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Gran Piemonte – or the Giro del Piemonte, as it used to be called – was a moveable feast for much of its early history before settling more definitively on an Autumn date in the 1970s. By the 1980s, it had moved to its familiar, pre-Tour of Lombardy slot as part of the Trittico d’Autunno with Milano-Torino.

The route of Gran Piemonte has changed constantly over the years. Last year’s event, won by Egan Bernal, featured a summit finish at Oropa. This year’s race, meanwhile, is a hilly 187km trek through the rolling hills of the Langhe from Santo Stefano Belbo to Barolo.

The gruppo is rolling through the neutralised zone in Santo Stefano Belbo. They are due to reach kilometre zero at 13.55 local time. 

Santo Stefano Belbo is the birthplace of writer Cesare Pavese and the (unnamed) setting of his 1949 masterpiece The Moon and the Bonfires. The town is, like so many in this corner of the world, a wine-producing centre.