Varied 2013 Giro route tempts big guns
Giro d'Italia organisers balanced mountains with time trials for the 2013 race route unveiled on Sunday as they try to lure Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins.
The route features three time trials over 90km in total including one much awaited mountainous uphill effort, the 'cronoscalata', and two gruelling high mountain stages in a very demanding third week that should suit the pure climbers.
Team Sky head coach Shane Sutton has suggested Wiggins should focus on the Giro and the Tour of Spain this year so he can retire a winner of all three grand Tours and the Olympic time trial gold medallist could be tempted to ride the Giro.
The race should also suit the abilities of five-times grand Tour winner Alberto Contador, who won in Spain earlier this month after coming back from a doping ban, though he is likely to skip the Italian event to focus on the Tour de France.
The first effort against the clock will be a team time trial on the island of Ischia in the second stage, then a 55.5-km individual time trial in the eighth stage.
The 2013 Giro is likely to be decided in the final week in the uphill time trial 18th stage plus the 19th and 20th stages before the final day, not ending in Milan as usual but in Brescia at the conclusion of a flat ride.
It will be followed by another climbing finish at top of the Val Martello and yet another one up the much feared Tre Cime Lavaredo.
The route for the 2013 Tour de France will be unveiled on October 24 and is expected to heavily favour pure climbers.