2017 Giro d’Italia will start in Sardinia
The 2017 Giro d’Italia will start in Sardinia with three road stages. The race sets off from Alghero on Friday, May 5 with a 203-kilometre leg along the island’s northern coast to Olbia. A hilly stage to Tortolì follows, before a flatter run to Cagliari on stage 3.
RCS Sport revealed details of the opening three stages at a presentation in Milan on Wednesday morning, where Fabio Aru – the first Sardinian to wear the maglia rosa at the Giro – was in attendance.
It will be third time in the Giro’s history that Sardinia has hosted the start of the race, after 1991, when Philippe Casado won the opening stage, and 2007, when Enrico Gasparotto wore the first maglia rosa after Liquigas won the team time trial in La Maddalena.
The Giro’s first visit to Sardinia came in 1961, as the race marked the 100th anniversary of the unification of Italy. The 2017 Giro is the 100th edition of the race, and RCS Sport has planned a route that will visit as many of Italy’s regions as possible to celebrate the occasion.
In keeping with recent starts outside of the Italian mainland, the opening stage of the 2017 Giro will take place on a Friday, which allows for an additional rest day on Monday, May 8 as the Giro caravan transfers to the start of stage 4.
The opening stage of the 2017 Giro is ostensibly one for the sprinters, even if race director Mauro Vegni warned that it is not a foregone conclusion that one of their number will wear the first pink jersey of the race. “It’s a stage for sprinters, but they’ll have to work for it,” Vegni said in Milan on Wednesday.
The 203-kilometre stage from Alghero to Olbia follows undulating roads along the northern coast of Sardinia and features three categorised climbs, Multeddu, La Contra and the San Pantaleo, which comes just 20 kilometres from the finish line. That final 5km climb could provide a springboard for late attacks. “The main problem will be the wind, because there’s a lot of that in Sardinia, and there’s not really a lot of flat either,” said Fabio Aru.