Details of key stages emerge before Sunday's presentation
The official presentation of the route of the 2013 Giro d'Italia will be held on Sunday but details of the three-week race have emerged in the Italian press.
RCS Sport has already announced that the Giro d'Italia will start in Naples on May 4. According to reports in Italy, the Giro will end in the northern city Brescia and not Milan on Sunday May 26.
According to a report in the Tuttosport newspaper, the Giro d'Italia will also visit the island of Ischia, close to Naples on stage two for a team time trial. The Giro d'Italia has only visited Ischia once before, in 1959, when Antonio Catalano beat Jacques Anquetil in as time trial. The decision to visit Ischia is likely to mean the opening stage in Naples will be a road race stage, perhaps on a city centre circuit.
The first week of the Giro d'Italia will head south to the toe and heel of the Italian peninsula for stages in Calabria and Puglia before heading up the Adriatic coast.
Latest reports suggest that a long individual time trial after a week of racing will shake up the overall classification. This will suit Vincenzo Nibali –who will target the Giro d'Italia with his new Astana team, and is expected to to convince Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky to go for a rare Giro d'Italia –Tour de France double. The 2013 Giro route is also expected to include a mountain time trial on stage 19, pushing the total of time trials in the Giro close to 100km.
The first rest day is expected on Monday May 13 after a stage finish in Florence after a lap of the circuit up to Fiesole that be will be used at the world championships in Florence. The rest day will also see the Giro transfer north-east for the first mountain stages in the Friuli region and a finish on the Malga Montasio high plain at 1500 metres.
The mountain stages are expected to begin with a visit to the Friuli region in the north-east. The race will then head east via Treviso and Cherasco before the finish at the summit of the Galibier on Sunday May 19. The Giro heads back to Italy for the second rest day on Monday May 20 before climbing into the mountains. Stage 18 should include the legendary Gavia, with a testing mountain time trial between Mori and Polsa in the Trentino region on Friday May 24.
The final stage to Brescia is expected to start in Vicenza to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of component manufacturer Tullio Campagnolo.