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2021 Giro d’Italia will start with time trial in Torino

Confirmation of 'Big Start' comes a day after Ineos Grenadiers revealed Egan Bernal will race the Giro d'Italia.

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The Giro d’Italia could be book-ended with time trials in 2021.

While full details of this year’s will be revealed later this month, with a likely final-day time trial in Milano, Giro officials confirmed Thursday its “Big Start” will kick off in Torino with a 9km individual time trial.

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Officials also revealed details of stages 2 and 3, with the second stage ideal for sprinters, while the third stage provides enough vertical difficulty to perhaps set up some late attacks.

The choice of Torino coincides with the 160th anniversary of the unification of Italy.

“On the 160th anniversary of the unification of Italy, we could only choose Piedmont and Turin, the first Italian capital, for the ‘Big Start’ of the 104th Giro,” said Paolo Bellino, CEO and General Manager of RCS Sport.

The route announcement comes a day after Team Ineos confirmed that Egan Bernal will race the 104th Giro (May 8-30). Ineos Grenadiers boss Dave Brailsford confirmed the 2019 Tour de France winner will race the Giro for the first time, and that Tao Geoghegan Hart will not defend his title.

“Egan will focus on the Giro to start with,” said Brailsford, without ruling out a possible Tour start as well. [Bernal] spent time in Italy as a young rider, he was on an Italian team, he has strong connections in Italy and he really wants to compete for all three grand tours and not just fall into the trap of doing the Tour every year. I wouldn’t rule out Egan doubling up into the Tour, that’s very possible. But we’ll assess that one as we get closer.”

Other top names expected to start the Giro include Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), Brandon McNulty (UAE-Emirates), George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma), Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) and possibly Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step).

Following the “Grande Partenza,” the Piedmont region will return during the Giro’s final week in stage 19 with a summit finish at Alpe di Mera in Valsesia, followed by a departure from Verbania the next day.

‘Big Start’ for the 104th Giro d’Italia

Stage 1, Torino-Torino, 9km (ITT) — On what’s an “urban circuit” on the city streets of Torino, the course starts in Piazza Castello and loops along the Po River before heading down the Corso Casale and ending at Gran Madre at the foot of the Superga climb.

Stage 2, Stupinigi to Novara, 173m — A mostly flat stage along sections of the Po Valley to the finish in Novara, ideal for the fast finishers in the bunch.

Stage 3, Biella to Canale, 187km — One for the “finisseurs,” the course gets hilly at Asti, with a string of classified climbs to provide some terrain for some possible late-stage attacks.