The route of the 2015 Giro d’Italia was unveiled in Milan on Monday afternoon, with race director Mauro Vegni describing the course as a balanced one and highlighting RCS Sport’s ongoing commitment to cut down on transfers between stages.
As usual, the Giro features a generous smattering of summit finishes – there are six in total, including three in the final week – but the most striking feature of the 2015 corsa rosa is perhaps the length of the lone individual time trial, a tough 59.2km test from Treviso to Valdobbiadene.
2014 winner Nairo Quintana and Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali were both unable to attend, but the Alberto Contador – who plans to tackle the Giro-Tour double next year – led an all-star cast at the presentation in Milan’s Palazzo del Ghiaccio.
Although the retiring Cadel Evans will not be on the start in Sanremo next year, he was also on hand, and the Australian received a special presentation from Gazzetta dello Sport editor Andrea Monti for his contribution to the sport.
Giro d'Italia 2015 - the reactions
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo): “I like this course, it’s suited to my characteristics as an aggressive rider. This Giro is very tough, with a lot of climbs, but the factor that makes it different to the Tour or the Vuelta is the weather, often it can be cold or snowy in Italy at that time of year. With the time trial, maybe the course would suit Chris Froome most of all, but you never know because a race in May is different to a race in July.”
Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep): “The pink bow tie? It’s for the Giro but also because October is breast cancer awareness month. The time trial might be good for me. I certainly went well in the TT this year at the Giro and at the Vuelta too but a three-week race is usually won by the best climber. The team time trial is certainly a good way to start for our team, we’re normally good in the discipline. This Giro is hard but I like it.”
Ivan Basso, who will ride with Contador at Tinkoff-Saxo in 2015: “The Giro is always beautiful to an Italian. As an Italian who’s won it twice, it’s just a big emotion to be at the Giro so my opinion is biased. But I’ve noted that Mauro Vegni is helping the riders’ efforts with the reduced transfers and we’re all very grateful for that.”
Fabio Aru (Astana): “It’s a very nice course, very hard, and with that long time trial, it’s for complete riders. In the end, cycling is becoming more and more for complete riders, so it’s good to have a mix of everything on the 2015 route, it will make it more beautiful. I like the Sestriere stage the most, as I know the climb well because I train there a lot.
“I’ve just finished 2014 and I’m already looking to 2015. I’ll try to get there in the best condition possible, but I ‘m not setting myself a fixed objective. There are a lot of good riders in my team, maybe I could even ride it with Vincenzo [Nibali], which would be great for Italian cycling. But nothing will be decided until we meet as a team in November.”
Brian Cookson, UCI president: “This is an absolutely fabulous route. It’s a very long time trial by modern standards and I think we’ll have a fantastic race.”
Mauro Vegni, Giro d’Italia race director: “It’s a hard Giro but it’s a very balanced one. The climbs are spread out and there are very few transfers. It’s the lowest amount of transfers we’ve had in 20 years, down to 800 kilometres or so.
“The time trial is long but there’s a total of 40,000 metres of climbing in the race, which 2011 apart is the most we’ve had in the contemporary era. There’s a tough final week in the mountains after the time trial as well.
“I absolutely think Contador can do the Giro-Tour double. The recovery time during this Giro could help too, and I’d love if more riders had the same idea to do all the grand tours.”
Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep): “I don’t know if I’ll ride the Giro, we’re having a meeting at the end of October to decide our racing programme for 2015. I have very good memories of the Giro I rode in 2012. It was my first grand tour and I suffered a lot but it helped to make me as a rider and it would be nice to come back. I think it’s the toughest stage race. The team time trial is my favourite stage on the 2015 course, it’s always a fantastic feeling to win as a team.”
Nacer Bouhanni, who joins Cofidis in 2015: “I’ve changed team, I’ll be at Cofidis next year and we’ll be relying on a wildcard invitation to get in, but hopefully we get there. I see a few chances for sprinters in there.”