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ROME — The 95th Giro d’Italia will start with three days’ worth of racing in Denmark, race organizers announced Sunday in Milan.
The race will cover 3,476km over 21 stages from May 5-27, finishing in Milan with a 31.5km individual time trial.
Defending champion Alberto Contador and world champion Mark Cavendish were in attendance.
Contador, who will be skipping his title defense, to concentrate on the Tour de France, said the 2012 Giro route seems less difficult than the 2011 edition and called the mountainous third week “most crucial.”
The race will start in Herning for the first two stages before moving to Hersens for the third. That will be followed by the first rest day as the riders and teams transfer to Italy.
The route will include three races against the clock, including the opening 8.7km individual time trial and a 32.2km team time trial on the fourth stage, the first one in Italy.
The longest stage of the race is the 11th, held over 243km from Assisi to Montecatini Terme, a stage that should favor one-day-classics specialists.
Stages of the 2012 Giro d’Italia
Stage 1, May 5: Herning (Denmark), Herning (8.7km, time trial)
Stage 2, May 6: Herning, Herning (206km)
Stage 3, May 7: Horsens (Denmark), Horsens (190km)
Rest day, May 8
Stage 4, May 9: Verona, Verona (32.2km team time trial)
Stage 5, May 10: Modena, Fano (199km)
Stage 6, May 11: Urbino, Porto Sant’Elpidio (207km)
Stage 7, May 12: Recanati, Rocca di Cambio (202km)
Stage 8, May 13: Sulmona, Lago Laceno (229km)
Stage 9, May 14: San Giorgio del Sannio, Frosinone (171km)
Stage 10, May 15: Civitavecchia, Assisi (187km)
Stage 11, May 16: Assisi, Montecatini Terme (243km)
Stage 12, May 17: Seravezza, Sestri Levante (157km)
Stage 13, May 18: Savona, Cervere (121km)
Stage 14, May 19: Cherasco, Cervinia (205km)
Stage 15, May 20: Busto Arsizio, Lecco/Pian dei Resinelli (172km)
Rest day, May 21
Stage 16, May 22: Limone sul Garda, Falzes (174km)
Stage 17, May 23: Falzes, Cortina d’Ampezzo (187km)
Stage 18, May 24: San Vito di Cadore, Vedelago (139km)
Stage 19, May 25: Treviso, Alpe di Pampeago (197km)
Stage 20, May 26: Caldes/Val di Sole, Passo dello Stelvio (218km)
Stage 21, May 27: Milan, Milan (31.5km time trial)