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The ultimate charity ride? Tackle the full route of 2011 Giro d'Italia with Rapha Condor Sharp

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 as soon as we are able to.

Simon has been news editor at 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.

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