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For the third time the island will be the scenic setting of the Giro d’Italia Big Start, following 1991 and 2007, hosting three stages for sprinters and finisseurs. Fabio Aru describes his very own Sardinia. #Giro100 is the official event hashtag.Video of the website at the Link
Milan, 14 September 2016 – Giro d’Italia 2017 will be the race’s 100th edition, a historic milestone that will start from Sardinia for the third time in its long history. The Big Start of the Corsa Rosa – organised by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport from Friday 5 to Sunday 28 May – was unveiled this morning in Milan. The race will include three in line stages on the island: Alghero-Olbia (203km), Olbia-Tortolì (208km) and Tortolì-Cagliari (148km).

The 2017 edition will mark the 88th Big Start of the race from within Italy, 12 starts having been made from abroad. The first time Giro d’Italia was raced in Sardinia was in 1961; an occasion that marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Italian kingdom. The Corsa Rosa, which started in Turin, arrived on the island for Stage 4, Cagliari-Cagliari, won by Oreste Magni. That edition of the Giro, which ended in Milan, was won by Arnaldo Pambianco.
Thirty years later, in 1991, the island saw its first Big Start, with two in line stages and two semi-stages, one of which was a time trial. Franco Chioccioli won that year’s Giro.
The Giro d’Italia’s 90th edition started in Sardinia with the spectacular Caprera-Maddalena Team Time Trial and the unforgettable Teams Presentation on the Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi.  After 10 years away the Corsa Rosa returns its roads on the island.

Moderately hilly stage: a constant series of up and downs along the northern coast of the island with a few KOM climbs and many other short punchy climbs. The last categorised climb, 20km before the finish line, is San Pantaleo, which could become a launch ramp for the finisseurs to anticipate the sprinters. It’s a 5km climb with 3km around the average 8% inclination, the toughest section being in the first part. The route undulates again until the finish line in Olbia, where teams should work hard to end up in a bunch sprint.

This Medium Mountain stage could end up in a bunch sprint. The first part of the stage is in the Nuoro region, an internal part of the island, and is characterised by three long climbs: the first toward Bitti and Orune (categorised as KOM), the second harder climb toward Nuoro city centre (KOM) and the third to overcome Genna Silana Pass (KOM). The last 50km are mostly descents or flat, but the course with many bends could create problems to close eventual gaps. Stage could end up with a sprint but this has to be conquered.

This stage is almost flat with few mild hills along the course. After Villasimius there are some short punchy climbs along the coastal route. After that the road becomes flat toward the finish line in Cagliari until what’s likely to be a bunch sprint.

ALGHERO hosts the start of the first stage of 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia. In the province of Sassari, Alghero is a touristic destination, also known as ‘the Little Barcelona’; Catalan is recognised as a minority language (almost a quarter of the population speak Catalan in its Alghero variant). Alghero is the most important city of the Riviera del Corallo, with the most precious quality red coral in its waters. In Alghero’s territory there are remains of the Nuragic civilization, which flourished in the island starting from the Bronze Age (around 1800 BC) until Roman times. The Alghero cuisine is based mainly on fish and seafood, particularly lobster; besides the lobster all’algherese, typical dishes include spaghetti with sea urchins, spaghetti with bottarga and Alghero paella.
SASSARI is the historic urban centre of “Capo di sopra”, the upper part of the island. “Capo di sopra” and “Capo di sotto” (a division dating back to the Catalan-Aragonese domination) have been the two larger administrative areas of Sardinia, with Sassari and Cagliari respectively being their main centres. The typical Sassari cuisine is rich and varied, with traditional rural dishes of the city and neighbouring towns. Vegetables are the most important ingredients in many of the local dishes (eggplant, onion and beans), along with the less valuable parts of the slaughter animals (lamb and pork).
SANTA TERESA overlooks the Straits of Bonifacio and Corsica. The town’s symbol is the Spanish tower of Longosardo, built around the 16th century by order of King Philip II of Spain. The GALLURA is a historical and geographical region of Sardinia, that extends in the northeastern part of the island, and its territory includes the famous Costa Smeralda. Its main centres are Olbia, Tempio Pausania, Arzachena, La Maddalena. The COSTA SMERALDA is a coastal stretch of Gallura in the northeast of Sardinia, characterised by its many coves, sea inlets and small beaches. In the waters of the Costa Smeralda, located in Golfo Aranci, the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute research centre performs activity of research, conservation and environmental education about dolphins.
PALAU is located on the coast, close to the Costa Smeralda, and is the port used to access the La Maddalena archipelago. The archipelago of LA MADDALENA is a group of about 60 islands off the Costa Smeralda, including La Maddalena and Caprera, with a total of 180km of coastline, which is a popular destination for boaters due to its emerald waters. Caprera hosted Garibaldi during his exile and it is connected to an artificial isthmus in La Maddalena. Since 1994 the archipelago of La Maddalena has been designated a geomarine National Park.
OLBIA, the finish of the first stage and start of the second, is a populous town in the province of Sassari, the fourth in Sardinia by number of inhabitants (after Cagliari, Sassari and Quartu Sant’Elena) and the second largest territory (after Sassari). From 2005 Olbia was, together with Tempio Pausania, the chief town of Olbia-Tempio until the province was dissolved in 2016. Having been the ancient “capital” of Gallura, its territory is a major tourist attraction, with the sea, beaches and the Nuragic settlements.

