The route of next year’s 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia has been unveiled today in Milan – and to commemorate that landmark, it will be ridden entirely inside Italy’s borders as well as paying homage to the country’s culture, history and some of its greatest cyclists.
Starting on Friday 5 May on Sardinia, the race will finish with an individual time trial a little more than three weeks open in its spiritual home, Milan – the city where La Gazzetta dello Sport, the newspaper that launched the race in 1909, is based.
Following three-stage Big Start on Sardinia and an early rest day, the race will head to the mainland via two days on Sicily, with a summit finish on Mount Etna followed by a stage that finishes in defending champion Vincenzo Nibali’s home city of Messina.
Heading up through Calabria and Puglia, the second weekend brings another summit finish at Montenero di Bisacce-Blockhaus, and after a rest day, there’s a 39.2km individual time trial in the Sagrantino wine growing area.
The following day will see racing begin Ponte a Ema in Florence, in front of the museum dedicated to the great Gino Bartali.
His great rival Fausto Coppi is commemorated in Stage 13 with a finish in Tortona, where he died, and the following day racing begins in his birthplace, Castellania – a stage also dedicated to Marco Pantani, with the summit finish at Santuario di Oropa the site of one of his greatest triumphs.
The Cima Coppi – the highest point of the race – comes on Stage 16 with the Passo dello Stelvio, topping out at 2,758 metres, the day finishing with a descent into Bormio.
The Queen Stage comes on the final Thursday, with four passes to be tackled, ahead of a summit finish, the fourth of the race, at Piancavallo the following day.
There’s another uphill finish on the final road stage to Altopiano di Asiago, ahead of the closing 28km individual time trial in Milan – where four years ago, Ryder Hesjedal wrested the maglia rosa from Joaquim Rodriguez on the very last day of the race.
Nibali, who looks likely to ride next May’s race as he seeks his third victory in his home Grand Tour, said: “It's a very hard Giro with two very important time trial stages.
“In this respect it's very balanced and similar to the ones I've won in the past. This Giro will require a lot of energy and you'll need to be ready from the start."
Here’s a stage-by-stage overview of the race.
Giro d’Italia 2017
Stage 1: Friday, May 5 - Alghero to Olbia - 203km
Stage 2: Saturday, May 6 - Olbia to Tortoli - 208km
Stage 3: Sunday, May 7 - Tortoli to Cagliari - 148km
Monday, May 8: Rest day
Stage 4: Tuesday, May 9 - Cefalu to Etna - 108km
Stage 5: Wednesday, May 10 - Pedara to Messina - 157km
Stage six: Thursday, May 11 - Reggio Calabria to Terme Luigiane - 207km
Stage seven: Friday, May 12 - Castrovillari to Alberobello - 220km
Stage eight: Saturday, May 13 - Molfetta to Peschici - 189km
Stage nine: Sunday, May 14 - Montenero Di Bisaccia to Blockhaus - 139km
Monday, May 15: Rest day
Stage 10: Tuesday, May 16 - Foligno to Montefalco - 39.2km (ITT)
Stage 11: Wednesday, May 17 - Florence to Bagno Di Romagna - 161km
Stage 12: Thursday, May 18 - Forli to Reggio Emilia - 237km
Stage 13: Friday, May 19 - Reggio Emilia to Tortona - 162km
Stage 14: Saturday, May 20 - Castellania to Oropa - 131km
Stage 15: Sunday, May 21 - Valdego to Bergamo - 199km
Monday, May 22: Rest day
Stage 16: Tuesday, May 23 - Rovetta to Bormio - 227km
Stage 17: Wednesday, May 24 - Tirano to Canazei - 219km
Stage 18: Thursday, May 25 - Moena to Ortise - 137km
Stage 19: Friday, May 26 - San Candido to Piancavallo - 191km
Stage 20: Saturday, May 27 - Pordenone to Asiago - 190km
Stage 21: Sunday, May 28 - Monza to Milan - 28km (ITT)
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.