Cycling-Easier route and fewer transfers for 2012 Giro d'Italia


Sun, 16 Oct 16:50:00 2011

The route for the 2012 Giro d'Italia will be easier than in recent years when it has been labelled "inhuman" and riders are expected to spend less time on between-stages transfers.

The Tour, whose route was unveiled on Sunday, will start with a 8.7-km individual time trial in Herning, Denmark, on May 5 and after three days fly to Italy.

With the first week set to favour sprint specialists, the Giro should be decided in the final week, with the penultimate stage, a 218-km mountain trek ending with the tough climb to the Stelvio, likely to create significant gaps.

The race ends on May 27 with a 31.5-km individual time trial in Milan, the third such test against the clock after the first stage and a team time trial in Verona.

Unlike last year, when exhausting, high mountain stages were lined up in succession with long, energy-sapping transfers, the 2012 route features a flat stage between two mountain treks in the final week.

"This Giro will be more human," said 2011 champion Alberto Contador of Spain, who has already announced he will not be taking part but focussing instead on the Tour de France.

"There are more 'recovery stages' and although I don't think I'll take part, it seems to be a very interesting route," he added.

Riders have complained in the past about the Giro route, with former director Angelo Zomegnan accused of setting up a 'freak show'.

Zomegnan has been replaced by Michele Acquarone, who has promised he will take riders' demands into consideration.


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