The Italian Almanac

Giro d'Italia

Italian Sport - January 24

This year’s "Giro d’Italia" (Tour of Italy - the most important Italian bicycle race) will act as a promotional launch pad for the 2006 Winter Olympics with the decisive stages of the three-week race to be held in Turin and the mountains that will host next February’s Games. Struggling with funding and logistical problems, organizers and regional government hope the Giro will show they can host large numbers of fans and work as a much-needed marketing tool.

The Giro will start in the toe of the Italian peninsula in the coastal town of Reggio Calabria on May 7 and head northeast to the Dolomites mountains before moving west to Turin and then on to the finish in Milan on May 29. Stage 18 on May 27 is a 31km time trial to the centre of Turin while stage 19 on May 28 includes three major Alpine climbs and finishes at the Olympic ski resort of Sestriere.