2011 Giro to visit Finestre climb then Alpe d'Huez in 2012

giro d'italia 2011

While ASO announced next year's Tour de France route yesterday at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, details of future Giro d'Italia's emerged in Italy. The race will visit the white gravel roads of the Finestre climb next year and France's famous Alpe d'Huez climb in 2012.

The Colle delle Finestre will make only its second appearance in the Giro d'Italia, and its first since Paolo Savoldelli saved the overall victory from Gilberto Simoni's offensive in 2005.

Simoni wrestled the lead from Savoldelli up the 18.5-kilometre climb in Piedmont, made famous by its 45 switchbacks and 7.9 kilometres of gravel roads. However, he fell victim to cramps on the descent towards Sestriere and gained only 1'29" on Savoldelli. It was not enough and Savoldelli won the Giro d'Italia the next day in Milan by 28 seconds.

Giro d'Italia organiser RCS Sport is eager to have the Finestre back given the drama it produced in 2005. RCS Sport must have also considered the success of this year's stage to Montalcino, which raced over the white gravel roads of Siena. The roads turned a muddy brown and set the stage for a dramatic win by World Champion Cadel Evans.

The 2011 stage over the Colle delle Finestre will start in Verbania and cover 242 kilometres before arriving in Sestriere, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. As with 2005, it will be on May 28 and it will be the penultimate stage prior to the finish in Milan.

The race will also cover the Monte Zoncolan climb on May 22 according to information leaked last week. RCS Sport will announce the details of the Zoncolan, Finestre and the other stages of its three-week race at the route presentation next Saturday in Turin.

In 2012, France's famous Alpe d'Huez climb will appear in the Giro d'Italia route for the first time, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. It will mark 60 years since its first appearance in the Tour de France in 1952 when Italian Fausto Coppi won.

The 2012 Giro d'Italia may begin in Washington, DC, as RCS Sport has been working on the possiblity with the city's mayor, Adrian Fentry, although the UCI has always said they wouldn't let this happen.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.