The Giro della Provincia di Grosseto is back for its second year with a three-stage race in the area of Italy where many teams hold their training camps. The race, won in 2008 by Filippo Pozzato, runs from February 13 to 15.
"This event represents a great opportunity to know the beautiful nature and culture of Maremma," said the Mayor of Grosseto. Maremma is the area of southern Tuscany and Northern Lazio, including the province of Grosseto.
Stage one is 178.1 kilometres with its start and end in Grosseto. It will take in the 500-metre climb of Scansano, which will feature in the 2009 Giro d'Italia.
Stage two starts in Santa Fiora and finishes in Orbetello after 212.6 kilometres of racing. It consists of two passes of the 600-metre long Panoramica Monte Argentario, which has sections of 10- to 12-percent gradient.
Stage three, 145.8 kilometres from Castiglione della Pescaia to Massa Marittima, is the hardest of the three. The four 235-metre climbs of Massa Marittima will explode the peloton and decide the classification on the final ascent to the line.
The 2008 race consisted of three stages, but only two were held. The race jury annulled the second stage after a protest by the riders, who claimed the final kilometres too unsafe. The peloton approached the final kilometre together and did not contest the sprint.
(Additional editorial assistance by Susan Westemeyer and Antonio J. Salmerón)