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Giro 2017 offers a Froome-friendly course

MILAN (VN) — The cycling world, including three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Sky), likes the look of the 100th edition Giro d’Italia after the 2017 route was announced Tuesday.

Froome posted his appreciation of the 2017 Giro, which will run May 5-28, via Twitter without prompt:

Organizer RCS Sport revealed the official version of the route Tuesday afternoon in Milan.

Froome has left the door open to a possible Giro d’Italia start after he finished second in the Vuelta a España last month. If he decides to start, it would be the first time back to the Giro since 2010, and it would add to what will already be a special edition of the Giro.

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The Italian grand tour celebrates its 100th anniversary since it first set sail from Piazzale Loretto in 1909. The riders in the 2017 edition will find a balanced route of five summit finishes and more time trial kilometers than what the Tour de France is offering next year.

Confirming the leak to various local newspapers, the Giro will include a 39.2km time trial through Umbria’s Sagrantino wine zone and another 28km stage to the door of Milan’s famous Duomo cathedral on the final day. It adds up to 67.2km, more than the Tour with 36km, and is music to the ears of time trial-strong general classification riders like Froome (Sky) and Tom Dumoulin (Giant – Alpecin).

The 2017 Corsa Rosa will pack two summit finishes into the first nine days of racing, with one to Mount Etna in stage 4 and another one on stage 9 ahead of the second rest day to Blockhaus. The other summit finishes include Oropa Sanctuary, Ortisei, and Piancavallo in the Giro’s back end.

For the first time since 1961, the Giro visits both Italy’s big islands of Sardinia and Sicily. It starts with three road stages on Sardinia and then travels from Cagliari to Palermo for two stages in Sicily. Stage five ends in Messina, home of this year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali. Nibali, who next year will ride for Bahrain – Merida, and Astana’s Fabio Aru, who hails from Sardinia, are both expected to race.

The 100th edition visits all but four of Italy’s 21 regions in its push from the toe of the south to the Alpine passes in the north. It is almost entirely “Made in Italy,” expect for a 15km detour into Switzerland for the Stelvio stage.

Two “tappone,” or big mountain stages, mark the 100th edition. After the third rest day in Bergamo, the race will climb the Mortirolo pass and the Stelvio twice, once from each side. Race director Mauro Vegni threw in a twist: instead finishing stage 16 on Europe’s high pass at 2,758 meters, the riders will dart down to the Bormio ski village.

Two days later, the race climbs four passes in the Dolomites — the Pordoi, Valparola, Gardena, and Pinei — before finishing with a climb to Ortisei. This year, Esteban Chaves (Orica – BikeExchange) won the big Dolomite day and nearly took the overall victory by doing so.

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The race will finish at the Piancavallo ski resort the next day and travel over Monte Grappa to Asiago on Saturday. On Sunday, the race will be decided with a time trial from Monza’s Formula One track to the Duomo in Milan.

Froome already shared his love of RCS Sport’s work. If Luigi Ganna, the Giro’s first winner in 1909, could tweet from cycling heaven, then he too would surely approve of the 100th edition.

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