a cyclist, independent reviews, impartial buying advice and more. Your subscription will help us to do more.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.
Why do these self-entitled motorists think they should be blocking a pavement. Doesn't their "road tax" pay for them to block the road.
Does the rear of the bike slide forward, or does the front of the bike slide backwards?
I went for the slight upgrade of an Axis (mk4), that extra little bit of power and the TAP controls. Over 6 years of trouble free daily usage....
Be fair, sometimes they do relate to bikes. There is the occasional "cyclist dismount" sign placed there for no discernable reason whatsoever.
Yeah, I don't actually think that people who call other people politically correct are admitting that they are politically incorrect, it's just a...
I think this is a deliberate intimidation attempt that's gone a bit far, because that was too close. Looks like a left hand drive to me, that would...
"Extenuating Circumstances" - of course there can be, but you'd better be prepared to argue them in court. In my experience the main extenuating...
The Police around my way solved the problem of car parking in the 70cm reserved cycling gutter, at least for the day of one special event, by...
Had a look round an S5 at a local bike shop. It is a fabulous looking bike, but needs a modest lottery win at £12k! ...
I use unconventional mixtures of road and MTB equipment on my road bikes because the big brand groupsets don't recognise that avoiding traffic...