NUORO extends on a granite plateau, in the eastern hinterland of Sardinia. It is located about 550m above sea level and is Italy’s seventh highest provincial capital (after Enna, Potenza, L’Aquila, Campobasso, Aosta, Caltanissetta). There are many archaeological sites of the Nuragic civilization, most notably the Nuraghe Tanca Manna, located in the town of Nuoro, which dates back to the Middle Bronze Age.
The NATIONAL PARK OF THE GULF OF OROSEI and Gennargentu was established as a protected area in 1998 and covers an area between the Gulf of Orosei and the Gennargentu massif. The Gennargentu, characterised by rocks dating back to the Paleozoic era, has the island’s highest mountain peaks, including Punta La Marmora with its maximum elevation of 1,834 meters.
TORTOLÌ, the finish of the second stage and start of the third, is famous for its crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches. ARBATAX, a hamlet of Tortolì, is home of the port for ferries and fishing boats. The famous Cannonau DOC wine is produced in the Tortolì area in classical and reserve versions; the grapes of Sardinia’s most famous vine being conferred in the social winery for a production of more than 1.5 million bottles a year. The typical dishes are those of the agricultural tradition (“culurgiones” made of potatoes, cheese and mint, closed in the classical ‘ear’ form, vegetable soups, beef and lamb), together with the typical seafood dishes (especially lobsters, shrimp, tuna, swordfish and many other Mediterranean species, from the Arbatax vessels). Tortolì’s fish production is a culinary excellence recognised worldwide for its quality, including eels, sea bream and especially the “bottarga di muggine”, a delicious grey mullet roe.

VILLASIMIUS, in the southwestern end of Sardinia, is one of the best known towns, and the Capo Carbonara is known to be the driest spot of Italy.
The COASTAL road between Cagliari and Villasimius runs between cliffs that slope towards the sea, hills and extraordinarily beautiful coves. Relatively unexposed to mass tourism, it attracts tourists particularly fond of nature and its beauty. It is immersed with the scent of myrtle that blends with the salt vapours coming from the sea’s waves that break on the rocks, between old fortress dating back to Spanish domination. Cala Regina, Torre delle Stelle, Mare Pintau (ossia dipinto) and Cala Pira are among the beaches where the sea’s colours reflect every nuance of crystal clear, turquoise and blue.
CAGLIARI, finish of the third stage and the end of the Big Start of the 100th edition of the Giro, is the capital of the autonomous region of Sardinia. The legend, according to the Roman writer Gaius Julius Solinus, said that Caralis was founded in the 15th century BC by Aristeo, son of the god Apollo and the nymph Cyrene. According to legend it was Aristeo who introduced hunting and agricultureto Sardinia, bringing peace and reconciliation between the warring indigenous peoples. Also according to legend, Daedalus accompanied Aristeo in Sardinia, and was the architect of the Nuraghi on the island. Food in Cagliari is linked to the island’s typical cuisine (especially of the Campidano), but presents Catalan and Ligurian influences. Traditional dishes include cocciula e cozzas a schiscionera (clams and mussels cooked in a pan), sa cassola (soup of fish, crustaceans and molluscs), orziadas (insemolati and fried sea anemones) and aligusta a sa casteddaia (lobster seasoned in the manner of Cagliari). Nuragus, Nasco, Girò, Malvasia, Moscato and Monica are among the wines produced in the Cagliari area.