Giro d’Italia 2017: Sardinia to host the big start
Giro d’Italia 2017 will be the race’s 100th edition, a historic milestone that will start from Sardinia for the third time in its long history.
The Big Start of the Corsa Rosa was unveiled this morning in Milan. The race will include three in line stages on the island: Alghero-Olbia (203km), Olbia-Tortolì (208km) and Tortolì-Cagliari (148km).
The 2017 edition will mark the 88th Big Start of the race from within Italy, 12 starts having been made from abroad. The first time Giro d’Italia was raced in Sardinia was in 1961; an occasion that marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Italian kingdom. The Corsa Rosa, which started in Turin, arrived on the island for Stage 4, Cagliari-Cagliari, won by Oreste Magni. That edition of the Giro, which ended in Milan, was won by Arnaldo Pambianco.
Thirty years later, in 1991, the island saw its first Big Start, with two in line stages and two semi-stages, one of which was a time trial. Franco Chioccioli won that year’s Giro.
The Giro d’Italia’s 90th edition started in Sardinia with the spectacular Caprera-Maddalena Team Time Trial and the unforgettable Teams Presentation on the Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi. After 10 years away the Corsa Rosa returns its roads on the island.
STAGE 1 ALGHERO – OLBIA
Moderately hilly stage: a constant series of up and downs along the northern coast of the island with a few KOM climbs and many other short punchy climbs. The last categorised climb, 20km before the finish line, is San Pantaleo, which could become a launch ramp for the finisseurs to anticipate the sprinters. It’s a 5km climb with 3km around the average 8% inclination, the toughest section being in the first part. The route undulates again until the finish line in Olbia, where teams should work hard to end up in a bunch sprint.
STAGE 2 – OLBIA – TORTOLÌ
This Medium Mountain stage could end up in a bunch sprint. The first part of the stage is in the Nuoro region, an internal part of the island, and is characterised by three long climbs: the first toward Bitti and Orune (categorised as KOM), the second harder climb toward Nuoro city centre (KOM) and the third to overcome Genna Silana Pass (KOM). The last 50km are mostly descents or flat, but the course with many bends could create problems to close eventual gaps. Stage could end up with a sprint but this has to be conquered.
STAGE 3 – TORTOLI – CAGLIARI
This stage is almost flat with few mild hills along the course. After Villasimius there are some short punchy climbs along the coastal route. After that the road becomes flat toward the finish line in Cagliari until what’s likely to be a bunch sprint.