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Giro d'Italia's new start confirmed with details of first three stages

Sicily will now host the first four stages of the 2020 Giro d'Italia including a summit finish on Mount Etna

Joe Robinson
24 Jul 2020

Giro d'Italia organiser RCS has confirmed that the race will now start on the island of Sicily after the ongoing coronavirus pandemic caused a course redesign.

The Italian Grand Tour was originally scheduled to start in Budapest, Hungary in May but was postponed until October due to Covid-19 outbreak.

With the reorganisation of dates, officials in Hungary and RCS decided to cancel the race's start in Budapest with an alternative now being found on the southern Italian island of Sicily.

Sicily will host the first four stages of the race, starting on Saturday 3rd October, with the race's first mountain top finish coming as early as Stage 3 with a visit to Mount Etna.

'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,' a statement from RCS says.

'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.'

Stage 1 will see the race begin with a 16km time-trial from the small village of Monreale to the coastal city of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. Stage 2 will then be a rolling 150km day from Alcamo to Agrigento.

Stage 3 will see them finish atop the familiar climb of Mount Etna while Stage 4 from Catania to Villafranca Tirrena will be short at 138km and be a day for the sprinters.

The rest of the Giro's original route will be retained, for now, except for Stages 5 and 6 which are yet to be announced. These are expected to take place in southern mainland Italy.

On the announcement of the Sicilian Grande Partenza, the island's councillor for tourism and sport said the race's impromptu return to the island was welcomed.

'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,' said Manilo Messina

'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.'

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