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Giro d'Italia - 2008 Route & Presentation
By Fabio
Date: 12/2/2007
Giro d'Italia - 2008 Route & Presentation

Giro d'Italia - 2008 Route & Presentation
The Parcours of the 91rst Corsa Rosa. A beautiful and challenging course which should lead to an open and exciting race. From Palermo to Milan an epic spectacle that will select a worthy Victor.

The parcours for the 2008 Giro d'Italia was presented Saturday this week in Milano's Arcimboldi theatre. After Sardinia the past year, once again the teams & riders will step to the start line on one of the islands of Italy starting in Palermo, Sicily on May 10. The race will start with a team time trial and finish with an unusual individual time trial into Milano (sorry, AleJet!) on June 1 after 21 stages, and after covering a good 3424.8 kilometres.

The organisers have once again mapped out a challenging course with something for all the specialists whether a sprinter, time trialist or climber - that will test the riders, teams and machines - and entertain the fans in another spectacle of the sport.

2008 Giro d'Italia Map & Route
Courtesy La Gazzetta dello Sport

Time Trials:
For the first time since the 1988 edition, there will be no less than four stages of racing against the clock, with a total of 73.3 kilometres: the action starts on Saturday with the stage 1 Palermo team time trial of 28.5 km, followed by a 36km ride in stage 10 from Pesaro to Urbino and a 13.8 km mountain time trial to Plan de Corones in stage 16. This year the time trial specialists will battle for the final glory even in Milano, courtesy of a 23.5 kilometer test against the clock.

Climbing Stages:
As usual the Giro will have demanding list of climbs with five climbing stages with three summit finishes: Alpe di Pampeago (Val di Fiemme) in stage 14, Passo Fedaia (the Marmolada) in stage 15 and Monte Pora in stage 19. It could be overlooked that there are also 7 stages listed as medium stages with some significant climbs to overcome early in the stages where the sprinters and breakaway specialists will battle to be the first to the finish.

Even if the Tappone, the "Queen Stage" of the event, is arguably stage 15, with the poor guys in the saddle forced to go up and down the Dolomites basically from beginning to end, perhaps the most decisive stage in this 91st edition will be the penultimate stage 20 with the Cima Coppi - the legendary Passo di Gavia (2,618 meters)  followed by the beast Mortirolo (1,854 meters) and the Aprica (1,173 meters) before finishing in Tirano after 224 kilometers of racing. This stage could radically change the general classification if the leaders falter. It may also have an effect on the riders legs with the following and final ride being a 23.5-km time trial into Milan. After two days of back to back climbing stages who ever stands on the podium in Lombardy's main city will have earned the victory.

Sprinters Stages:
Sprinters and their leadout trains will have 5 flat stages that are clearly the turf of the fast finishing legs of the sprinter in the chase for the maglia ciclamino jersey of points leader The remaining 5 stages are mixed terrain, many of which will be a contest between the early breaks and stage hunters and the bunch led by the sprinters team hoping for a mass sprint. The longest leg of the Giro will be Stage 6 from the Lucania town of Potenza to Peschici, a test of 247 km.

The race goes abroad:
Forget about the past Giros d'Europa. No rides in (comparatively) distant places like Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany this time. Still, the Tour of Italy goes international also in the year 2008 of course; but the guys are not asked to bring a dictionary with them, for all "foreign" legs will be taking place on Italian-speaking soil. The first one is stage 11, with the tiny and ancient Republic of San Marino - a landlocked enclave whose hilly territory, completely sorrounded by Italy, will be crossed, and whose Monte Titano will be climbed, on May the 21st, during the 193 kilometer trip from Urbania to Cesena - stealing the show for some time.

One week later it will be the turn of the Italian-speaking side of Switzerland - the so-called Svizzera Italiana -, whose town of Locarno, situated on the north shore of Lago Maggiore, will be playing host to the finish of Stage 17. The very next day another city in the Land of the Swiss, Mendrisio, shall be entering the Tour of Italy books as starting place of the leg which will be finishing into Italy's own Varese (host town of the 2008 Worlds about four months later, by the way...) and giving all fast wheels still around their last opportunity to stamp their authority on the race (maybe), and any wannabe rainbow jersey winner a first chance to test (part of) the World Champs course.

2008 Giro d'Italia Stages

10 - Stage 1: Palermo, Sicily Team Time Trial  28.5
11 - Stage 2: Cefalu - Arigento 207 km
12 - Stage 3: Catania - Milazzo 208 km 
13 - Stage 4: Pizzo Calabro - Catanzaro - Lungomare 187

Courtesy La Gazzetta dello Sport

14 - Stage 5: Belvedere Marittimo - Contursi Terme 170 km
15 - Stage 6: Potenza - Peschici (Circuit of Gargano) 247 km
16 - Stage 7: Vasto - Pescocostanzo 179 km
17 - Stage 8: Rivisondoli - Tivoli 200 km
18 - Stage 9: Civitavecchia - San Vincenzo 194

19 Monday: 1rst Rest/Transfer Day

Courtesy La Gazzetta dello Sport

20 - Stage 10: Pessaro - Urbino  Individual Time Trial 36 km
21 - Stage 11: Urbania - Cesena 193 km
22 - Stage 12: Forli - Carpi 171 km
23 - Stage 13: Modena - Citadella 192 km
24 - Stage 14: Verona - Alpe di Pampeago/Val di Fiemme 195 km **
25 - Stage 15: Arabba - Passo Fedaia/Marmolada (Dolomiti Stars) 153 km **
26 -  Stage 16: San Vigilio di Marebbi - Plan de Corones ITT 13.8 km

27 Tuesday: 2nd Rest/Transfer Day

Courtesy La Gazzetta dello Sport

28 - Stage 17: Sondrio - Locarno 192 km
29 - Stage 18: Mendrisio - Varese 182 km
30 - Stage 19: Legnano - Presolana/Monte Pora 228 km**
31 - Stage 20: Rovetta - Tirano 224 km
June 1 Sunday:
Stage 21: Cesano Maderno - Milano ITT  23.5 km

Total Kilometers: 3,423.80
Climbing Stages Tappe di montagna - Mountain Top Finish**
Time Trial Tappe a cronometro
Mixed Terrain Tappe miste
Flat Stages Tappe pianeggianti

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