According to race organizers, the 100th Giro d’Italia will start with three stages in Sardinia next year.
It will be the third time the Italian Grand Tour has started on the island, and the first time in 10 years.
Fabio Aru, who became the first Sardinian to wear the Giro leader’s pink jersey last year, was present at the announcement on Wednesday in Milan.
“It makes me really proud to know that the Giro will be starting from my home,” Aru said. “It would be really nice to take part in a start like this. We will make our plans for 2017 in November.
“They will be three really lovely stages. There will certainly be a lot of fans. I will certainly have a lot of support and that is a source of great pride.”
The rest of the route will be unveiled on Oct. 25. It is expected the Giro will visit as many of Italy’s 20 regions as possible to mark its 100th edition.
The Giro will set off from Alghero on May 5, 2017, on an undulating 203-kilometer (126-mile) route along the island’s northern coast to Olbia.
Stage two is a hilly 208-kilometer leg from Olbia to Tortoli, which could also end in a sprint, while the final day in Sardinia is a mainly flat 148 kilometers from Tortoli to Cagliari.
In addition, race organizers hinted earlier this year, that they would like to have the Giro reach as many of the country’s 20 regions as it can, as a way of paying respect to the regions and cities that hosted the first Giro in 1909, such as Naples, Chieti, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Genoa, Turin and Milan.
There’s also is talk that the Giro may swing by its other big island of Sicily, with a stage to Messina before heading over to the heel of the boot in Puglia.
Additionally, as a nod to the Italian and Giro greats Gino Bartali and Faust Coppi, next year’s Giro will pass through Tuscany’s hills and Florence and up to Piedmont, where Coppi trained in the Tortona hillsides.
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