By Gregor Brown in Milano
The 90th edition of the Giro d'Italia will be one for the climbers. Although starting off in Sardegna with a team time trial, the parcours will contain more climbing than time trialling. Parting on May 12, the race will make its way from the south to the Alps and then Dolomites, before finishing in Milano, 3,442 kilometres later, on June 3.
After three stage days on the island of Sardegna, celebrating Giuseppe Garibaldi's 200th birthday, and the following rest day transfer to the mainland, the riders will immediately feel the kick of the Giro. Stage four from Salerno will finish on the Montevergine di Mercogliano, a 17.1 kilometre climb that touches gradients of 10%, the first of five mountain top finishes. The Giro will head north, first for the Alps, making a quick detour in to France for the Col d'Izoard. It will then cut over to the east, with a stage arrival in Bergamo and the successive decisive stages in the mythical Dolomites. The riders will face the fourth mountain top finish on the seldom-used Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The climb, on the eve of the second of two rest days, will shake the classification.
The final week will take the Corsa Rosa into Austria before returning to Italia, and stage 17 to Monte Zoncolan. At the presentation in Milano, the Zoncolan was confirmed to be the climb that the riders fear the most. Any damage done to the legs on 10.1 kilometre climb will have to be recovered over the following two days because on the Giro's penultimate day will be the final 42 of 79 kilometres in time trialling; a flat affair from Bardolino to Verona.
The final day, June 3, the riders will close the 2007 edition of the Giro with the typical sprinters' stage into Milano.