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While the cycling world waits for clarity on the future of the real Giro d’Italia, organizers have a plan in place to bring some big names together with amateurs (virtually, that is) for a seven-stage event that will run over the course of a few weeks starting on Saturday.
The Giro d’Italia Virtual will join stars of the current peloton with past Italian cycling icons and amateurs from all over to race the finales of select stages of this year’s Giro from the comfort of the (interactive smart) trainers, via GPX files from Garmin Connect uploaded to their bike computers.
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Elia Viviani (Cofidis), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), and Trek-Segafredo’s Lizzie Deignan and Elisa Longo Borghini are a handful of the current stars set to participate, with Ivan Basso, Alessandro Ballan, Claudio Chiappucci, and Andrea Tafi among the veterans slated to start in the “Legends” race.
The event will kick off with the final stretch of the 10th stage of the Giro, with racing starting on Saturday, April 18, and staying open until Tuesday, April 21. From there, riders will take on stages 12, 16, 17, 18, 20, and 21, with the event concluding on May 10.
The pro men and women will compete for team classification titles, with Astana, Bahrain-McLaren, Movistar, Jumbo-Visma, Bardiani CSF, and an Italian national squad contesting the men’s event and Trek-Segafredo, Movistar, Astana, and an Italian national squad in the mix for the women’s event. Amateurs, meanwhile, will race for individual general classification honors on both the men’s and women’s side.
A fundraiser to support the Italian Red Cross is being run in conjunction with the event with the aim of helping the organization “continue working at the front line of the Covid-19 emergency, offering first responder aid, virus screening and psychological and logistical support, amongst other vitally important activities in the fight against the epidemic.”