Giro d'Italia 2015: 10 Day Countdown starts here

With just 10 days until the start of the 2015 Giro d’Italia Cyclingnews has launched its countdown to the first Grand Tour of the season.

The race promises to be a mouthwatering showdown between Richie Porte, Fabio Aru, Rigoberto Uran and Alberto Contador, who is taking on the mammoth challenge of the Giro and Tour de France double.

Over the next 10 days Cyclingnews will count down to the 2015 Giro d’Italia with up to the minute news, special race and stage previews, exclusive interviews, special photo galleries and videos, pre-race analysis and live press conference coverage.

During the race Cyclingnews will provide live coverage of every stage as well as expert opinions. There will be complete coverage with race reports, stunning photography, video interviews and news from our European editors Stephen Farrand, Barry Ryan and Alasdair Fotheringham, who will be at every stage.

And what better way to start the countdown than with an exclusive interview with the pre-race favourite, Alberto Contador. The Spaniard has revealed that he has recovered from an injury sustained in last month’s Tour of Catalunya and that after a block of training at altitude he is ready to embark on his grandest challenge yet.

The course

The race itself starts with a team time trial of 17.6 kilometres before a number of testing stages within the first week to Sestri Levante (stage 3), and Abetone (stage 5).

The sprinters will certainly have their chance to shine with Michael Matthews, André Greipel and Tom Boonen among those who could vie for victories. The Australian, his teammate Simon Gerrans and Philippe Gilbert could also be in the hunt for the maglia rosa before the first real show down between the GC contenders during the stage 14 time trial.

The 59.2 kilometre test between Treviso and Valdobbiadene will be pivotal in the overall outcome of the race and will suit Uran and Contador as they look to distance the pure climbers ahead of two difficult days in the Dolomites.

Stages 18, 19, and 20 – the latter two including summit finishes at Cervinia and Sestriere – form the centrepiece of the final week and the final battlegrounds for the overall contenders, before the final sprint stage into Milan on May 31.

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