Time-trial heavy Giro route

2012-09-30 16:12

Milan - Giro d'Italia organisers on Sunday unveiled a time trial-heavy race route for 2013 that they hope will entice Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins into challenging for the race's pink jersey.

Wiggins became Britain's first yellow jersey champion in July thanks to a combination of his Sky team controlling rivals in the mountain stages and Wiggins's two victories in the race's two long time-trials.

The Briton, who went on to claim Olympic time trial gold in London, is uncertain to defend his title in 2013 because the Tour de France is set to be a far more mountainous affair.

Observers believe that if that is the case it could be more suited to his Sky team-mate Chris Froome, who looked far more at ease in the mountain stages of the July epic than Wiggins.

The 2013 Giro d'Italia includes nearly 75 km of time trials for a total race distance of 3 400 km. It will start in Naples on May 4 and finish in Brescia on May 26.

The race, considered the most prestigious Grand Tour after the Tour de France, will also feature a stage in France where the peloton will tackle the legendary Galibier from its northern side.

On the penultimate stage the peloton will tackle the climb to the Trois Cimes du Lavaredo, one of the race's mythical ascensions which featured regularly in the 1960s and 70s when Eddy Merckx was in his prime.

That stage comes a day after another high mountain stage on which the peloton will be dragged over the Gavia and Stelvio mountain passes.

As well as the two individual time trials, one of which will be uphill, the race will feature a team time trial on the island of Ischia on stage two.

A day after the Tour of Lombardy, several former winners were in attendance including Canada's defending champion Ryder Hesjedal and Spain's 2008 winner Alberto Contador, as well as British sprint king Mark Cavendish.

A list of the 21 stages on the 2013 Giro d'Italia, unveiled by organisers on Sunday:

May 4: Stage 1 - Naples to Naples, 156 km
May 5: Stage 2 - Iscia - Forio, 17.4 km (team time trial)
May 6: Stage 3 - Sorrente to Marina di Ascea, 212 km
May 7: Stage 4 - Policastro to Bussentino, 244 km
May 8: Stage 5 - Cosenza to Matera, 199 km
May 9: Stage 6 - Mola di Bari to Margherita di Savoia, 154 km
May 10: Stage 7 - San Salvio to Pescara, 162 km
May 11: Stage 8 - Gabbicce Mare to Saltara, 55.5 km (time trial)
May 12: Stage 9 - San Sepolcro to Florence, 181 km
May 13: rest day
May 14: Stage 10 - Cordenons to Altopiano del Montasio, 167 km
May 15: Stage 11 Tarvisio to Vajont, 184 km
May 16: Stage 12 - Longarone to Treviso, 127 km
May 17: Stage 13 - Busseto to Cherasco, 242 km
May 18: Stage 14 - Cervere to Bardonecchia, 156 km
May 19: Stage 15 - Cesana Torinese to Col du Galibier (France), 150 km
May 20: rest day
May 21: Stage 16 - Valloire (France) to Ivrea, 237 km
May 22: Stage 17 - Caravaggio to Vicenza, 203 km
May 23: Stage 18 - Mori to Polsa, 19.4 km (uphill time trial)
May 24: Stage 19 - Val Martello to Martelltal, 138 km
May 25: Stage 20 - Silandro to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 202 km
May 26: Stage 21 - Riese Pie X to Brescia, 199 km