The route of the 2019 Giro d'Italia was unveiled on Wednesday, and with its mixture of five summit finishes and three individual time trial stages, next year's race will be one to be won by a rider who has the perfect combination of climbing legs and power against the clock.
Starting in Bologna on May 11 with a hilly time trial that will reveal early on who the most likely contenders are for the three weeks to come, it's an opening week best suited to the sprinters.
But as soon as stage 9, the time trial specialists – and those overall contenders – will be at it again with a 34.7km time trial that takes the riders from the flat terrain around the start in Riccione on the Adriatic coast to a summit finish in San Marino, with the climb rearing up from halfway through the stage.
If the pecking order hasn't been decided by that point, the next two weeks in the mountains will certainly reveal the winner.
On stage 16, starting in Lovere, the Italian Alps' legendary climbs of the Passo Gavia and the Passo del Mortirolo feature on what will be a key stage, with an uphill finish in Ponte di Legno after 226 kilometres of racing.
Stage 20 is another major day of climbing over 193 kilometres, with three major climbs to tackle before a mountain-top finish on the famous Croce d'Aune – where Tullio Campagnolo famously came up with his idea for the quick-release wheel back in 1927 – in Monte Avena.
The grand finale in Verona finishes in the same way the race kicked off three weeks before: with another individual time trial, this time on the flatter side, over 15.6km, which will be decisive if the top of the overall classification is still close.
Check out all the stages in the video of the 2019 Giro d'Italia route above.
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