By Gregor Brown
The 2014 Giro d'Italia, May 10 to June 1, will balance mountains with time trials, including an individual test in Piedmont's famous wine producing hills. To be confirmed at the Interbike trade show next week, the stage will travel from Barbaresco to Barolo on May 22.
Alberto Cirio, Piedmont's tourism councillor told Campioni.cn, "Clearly this is a big opportunity to show off our area."
Pink symbolises the Giro d'Italia or La Corsa Rosa but when it passes the Langhe and Roero hills, Nebbiolo grapes and red wine will come to mind. Fans will remember the team time trial to Cuneo, which team Liquigas won over Sky, but the 2014 time trial weaves right through the Barbaresco and Barolo wine producing hills.
The first taste of the Giro's big individual time trial will come next week. Local organisers will make the most of their opportunity and present the stage to the cycling public at Interbike on September 18 in Las Vegas. They likely will unveil it with Giro d'Italia organiser, RCS Sport, which "leaked" other stages early last year, including the mountain stage to Galibier.
RCS Sport so far has confirmed the 2014 Giro will start in Belfast and continue to Dublin in its first three days. It will present the entire Corsa Rosa on October 7 in Milan but is unable to stop other details from emerging.
According to local newspaper reports, the Giro will climb Panarotta in Trentino for the first time, re-visit Monte Zoncolan and finish on the shores in Trieste. It is rumoured to re-start in Bari, in Italy's heel, on May 13 with a team time trial, work its way through Umbria and Tuscany.
Running through Piedmont's famous wine zones strikes a perfect balance for the Giro organiser. Race director, Michele Acquarone told Cycling Weekly in March that he did not want to have too much of one thing.
"If the race features two long time trials," Acquarone explained, "then I have to have a lot of mountains stages because our goal is to have a route that's not decided until the end."
A team time trial, an individual one through wine country and perhaps a mountain time trial in the final week balances well with mountains like Zoncolan. Richie Porte (Sky), Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) - riders who are aiming for the pink jersey - will be taking note.
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