The route for the 2012 Giro d’Italia has been officially presented at a ceremony in Milan. The 95th edition of the classic, set to run from May 5 to 27, will stage the first three days in Denmark, the first ever Scandinavian start, with around 200 riders initially tackling an 8.7 kilometres Team Time Trial in the City of Herning before two further days of what looks to be some pretty spectacular and challenging Danish scenery. In another first for the race May 26, the penultimate challenge, will involve an altitude finish of 2757m at the Passo della Stelvio – the highest ever Giro finish line.
This year’s Giro winner, Saxo Bank-SunGard Alberto Contador, has already all-but ruled himself out of next year’s event (preferring, apparently to concentrate on the Tour de France) but has welcomed details of the 2012 route. Commenting on next year’s Giro he says, “If I should let my heart decide, I’d go to Herning in May next year to take on the Giro but I have other objectives next summer. I know the Danes have put in a great effort to create a good start of the race and I think everyone will be surprised to experience the passion for cycling there. I think the route is less extreme than this year but the stage finishes might cause problems for some riders as it might get nervous. The final week of the race will be very tough in the mountains. I’m sorry that I won’t be there but I feel right at home in Italy and I’m looking forward to be doing the Tirreno-Adriatico next year.”
The 2012 Giro will conclude on May 27 with a 31.5-km Individual Time Trial in Milan, the third against the clock race of the route after the first stage in Herning and a second scheduled Team Time Trial in Verona.