Giro visits Milan mid-race

Alessandro Petacchi (Milram)

Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) (Image credit: Sirotti)

The 2009 Giro d'Italia will visit Milan mid-race with a circuit based from Piazzale Loreto, according to Tuttosport. The race, in its 100th year, is due to start in Venice and expected to end in Rome, May 9 to 31, away from its customary end in the fashion capital.

Race organizer RCS Sport will present the official route of the 92nd Giro d'Italia on Saturday, in Venice. In October it announced that the three-week race will begin with a team time trial in Venice. Pundits predict it will end with an individual time trial in Rome.

The last time the Giro finished outside of Rome was in 1989, when Laurent Fignon won the overall in Firenze. The Italian paper speculates that the city could not miss out on the centenarian Giro since it hosted the start of the first stage of the race's first edition.

Piazzale Loreto saw the Giro get underway on May 13, 1909 – Milano to Bologna, nearly 397km. One-hundred years later, it will host the start and end of stage eight, Sunday, May 17. Circuits – passing Castello Sforzesco and Parco del Sempione – longer than the typical finishing day in Milan will make up the stage. The paper believes the following day will be the first of two rest days.

The 2009 Giro d'Italia will be one of the mostly hotly contested in years. Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong added his name to the list of starters in October. Other favorites will include Ivan Basso, Damiano Cunego, Gilberto Simoni, Danilo Di Luca and Carlos Sastre. (GB)

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Based in the southeastern United States, Peter produces race coverage for all disciplines, edits news and writes features. The New Jersey native has 30 years of road racing and cyclo-cross experience, starting in the early 1980s as a Junior in the days of toe clips and leather hairnets. Over the years he's had the good fortune to race throughout the United States and has competed in national championships for both road and 'cross in the Junior and Masters categories. The passion for cycling started young, as before he switched to the road Peter's mission in life was catching big air on his BMX bike.