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Naples to host the opening stage of the 2013 Giro

PARIS (AFP) — The 2013 edition of the Giro d’Italia will depart from Naples on May 4 of next year, RCS Sport announced Monday.

It has been 50 years since the city has hosted the opening stage of the Giro, despite being the city that has hosted the third most stages of the race, with 41 finishes and 35 starts, behind Milan and Rome.

The start and finish have been decided, but the final route is up in the air. The stage will depart from the Piazza Vittoria and finish along the Neapolitan coast on the Lungomare Caracciolo. “We still have to finalize the route, and for that reason we can’t yet announce if the first stage will be a road race or a time trial,” director of RCS Sport Michele Acquarone told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It is a very important event for Naples, which is working on reconstructing its image, partly through sport,” said the mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris.

“Naples will prove that it is a city worthy of hosting major sporting events,” he continued. “You will see that Naples will not disappoint.”

The director of the Gazzetta dello Sport, Andrea Monti believes that the city will be a great host. “In Naples and in all of southern Italy, there is a great passion for cycling, a fact that we rediscover each time the Giro finishes there,” he said.

Needless to say, the city’s representitives are delighted to host the first stage finish since 1996, when Mario Cipollini outsprinted Fabrizio Guidi and Giovanni Lombardi, and hope it will provide equal drama the coming year.

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