The new route for the Giro d’Italia 2020 has officially been confirmed, after it was redesigned because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s edition of the race will now start from Sicily, after it was initially scheduled to depart from Hungary.
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After the race was postponed from its usual slot in May, the organisers were then forced to cancel the opening stages of the race in Budapest, due to the spread of Covid-19 in the host nation.
Instead the Giro d’Italia peloton will depart from Sicily for the ninth time in the race’s history, with four stages on the island from stage one on Saturday, October 3.
There are currently two stages of the 2020 Giro route that have not yet been confirmed, as stages five and six still remain a mystery.
Organiser RCS Sport said in a statement: “Since 2019, with the Sicilian Region, we have been developing an important project to promote the region through cycling. It’s a communication path that started with the relaunch of the international race, Il Giro di Sicilia.
“Now we have the Grande Partenza from Monreale and three other stages that will show the beauty of Sicily to the world. It will therefore be a UNESCO World Heritage site to kick off a unique, all-Italian edition of the Giro d’Italia. It’s a fascinating and spectacular way to open the 103rd edition of the Corsa Rosa.”
The race will start with a 16km time trial in Monreale-Palermo on the northern coast, before the first road stage on day two takes the peloton over 150km from Alcamo to Agrigento.
Riders will then take on the first summit finish of the 2020 Giro d’Italia, with a 150km stage from Enna which finished atop the iconic and familiar Mount Etna.
Stage four will then be a sprinters stage, over 138km from Catania to Villafranc Tirrena before the race heads to the mainland for the rest of the stages already planned for the 2020 Giro d’Italia route.
But as the already-planned Sicilian stages of the race have been altered, there are currently two stages that do not have confirmed routes as stages five and six remain unknown at the moment.
The Giro d’Italia had been scheduled to start from Sicily in 2021, but after the Hungary Grand Departenza was cancelled the Sicilian start was brought forward to this year, while the race will now leave from Hungary next year.
Councillor for sport and tourism in Siciliy, Manlio Messina said: “We immediately accepted the invitation of RCS Sport to bring the Grande Partenza forward from 2021 to 2020 because we also believe that the seasonal adjustment is fundamental for us.
“We are proud to be part of this project which I am sure will drive the development of sport and tourism. I am convinced that resources must be invested in major events and for this reason we have chosen the Giro d’Italia. Sicily will welcome the Corsa Rosa with the warmth that has always distinguished it.”