Giro organizers outline 7 sprint stages for next year

MILAN (AP) — Next year’s Giro d’Italia will feature seven stages best suited to sprinters, race organizers said Monday.

In a break with tradition, race organizer RCS Sport has decided to release details of next year’s race in instalments. It was announced last week that the 105th edition of the Giro would start in Hungary — as it was scheduled to do last year before the coronavirus pandemic.

Two of the three stages in Hungary are suited to sprinters, although the undulating 195-kilometer (121-mile) opening leg does include an uphill finish.

“It is a Giro full of excellent opportunities for sprinters. Perhaps the arrival of the first stage is more favorable for a finisseur or a sprinter who can climb well,” said sprint specialist Elia Viviani, who claimed four of his five Giro stage wins in 2018, when he also won the points classification.

“I would like to be able to fight to win the Maglia Ciclamino (for the leader of the points classification) again and try to win some stages … There is certainly the opportunity to repeat my performance at the 2018 Giro.”

RCS Sport outlined five more stages suited to sprinters on Monday, although it will not confirm precisely when those stages will take place until the route is outlined in full on Thursday, when the finale will also be announced.

The hilly stages will be revealed on Tuesday and the high mountain ones on Wednesday.

The sprint stages include one in Sicily, from Catania to Messina, and two that are the longest of next year’s Giro. The 201-kilometer (125-mile) leg along Lake Balaton from Kaposvár to Balatonfüred that is the last stage in Hungary, and another route of the same distance that is completely flat from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia.

The final stage for sprinters is a short and fast 146 kilometers (91 miles) from Borgo Valsugana to Treviso that features two Category 4 climbs and also crosses the Prosecco production area between Valdobbiadene and Refrontolo.

The Giro will run from May 6-29.

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