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2011 Giro to include Mount Etna

2010 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo)

2010 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Although the official presentation of the 2011 Giro d'Italia route will be taking place on Saturday, a few details have been leaked by the Gazzetta dello Sport prior to event. Having already made public that next year's Giro will return to the Zoncolan climb, the Italian newspaper owned by race organiser RCS Sport revealed the inclusion on Mount Etna on the route.

As Europe's largest active volcano, Etna on the southern Italian island of Sicily, will be be climbed twice. Stage nine, scheduled for May 15, foresees a first climb of 17 kilometres up the northern side from Linguaglossa to Lenza at 1,631 metres, before a mountain top finish up the southern side, from Nicolesi to Rifugio Sapienza over 19 kilometres, will determine a winner. The total length of the stage starting in Sicily's largest city Messina will be 159 kilometres.

The Giro paid its last visit to the Sicilian volcano in 1989, after only one other appearance in 1967.

Next year's race will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, starting on Saturday, May 7 in Turin with a team time trial and ending with an individual time trial to Milan on May 29.