Giro d’Italia officials have unveiled a balanced route for next year’s race, which they believe will allow cyclists to compete in the Tour de France as well as the Italian classic.
The 2015 Giro will take the riders from San Remo to Milan, via central Italy, the Dolomites and the Alps over a total of 3481.8 kilometres from May 9-31.
Organisers on Monday revealed the 21-stage route, which includes five days in the high mountains and seven medium mountain stages.
There are also seven legs for sprinters, an individual time trial and a team one.
There are two rest days and relatively short transfer distances, which organisers hope will convince many of the big-name Grand Tour contenders to join Alberto Contador in riding both the Giro and Tour in 2015.
“Looking at the recovery time, I think it’s possible to do the double,” race director Mauro Vegni said.
“It’s a hard Giro but it’s a very balanced one. The climbs are spread out and there are very few transfers. It’s the lowest amount of transfers we’ve had in 20 years, down to 800 kilometres or so.
“The ideal would be to race both the Giro and the Tour as similar to a two-legged football match and then the Vuelta as a one-off.”
Contador announced last month that he would compete in both the Giro and the Tour next year, as he aims to become the first rider to win both races in the same year since Marco Pantani achieved that feat in 1998.
The Spaniard was at the unveiling of the route at Milan’s Palazzo del Ghiaccio.
“I like this course, it’s suited to my characteristics as an aggressive rider,” he said.
“This Giro is very tough, with a lot of climbs, but the factor that makes it different to the Tour or the Vuelta is the weather, often it can be cold or snowy in Italy at that time of year.”