RCS Sport has confirmed that the presentation of the route of the 2018 Giro d'Italia will take place in Milan on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 29. The event will take place at RAI television studios on Via Mecenate.
The Giro route has been announced in October in recent years – usually prior to the Tour de France presentation – but this year's presentation was delayed while RCS Sport finalised the details of the course, including the host city of the final stage, which is expected to take place in Rome.
It has already been confirmed that the 2018 Giro will begin with an individual time trial in Jerusalem on Friday, May 4 and the gruppo will tackle two further stages in Israel before resuming in Italy after a rest day.
Many details of the course have been leaked in the Italian media in recent weeks. After leaving Israel, the Giro is expected to spend three days in Sicily, including a summit finish at Mount Etna via the novel and steep Valentino approach.
Reports indicate that the Giro route will include an uphill finish at Montevergine di Mercogliano near Naples at the end of the opening week, and a tough summit finish atop Monte Zoncolan on stage 14.
Last month, Turin daily La Stampa reported that the final days of the Giro will feature three demanding legs in the Piedmont Alps, with summit finishes at Pratonevoso, the Jafferau and Cervinia on stages 18, 19 and 20. According to La Stampa, stage 19 will also feature the dirt road of the Colle delle Finestre.
It is widely anticipated that the final stage of the Giro will take place in Rome, with the peloton due to travel by plane from Turin to the Italian capital following stage 20. The Giro last finished in Rome for its centenary in 2009.
As on that occasion, it seems likely that the Roman stage of the Giro would be an individual time trial, a development that might yet encourage defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Sky) to line out at the corsa rosa.
Speaking to Cyclingnews in Jerusalem in September, race director Mauro Vegni called on Froome to "make history" by riding the Giro in 2018. Froome won the Tour and the Vuelta a España in 2017, and could become the first rider since Bernard Hinault in 1983 to hold all three Grand Tour titles at the same time.
Froome has already stated that bidding for a record-equaling fifth Tour de France title will be his primary objective in 2018, but a report in the Times on Tuesday suggested that the Sky rider is giving serious consideration to attempting the Giro-Tour double next season, when there will be a six-week gap between the two races rather than the usual five.
Froome has not raced the Giro since his maiden season at Sky in 2010, when he was disqualified from the race for holding onto a police motorbike on the ascent of the Mortirolo.