Thousands of fans packed Heroes Plaza in Budapest for the Giro d'Italia's opening ceremony and teams presentation on Wednesday, ahead of the opening three days in Hungary. The Grande Partenza on Friday, May 6 will be held in Budapest and three full weeks later ends May 29 on home soil in Verona.
A total of 22 teams will take part in the 105th edition of the Giro d'Italia, called "the toughest race in the most beautiful place" by the presentation hosts, and Wednesday's festivities allowed fans to preview the 176 riders vying for the maglia rosa.
Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) took the overall title at the 2021 Giro with Italian Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) in second and Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) in third after three weeks of racing.
The 2022 course for the Giro d'Italia covers 3,410.3 kilometres with a total of 51,000 metres of climbing. There will be just two time trials, on stage 2 in Budapest and stage 21 in Verona, totalling 26.3km. After a travel day on May 9, the Giro will resume in Sicily and take riders from coastal city of Avola to the top of the Mount Etna to shake up the general classification. A mix of flat, hilly and mountain stages follow, the key days of climbing packed into the third and final week, including back-to-back mountain days on stages 16 and 17, then the final weekend in the Dolomites.
Three teams unveiled new jerseys for this year's Italian Grand Tour - Alpecin-Fenix, EF Education-EasyPost and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. The new kit for the Belgium-registered WorldTour team, Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux, includes branding for its new Sicilian winery partner Vini Zabù. Alpecin-Fenix changed from dark blue to 'verde comodoro' for its Giro look, while US-based EF Education donned new kits for a third year.
Several Hungarian riders received large roars from the crowd, including Intermarché's Barnabas Peak and Attila Valter of Groupama-FDJ, who had the crowd erupt into applause by saying in English, "The Giro is the best thing in the world."
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