The Giro d'Italia will start in a unique way in 2023, with organisers announcing that the first stage will be a time trial along a coastal cycle path made from a disused railway line.
The Costa dei Trabocchi cycle path in the Abruzzo region is the precise destination for what should be a picturesque beginning to the 106th edition of the race.
The 11.4-mile stage against-the-clock will begin at Fossacesia Marina and end with a short climb to Ortona just down the Adriatic coast.
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That first stage will be on Saturday, May 6, with the race ending on Sunday, May 28.
Stages 2 and 3 will also take place in Abruzzo, with the second day taking the riders on a sprinter-friendly 127-mile jaunt from Teramo to San Salvo, and then the next day starting in Vasto.
One rider particularly looking forward to the start is Trek-Segafredo cyclist Dario Cataldo, who is from the region.
“I am excited at the idea of the Grande Partenza [Big Start] of the Giro in Abruzzo," he said.
"It is a dream come true, especially with regard to the prologue on the Costa dei Trabocchi.
“I well remember that when the cycle path project was born and I saw the first tracks, I imagined the beauty of a Giro d’Italia passing along the route.
"It looked perfect.”
The full route for the race will be revealed on October 17 in Milan.
Australian Jai Hindley (Bora–Hansgrohe) won the event in 2022, and will likely be on the start line to defend his crown.
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