2011 Giro d'Italia celebrates Italian unity

The 2011 Giro d'Italia will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, with organisers confirming that the race will start in Turin with a team time trial on May 7 and end in Milan on May 29 with an individual time trial.

Turin has been chosen to host the start of the Giro d'Italia because the city was the first capital of the unified country. The opening stage will be a 22km team time trial around the city centre.

The race will return to Milan for its finale with a short individual time trial of so far unspecified length after recent Giro finishes in Rome and Verona. Although Milan is not the capital of Italy, it is home of the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper and its parent company RCS Sport, that organises the race, and has traditionally hosted the final stage. Relations with local authorities have been difficult and race director Angelo Zomegnan opted to go elsewhere until Milan decided it had to host the finish of the race in style.

"The return of the Giro d’Italia to Milan is good news for sport, cycling enthusiasts and for everyone in Milan," the Mayor of Milan Letizia Moratti said after being given a symbolic maglia rosa by Zomegnan.

"The 2011 edition of the Giro will return to its roots and the race will end in our city on May 29. It will be an issue of great symbolic value, in the year of 150th anniversary celebrations of the unification of Italy."

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