Sunday 16 October 2011

Giro d'Italia 2012 Stages revealed

Following widespread complaints that last year's race was excessively difficult - and, of course, the terrible and tragic death of Wouter Weylandt, to whom Stage 3 will be dedicated - the 2012 course reveals a considerably more human route; not necessarily easier, but one that will encourage skillful cycling and competition rather than a gritty battle for survival among the hardcore mountain specialists.

Early reports based on leaked maps suggested that this was a parcours ideally suited to new World Champion Mark Cavendish who will be riding with Team Sky for the first time next season. That may be partially true - there are a number of stages upon which barring accident or illness, it's very difficult to imagine anyone other than Cav managing to get themselves across the line first. However, it's categorically not a flat race with many of the Giro' - and cycling's - most hallowed mountains putting in an appearance. Stages 17 and 20 are perhaps the most challenging, with ascents of the Passo Giau and an Alpe di Pampeago finishline in the case of the former and the infamous Passo de Stelvio at the end of the former, an arrangement seemingly intended to keep the final General Classification nicely uncertain right up until the last minute and thus avoid a repeat of 2011 when it became apparent early on in the race that Alberto Contador was going to win.

Stage 1 (Herning - Herning ITT, 8.7 km)

Herning - Herning (Denmark), 206 km
Horsens - Horsens (Denmark), 190 km

Verona - Verona TTT, 32.2 km
Modena - Fano, 199 km
Urbino - Porto Sant'Elpidio, 207 km
Recanati - Rocca di Cambio, 202 km
Sulmona - Lago Laceno, 229 km
San Giorgio nel Sannio - Frosinone, 171 km
Civitavecchia - Assisi, 187 km
Assisi - Montecatini Terme, 243 km
Seravezza - Sestri Levante, 157 km
Savona - Cervere, 121 km
Cherasco - Cervinia, 205 km
Busto Arsizio - Lecco/Pian dei Resinelli, 172 km

Limone sul Garda - Falzes/Pfalzen, 174 km
Falzes/Pfalzen - Cortina d'Ampezzo, 187 km
San Vito di Cadore - Vedelago, 139 km
Treviso - Alpe di Pampeago, 197km
Caldes/Val di Sole - Passo dello Stelvio, 218 km
Milan - Milan ITT, 31.5 km
Total: 3476.4km

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