Giro di Sardegna returns

The Giro di Sardegna is due to return in 2009 after an absence of 12 years. The stage race will take...

The Giro di Sardegna is due to return in 2009 after an absence of 12 years. The stage race will take place on the Italian island of Sardinia from February 24 to 28.

Race organisers are working on the exact stage details this week, according to Tuttosport. The stage race will attract top contenders due the region's favourable weather and the possible cancellation of the Vuelta a Valenciana. Triple Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador may include it as part of his early season preparation.

The race used to occupy a key spot in the early season calendar from 1958 to 1983. Cycling legend Eddy Merckx won the race four times. It was re-introduced briefly, 1996 and 1997. The last winner was Roberto Petito.

The Italian season will open with the Giro di Sicilia, January 30 to February 1. The GP Etruschi in Donoratico is the unofficial start of the Italian season on February 7. (GB)

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