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Giro d’Italia preview: Everything you need to know about the first Grand Tour of the season

Giro d’Italia preview: Everything you need to know about the first Grand Tour of the season

13/04/2018 at 14:58Updated 13/04/2018 at 16:11

The Giro d’Italia promises to deliver another exciting edition – with Israel set to play host to the opening stages.

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WHEN IS IT?

The 2018 Giro d’Italia runs from May 4-27.

IS IT ON TV?

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TELL ME ABOUT THE ROUTE...

For the first time in Grand Tour history, the race will start outside of Europe. Israel plays host to the opening three stages of the Giro, featuring an individual time trial in Jerusalem, a seafront finish in Tel Aviv and a trip to the Red Sea coast.

The peloton then head home to Italy, with the first summit finish coming on Mount Etna on Stage 6. But it’s on Stage 14 when the race should really explode into life, with the 186km uphill journey showcasing a flurry of tough climbs before the beast: Monte Zoncolan, billed the toughest ascent in Europe. Ten kilometres of pain await our hopefuls, with the hairpin-ridden scaling maxing out at 22%.

Stage 19 features gruelling climbs and technical ascents, sapping the riders ahead of the penultimate Stage 20, which starts off gently before suddenly rising and falling 4000m inside the final 90 kilometres.

The finale on Stage 21 is a sprinter’s paradise: 10 largely flat laps of an 11.5km circuit around the iconic sights of Rome.

Video - Giro 2018 map: All 21 stages of a spectacular route

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WHAT ABOUT FROOME?

Chris Froome is targeting the ‘Tiger Slam’ – holding the pink, yellow and red jerseys at the same time.

However, the cloud of suspicion that hangs over the 32-year-old and Team Sky due to the ongoing salbutamol case provides an unwelcome backdrop to the event.

Froome’s urine sample after Stage 18 of La Vuelta contained double the permitted limit of salbutamol, a medication he takes for asthma. He denies wrongdoing and is allowed to compete while the case is unresolved.

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