Giro changes again, final Milan time trial shortened

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The 2011 Giro d'Italia ends with a time trial leg in Milan on Sunday, but features less glam and distance than before. Organiser RCS Sport modified the course to allow citizens to easily travel to local voting centres.

"Following an agreement between the Municipality of Milan and RCS Sport," read a press release, "to make the impact on city traffic lighter, give the local elections day."

Brit David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo) and other time trial specialists may have less of an advantage on the shorter course. RCS Sport moved the start from the centre to the outskirts of Milan, at the Rho convention centre, home of the 2015 Expo. The Rho start means Millar and the other cyclists will cover 5.5 kilometres less, down from 31.5 kilometres to 26 kilometres.

Millar won two time trials last year, one of 14.8 kilometres at the Three Days of De Panne and one of 7.7 kilometres at the Critérium International. At the 2009 Vuelta a España, he won the 26-kilometre test on the penultimate day.

The final Giro stage still finishes in the piazza outside of Milan's famous Duomo, where Alberto Contador will likely be crowned winner for a second time. The race last finished in Milan in 2008: Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) won the 28.5-kilometre time trial and Contador the overall victory.

The new course spends less time in Milan's heart - skipping the south, Porta Ticinese and Porta Roma - and more in the industrial zone towards Rho. Instead of racing from the historical Castello Sforzesco, out to Rho and back into the city, RCS Sport will host the start in Rho's convention centre parking lot.

For the last few years, the Milan-San Remo has begun outside of Castello Sforzesco.

"With the course how it was," race director, Angelo Zomengan told La Gazzetta dello Sport, "we would have crossed twice the Piazzale Accursio, where there are many electoral seats."

Local police will now only be required to close the city streets from 12:00 to 17:30, instead of 10:00 to 18:00. The course will be open for training for an hour, starting at 12:00.

The changes have also rendered the course less technical. It loops twice around Rho, but lacks as many city corners and streets.

RCS Sport received critisism for its course changes on Saturday to Monte Zoncolan. It skipped the Monte Crostis due to safety and logistical concerns. Fans protested and forced the organiser to also skip a 20-kilometre section, including the Tualis climb.

When the Giro d'Italia last visited in Milan, the 2009 Milano Show, riders striked due to unsafe conditions. Danilo Di Luca and reportedly Lance Armstrong led the strike, forcing the organiser to annul all but the sprint. Mark Cavendish won.

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Giro d'Italia 2011: Stage reports

Stage 16: Contador lords it over the rest in Giro TT

Stage 15: Nieve wins mountain marathon as Contador continues at the top

Stage 14: Anton conquers Zoncolan in shortened stage

Stage 13: Contador consolidates Giro overall as Rujano takes stage

Stage 12: Cavendish holds off Appollonio to take second victory

Stage 11: Gadret grabs dramatic stage win

Stage 10: Cavendish opens his Giro account

Stage nine: Contador storms Etna to take Giro lead

Stage eight: Gatto springs late attack to take win

Stage seven: Neo-pro De Clercq wins by a whisker

Stage six: Ventoso steals Giro stage six win

Stage five: Weening holds on to take stage and maglia rosa

Stage four: Tearful Farrar and Leopard-Trek lead riders across stage four finish line

Stage three: Vicioso victory overshadowed by Weylandt crash

Stage two: Petacchi wins as Cavendish takes lead

Stage one: HTC-Highroad wins Giro's opening team time trial

Giro d'Italia 2011: Photo galleries

Stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 15 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Giro d'Italia 2011: Live text coverage

Giro d'Italia stage 16 live text updates

Giro d'Italia 2011 stage 13 live text updates

Giro d'Italia 2011 stage 11 live text updates

Giro d'Italia 2011 stage seven live text updates

Giro d'Italia 2011 stage five live text updates

Follow the 2011 Giro d'Italia live with Cycling Weekly

Giro d'Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d'Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d'Italia 2011: TV schedule

Giro d'Italia 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule

Related links

Giro d'Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

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