Alberto Contador backs Vincenzo Nibali for 2016 Giro d'Italia but won't compete himself

Alberto Contador admits he will not defend his Giro d'Italia title in 2016 but says the route perfectly suits Astana's Vincenzo Nibali

Alejandro Valverde, Vincenzo Nibali, Ivan Basso, Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan at the Giro d'Italia presentation (Sunada)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

The 2016 Giro d'Italia will end in the high mountains of the country's north, but it is not just a feather-weight climber who can win the race overall – it is one who can manage his strength over three weeks and 3383 kilometres, according to race organisers.

RCS Sport include three time trials, stages in the Netherlands that are open to wind and tricky mid-mountain days over the course of the 21 stages and race director Mauro Vegni admits it's not a route to take lightly.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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.