Milan - Defending
champion Chris Froome said on Wednesday he was still uncertain whether he
will defend his Giro d'Italia title despite being tempted by the
"explosive and interesting" nature of the 102nd edition of the race
which was unveiled in Milan.
Froome, 33, became the first British rider to win the Giro last May
to complete a 'grand slam' after his Tour de France and Tour of Spain
wins in 2017.
"A start like that, with the Bologna time trial, is explosive and interesting," said Froome.
"I like this edition of the Giro very much, it can be won only by a
complete rider. It's a balanced course in between mountains and time
Froome finished third in this year's Tour de France, which was won by Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas.
And with a shorter gap between the end of the Giro on June 2 and the
start of the Tour de France on June 29 the four-time winner could opt to
skip the Italian race.
"I'm not 100 percent sure if I'll be there at the Giro d'Italia 2019,
it's a decision we'll have to make in December," said Froome, who
appeared onstage during the presentation.
"The pink jersey for me is a great honour, it had been missing from my collection.
"It was an important jersey for the history of cycling, and something I had dreamed of as a child.
"It's also an important race for the team as it's the tenth anniversary of Team Sky."
"We're all together in December at a training camp so I think in that
period we will decide everything for next year," he added.
Last year's Giro started in Israel, but this
year's race which covers 3 518km will be almost entirely within Italy,
apart from a time-trial into San Marino.
It starts with a tough 8.2km time-trial in Bologna and then heads southwest to Fucecchino and into Tuscany.
The riders will tackle climbs including the Passo Gavia at 2 618m
altitude on stage 16 and Passo del Mortirolo with a total of seven
summit finishes between the Dolomites and Alps.
"It's a brutal, brutal second half," added Froome.
"A very organised team will be needed too. The stage with Gavia and Mortirolo is a beast!
"It comes after a rest day and that day the true champions will stand out from the bunch."
Italian Elia Viviani, who won the points jersey last year, believes the first week can make a difference for the sprinters.
"I've got good feelings about this Giro," said the 29-year-old.
"The last week of racing will be incredibly tough for the sprinters
but I'm looking at this Giro with the goal of arriving in the wonderful
Verona, my home town."
A number of important social and cultural references will be made during the three-week race.
The third stage starts at Vinci in Tuscany to honour Leonardo da
Vinci 500 years after his death, with the ninth stage in the central
Abruzzo region which was devastated by an earthquake in 2009, followed
by a stop in Pesaro, birthplace of composer Gioachino Rossini.
Full list of stages on the 2019 Giro d'Italia, to be held over 3 518.5km from May 11-June 2:
Saturday, May 11
Stage 1: Bologna - Bologna (8.2km individual time-trial)
Sunday, May 12
Stage 2: Bologna - Fucecchio (200km)
Monday, May 13
Stage 3: Vinci - Orbetello (219km)
Tuesday, May 14
Stage 4: Orbetello - Frascati (228km)
Wednesday, May 15
Stage 5: Frascati - Terracina (140km)
Thursday, May 16
Stage 6: Cassino - San Giovanni Rotondo (233km)
Friday, May 17
Stage 7: Vasto - L'Aquila (180km)
Saturday, May 18
Stage 8: Tortoreto Lido - Pesaro (235km)
Sunday, May 19
Stage 9: Riccione - San Marino (34.7km individual time-trial)
Monday, May 20
Tuesday, May 21
Stage 10: Ravenna - Modena (147km)
Wednesday, May 22
Stage 11: Carpi - Novi Ligure (206km)
Thursday, May 23
Stage 12: Cuneo - Pinerolo (146km)
Friday, May 24
Stage 13: Pinerolo - Ceresole Reale (Lago Serru) (188km)
Saturday, May 25
Stage 14: Saint-Vincent - Courmayeur (Skyway Monte Bianco) (131km)
Sunday, May 26
Stage 15: Ivrea - Como (237km)
Monday, May 27
Tuesday, May 28
Stage 16: Lovere - Ponte Di Legno (226km)
Wednesday, May 29
Stage 17: Commezzadura - Anterselva/Antholz (180km)
Thursday, May 30
Stage 18: Valdaora/Olang - Santa Maria Di Sala (220km)
Friday, May 31
Stage 10: Treviso - San Martino Di Castrozza (151km)
Saturday, June 1
Stage 20: Feltre - Croce D'Aune-Monte Avena (193km)
Sunday, June 2
Stage 21: Verona - Verona (15.6km individual time-trial)