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giro d’italia

The immensely popular season of Grand Tour cycling events
has got underway in style at the 2016 Giro d’Italia, which began on May 6th
and will reach its exciting conclusion on May 29th. Now in its 99th
year, the Giro is one of the main events on the global cycling calendar, and
its popularity shows no sign of stopping as the event approaches a century of
world-class cycling.

As the Giro d’Italia is the first grand tour of the season,
many cyclists see it as the perfect opportunity to claim a strong victory early
on. Cyclists will face a battle against not only their opponents but also the
mixture of flat, mountainous and time trial rides which has made the Giro
d’Italia famous for being tough, thrilling and unpredictable.

This year’s event began not in Italy but in Apeldoorn in The
Netherlands, with two road races and a time trial in the country bringing an
exciting start to the event. The action resumed in Italy on May 10th
from Catanzaro, with a further 18 stages around the country for the cyclists to
endure before the dramatic finish in Turin on May 29th.

Last year’s victor Alberto Contador has instead decided to
concentrate his efforts on the Tour de France later in the year, meaning that
this year’s champion will be someone new and there is everything to compete
for. The winner of the most recent stage was Andre Greipel, who was victorious
in Stage 5 after a chaotic final sprint.

Following suit from last year’s Vuelta a Espana, the Giro
d’Italia also looks to be offering some gruelling stages this year, especially
in the mountain stages 14, 19 and 20, which are all still to come. There will
also be three fast-paced time trials over the course of the event, with stage
15, a completely uphill effort up the 10.8km Alpe de Siusi, looking
particularly challenging.

While the Giro d’Italia is always worth watching for some
world-class cycling, the route also demonstrates the sheer natural beauty the
country has to offer, from its verdant countryside and rolling hills to the
views of its highest peaks. If you’d like to discover more of the stunning
scenery in person or even try to retrace some of the route yourself, visit our
website to find out more about our luxury holidays in Italy.

Image: Alefederico,
available under Creative Commons

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