Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia confirms Sicilian start

Director Mauro Vegni said a new hilltop finale could be added in second week.

Giro d’Italia officials confirmed Friday that the 2020 edition will start in Sicily following the forced cancelation of the planned start with three stages in Hungary.

Originally planned to 0pen in Budapest, coronavirus travel restrictions forced the Italian grand tour to reconfigure its calendar and route. The rescheduled stages will be spread along a redesigned, all-Italy route that will see some minor tweaks.

Speaking to Italian outlet RaiSport, Giro director Mauro Vegni confirmed a Sicilian grande partenza as, “the most logical start in maintaining the original route. The three stages will be placed in the route, one in Sicily, another one probably in Basilicata not far from Matera, and a third will be an uphill finale, probably in the second week.”

The statements came after a meeting between RCS Sport and Italian government authorities. Race officials outlined mitigation steps it plans to introduce in conjunction with the return of racing. Italy was one of the hardest hit areas in Europe by the coronavirus, but conditions have improved dramatically over the past several weeks. The WorldTour calendar resumes August 1  with Strade Bianche in Italy’s Tuscany region as the first event since WorldTour racing shut down in March.

Officials also confirmed the corsa rosa will be raced in its entirety, and will not be raced “behind closed doors.” Spectators and press will be permitted to attend, however, details surrounding health and safety compliance are still being finalized.

Earlier in June, the Italian website Tuttobiciweb reported a likely start in the Sicilian capital of Palermo, with a possible individual time trial on stage one.

The 2020 Giro is on the calendar for October 3-25, including the two planned rest days.