MILAN (VN) — The Giro d’Italia organizer recently announced the first three stages of the 2015 edition, but it still has a lot on its plate including possible visits to the Abetone, Mortirolo, and Finestre climbs along with a finish near its headquarters in Milan.
The coastal region of Liguria in Italy’s northwest will host the Grand Départ of the 98th edition May 9-31. RCS Sport already named the first three stages — with finishes in Sanremo, Genova, and La Spezia — and on August 4, the Liguria region gave the green light to a $2.66 million investment host the start.
The path of the 2015 Corsa Rosa remains a mystery after the May 11 finish in La Spezia, but details are slowly making their way to the surface.
An idea would be to take the Giro to Sicily to honor Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), who won the Tour de France in July and grew up in Messina, but logistically that may be too far. Traveling to Italy’s big islands of Sicily and Sardinia costs money and may not happen until the race celebrates 100 editions in 2017.
The Giro instead could skirt down the coast from Liguria to Tuscany where Nibali, from the age of 16, developed into a star. Stage 4 could climb Abetone and stage 5 could start in Montecatini Terme, just 18 kilometers down the road from where Nibali lived for 12 years. It would be a big return to Tuscany, which the Giro skipped last spring, as the 12km Abetone climb would serve up the first summit finish.
Though not making the trip to Sicily, the Giro is expected to travel through the Lazio and Campania regions before heading north along the Adriatic side via Molise and Le Marche. After a possible visit in Emilia Romagna, the race could then dip in and out of the Alps in the north going east to west.
Local press in Veneto suggested city officials are asking for a stage to mark 100 years since World War I and are leaning toward a time trial from Belluno to Feltre. The Giro would surely visit the high passes that helped small Colombian climber Nairo Quintana (Movistar) win this year’s race. Though not all the passes are known yet, Giornale di Sondrio wrote that the race would climb the Mortirolo that averages 10.4 percent and the Gavia Pass at 2,621 meters above sea level.
Not to forget the region that brought the Giro the Barolo time trial stage punctuated with its red wine hills, the race should return to Piedmont for the last weekend of the race, May 30 and 31. The final mountain stage, like in 2011, could climb the gravel roads of the Colle delle Finestre (2,178m) and finish in Sestriere.
Turin was due to host the final stage, but La Stampa reported it could not come up with $1.33 million that is required. Instead, Turin could host the stage 21 start and Milan could have the honor of hosting the finish and winner’s party as Trieste did this year. The arrival will tie in well with the world fair, or Expo Milano 2015.
Of course, RCS Sport will only confirm this and every stage after La Spezia at the route presentation October 6 in Milan.