By Tim Maloney, European Editor
With former Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Angelo Zomegnan now running the show at the cycling division of RCS Sport, the Giro d'Italia organizers have made some smart new changes to their race program for the 2005 season, pending approval by the Italian Cycling Federation and the UCI. These simple changes will better focus and make the RCS Sport cycling program more rational for 2005.
First off, the presentation for the 2005 Giro d'Italia has moved to accommodate live TV from Thursday January 20 to Saturday, January 22. Cyclingnews will be there with all the up to the minute coverage on the Giro. As for the racing calendar, the 60th edition of the Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria will happen earlier this year; it will moved forward one week from Saturday, March 5 to Saturday, February 26. Then, at least for 2005, Sicilian race Trofeo Pantalica slated for March 6 will be suspended and will not be linked to the Giro dell'Etna as originally planned. Instead, RCS Sport will put off the race for one year and will re-launch Pantalica as part of some new tourism initiatives under development with the Region of Sicily in 2006.
One of the oldest races on the calendar, Milano-Torino (in its 90th edition this year) will move from its previous fall date in October to Saturday, March 5 to start the grande sprint towards the 96th edition of Milano-Sanremo on Saturday, March 19, 2005. No word yet if the semi-classic will still maintain its cool finale on the velodrome in Torino. The former four stage race, Giro della Provincia di Lucca, originally slated for February 22-25 will now move to Monday, March 7 and have a one day race format. Then, right after Lucca, its the 40th edition of Tirreno-Adriatico, which starts Wednesday, March 9 as originally planned and runs through Tuesday, March 15, just four days before Milano-Sanremo.