Giro d'Italia
Vincenzo Nibali and Ryder Hesjedal are confirmed...

2013 Giro d’Italia heavy on time trials, features Gavia, Stelvio

Organizers hope to lure Bradley Wiggins, who may find the 2013 Tour de France too mountainous for his tastes

MILAN (AFP) — Giro d’Italia organizers on Sunday unveiled a time-trial-heavy race route for 2013 that they hope will entice Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins into challenging for the race’s pink jersey.

Wiggins became Britain’s first Tour champion in July thanks to a combination of his Sky team controlling rivals in the mountain stages and Wiggins’ victories in the race’s two long time trials.

The Briton, who went on to claim Olympic time-trial gold in London, is uncertain to defend his title in 2013 because next year’s Tour is set to be a far more mountainous affair.

Observers suggest that should this be the case, the Tour could be better suited to teammate Chris Froome, who looked far more at ease in the mountain stages of the July epic than did Wiggins.

The 2013 Giro d’Italia includes nearly 75km of time trials in a total race distance of 3400km. It will start in Naples on May 4 and finish in Brescia on May 26. In addition to the two individual time trials, one of which will be uphill, the race will feature a team time trial on the island of Ischia on stage 2.

The 2013 Giro will also feature a stage in France, where the peloton will tackle the legendary Galibier from its northern side. And on the penultimate stage the peloton will tackle the climb to the Trois Cimes du Lavaredo, one of the race’s mythical ascensions, which featured regularly in the 1960s and ’70s when Eddy Merckx was in his prime.

That stage comes a day after another high mountain stage on which the peloton will tackle the Gavia and Stelvio mountain passes.

The sprinters have not been left out of consideration, with seven stages on which the fast men of the peloton can aim for glory.

As far as designing the route, race director Michele Acquarone would only say: “We’ve gone out there and consulted everyone, from the public right through to former race champions.”

But it is an open secret that Acquarone, who had defending champion Ryder Hesjedal, Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador and sprint king Mark Cavendish in attendance Sunday, wants Wiggins to come and race for overall victory.

The Giro is considered the most prestigious grand tour after the Tour de France.

Editor’s note: Stay tuned for more from the 2013 Giro presentation.

Stages of the 2013 Giro d’Italia

May 4, Stage 1 — Naples to Naples, 156km
May 5, Stage 2 — Iscia to Forio, 17.4km (team time trial)
May 6, Stage 3 — Sorrente to Marina di Ascea, 212km
May 7, Stage 4 — Policastro to Serra San Bruno, 244km
May 8, Stage 5 — Cosenza to Matera, 199km
May 9, Stage 6 — Mola di Bari to Margherita di Savoia, 154km
May 10, Stage 7 — San Salvio to Pescara, 162km
May 11, Stage 8 — Gabbicce Mare to Saltara, 55.5km (time trial)
May 12, Stage 9 — San Sepolcro to Florence, 181km
May 13, rest day
May 14, Stage 10 — Cordenons to Altopiano del Montasio, 167km
May 15, Stage 11 — Tarvisio to Vajont, 184km
May 16, Stage 12 — Longarone to Treviso, 127km
May 17, Stage 13 — Busseto to Cherasco, 242km
May 18, Stage 14 — Cervere to Bardonecchia, 156km
May 19, Stage 15 — Cesana Torinese to Col du Galibier (France), 150km
May 20, rest day
May 21, Stage 16 — Valloire (France) to Ivrea, 237km
May 22, Stage 17 — Caravaggio to Vicenza, 203km
May 23, Stage 18 — Mori to Polsa, 19.4km (uphill time trial)
May 24, Stage 19 — Ponte di Legno to Val Martello/Martelltal, 138km
May 25, Stage 20 — Silandro to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 202km
May 26, Stage 21 — Riese Pie X to Brescia, 199km