Cycling greats have their say at the Giro 2017 route presentation as to whether Chris Froome should challenge for the maglia rosa next year
Organiser RCS Sport presented the route on Tuesday night in Milan. From May 5 to 28, It celebrates the Giro’s long story since it first left Milan in 1909 by travelling most of Italy and only briefly going abroad.
The route includes 67.2 kilometres of time trials, more than the Tour de France, and four to five summit finishes. Froome already gave the route his stamp of approval when it was leaked on the eve of the presentation.
“It’s the time for him to race because a complete rider should win the Giro, the Vuelta and the Tour,” Italian Felice Gimondi told Cycling Weekly.
“The entire route suits him. Two time trials, a handful of summit finishes. He goes strongly on all terrain, so it’d be perfect for him.”
Gimondi won all three Grand Tours, including the Tour in 1965 and his home race three times.
“It would be a Giro for Froome. With all these climbs, he could win it,” said Francesco Moser, Classics champion and 1984 Giro victor.
“He last raced in 2010, he wasn’t yet the Froome that we know today. Now, it’s the time for him to do it. If he doesn’t do it, it’s going to become too late for him to try again.”
“It’s a hard final week, but when he’s at the Tour de France in full form, he’s hard to beat,” added Spaniard Miguel Indurain, who won the Tour five times straight and twice the Giro/Tour double.
“He could win this Giro, also given the TTs. It’s time for him given that this is the 100th edition, it’s a special Giro. He should honour this Giro and try to enter its history books.”
The Giro includes a rolling time trial for stage 10 that travels 39.2 kilometres through Umbria’s Sagrantino wine region. For the first time in five years, it closes with a time trial, 28 kilometres of flat roads from Monza Formula 1 track to the Duomo in Milan.
“I saw his tweet when our route was leaked, and I’m happy he liked it,” RCS Sport’s cycling Director, Mauro Vegni told CW when the presentation finished.
“It was not designed for Froome, clearly, but it’s suited to him given his strengths. There are many climbs, and if you do mind, I’d like to say that they are harder climbs than the Tour. The time trials help balance out the race, that’s our idea. So if the mountains penalise some, they can return with the time trial.”
“He needs to come and try to win the Giro once in his life,” Nibali said. “He will be able to see for himself how much affection there is here in Italy and how much love we have for cycling. The Giro is big. If he comes here, we’ll all be happy to have him.”