Organisers of the Giro d’Italia have unveiled a 2013 route with more than 90km of time trials in a bid to lure Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins to the race.
Seven summit finishes are countered by three efforts against the clock: a 17.4km team time trial on stage two, a 55.5km individual time trial on stage eight and a 19.4km mountain time trial on stage 18.
“Our guiding line is that the great champions must be respected, and every champion must be given space to express himself. I think that we’ve put together a very balanced route,” said race director Michele Acquarone.
Team Sky head coach Shane Sutton last week said Wiggins should, having become the first Briton to win the Tour de France, turn his attention to the Giro and Vuelta a Espana in 2013.
The 100th edition of the Tour de France is expected to be dominated by mountains and, with team-mate Chris Froome the stronger climber, Wiggins, who won both individual time trials en-route to victory in this year’s Tour, could be tempted to miss the race to concentrate on the Giro.
The 96th edition of the Giro d’Italia will cover 3,405km, starting in Naples on Saturday May 4 and finishing on Sunday May 26 in Brescia.
The race is likely to be decided in the final week, with the route heading into France on stage 15 for a summit finish atop the Col du Galibier in the Alps.
The route then winds its way into the Dolomites, with a hat-trick of demanding mountain stages: an uphill time trial on stage 18, followed by a short 138km stage which will tackle the Passo dello Stelvio, Passo di Gavia and the climb to Val Martello, while the penultimate stage will see the Giro return to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, a climb which featured regularly during Eddy Merckx’s reign.