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Fans in Belfast came out in droves to see the Giro d'Italia.
24km team time trial planned for opening stage
After its successful Irish excursion this year, the Giro’s Grande Partenza is set to return to home roads in 2015. According to Secolo XIX, the race will begin on May 9 with a 24km team time trial on Sanremo’s seafront cycling path.
The following day’s opening road stage is slated to finish in Genoa, while the finale of stage 3 is touted to be in the Tigullio area, which last featured on the route in 2012, when Lars Bak won into Sestri Levante.
While the Sanremo start has yet to be officially confirmed by Giro organiser RCS Sport, talks with representatives from the Liguria region and Area 24 – the Sanremo cycle path’s management company – are reported to be ongoing.
The total cost to the region for holding the Giro start in Liguria is estimated at around €1 million, which is significantly less than what was reportedly spent – approximately €6 million – on bringing the Giro to Belfast this year.
Sanremo last held the Giro start in 1987, when Roberto Visentini won the prologue time trial. The following day was a split stage, with Erik Breukink taking the short road leg in the morning, while Stephen Roche won a novel stage 2b – an 8km downhill time trial off the Poggio.
Sanremo has hosted Giro stage finishes on eleven occasions in total. Pietro Caucchioli was the last winner there in 2001, although his victory was overshadowed by police raids on team hotels that evening, and the peloton's cancellation of the following day's stage in protest.