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by Dane Cash
July 25, 2020
Photography by RCS Sport
Giro d’Italia organizers have unveiled details of the newly redesigned start of this year’s race, which will open with four stages in Sicily after plans for a Grande Partenza in Hungary were scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 103rd edition of the race will see the Giro start in Sicily for the ninth time in its history.
As was the original plan for 2020, the Giro will still start with an individual time trial—but instead of getting underway in Budapest, racers will set off from Monreale, known for its stunning collection of medieval buildings in the Arab-Norman architecture style. Getting underway on October 3, stage 1 will take riders from the UNESCO World Heritage site some 16 kilometers into Palermo proper.
From there, the race will proceed with stages mirroring what would have been stages 4 through 6 before the start in Hungary was called off.
Stage 2 will spend some time along the coast, running around 150km from Alcamo to Agrigento, where a hilly finale awaits.
Stage 3 will see the Giro take on its first major mountain climb. After setting out from Enna in the center of the island, the peloton will take on a summit finish at Mount Etna.
The fourth stage will be the last day of the race in the Sicilian region, taking riders 138km from Catania to a sprinter-friendly finish at Villafranca near the northeastern tip of the island.
“Since 2019, with the Sicilian Region, we have been developing an important project to promote the region through cycling,” the RCS said in a statement. “It’s a communication path that started with the relaunch of the international race, Il Giro di Sicilia. Now we have the Grande Partenza from Monreale and three other stages that will show the beauty of Sicily to the world. It will therefore be a UNESCO World Heritage site to kick off a unique, all-Italian edition of the Giro d’Italia. It’s a fascinating and spectacular way to open the 103rd edition of the Corsa Rosa.”
The RCS is expected to reveal further details of the revised 2020 route in the days ahead.