As ever, the Giro d'Italia will feature a hefty helping of mountain passes in 2015, but the route put together by RCS Sport promises to be a finely-balanced one, as it also boasts a lengthy time trial that may stoke the interest of a number of fresh contenders, including Chris Froome (Sky).
The first man to throw his hat into the ring for the Giro was Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), who announced his participation in September even before the route was presented. Winner in 2008 (he was also stripped of his title in 2011), Contador knows what to expect from the corsa rosa but in this inCycle video, he talks about some of the features unique to the 2015 edition.
"I think that the 2015 course is a little bit different because there are a lot of mountains but not a lot of stages with finishes on the climbs," Contador said. "The other thing that is different is that the time trial is very long."
Indeed, the 59.km test from Treviso to Valdobbiadene on stage 14 is the lone individual time trial on the course but it promises to be one of the key rendezvous of the entire race. Coming at the end of the second week, it's a final opportunity for the rouleurs to put their stamp on the race before the mountainous denouement in the Alps.
"I like the time trial. It's very long at 60km but it's something I've improved in this year," said Rigoberto Uran, an impressive winner of the Barolo time trial this year en route to second place overall. "Obviously things could play out differently but I think the time trial will be crucial."
Watch our latest inCycle video to hear more from Contador, Uran, Fabio Aru (Astana) and race director Mauro Vegni on the 2015 Giro route.
Click here to subscribe to our video channel.