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Fans of pro-cycling rejoice: The 2007 Giro course has been unveiled.  Click here to find out more.

Here are some of the highlights, courtesy of Cycloblog.com:

The 90th edition of La Corsa Rosa will begin on May 12th, and spends its first three days on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. Perhaps taking a leaf out of the Vuelta’s book, the opening grand tour of the season begins with a short team time trial over 24 kilometres.

Then it has two flat stages before having an extremely early rest day. Like last year, when the Giro began in Belgium, the riders will have just over 400 kilometres in their legs before they are forced to take a day off in order to travel to the mainland. It was an unpopular move last year, and is sure to annoy the riders again next year!

Once back on the mainland, there’s no hanging around, as stage 4 is the first crucial test of the race. The climb of Montevergine di Mercogliano concludes the stage, and is a 17.1 kilometre brute that has gradients of over 10%. It only makes its third ever appearance in the Giro, with Danilo Di Luco and Damiano Cunego having previously tasted victory there.

This stage is the first of five summit finishes, with the Giro heading north towards the Alps. Stage 10 is likely to be the next key day, with a 9 kilometre climb to the never-before-used finish at Santuario Nostra Signora della Guardia.

Three days later the race heads in to France for a short time, with the tough climb of the Colle d’Izoard before a downhill finish into Briançon. Could this stage be a dry run for Ivan Basso, who will also be hoping to score victory when the Tour de France hosts a stage finish in Briançon six weeks later?

Interestingly, the Giro has also included a mountain individual time, which climbs 718 metres over 13 kilometres from Biella to Santuario di Oropa. Although the climb is not severe, with an average gradient of 5.5%, it should be a crucial day for the holder of the pink jersey.

After that, there are two more crucial mountain days, with stages 15 and 17 hosting summit finishes. The first tackles the feared climb of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, which hasn’t been used since 1989 and has ramps of over 18%. This finish comes after two earlier climbs over the Passo di San Pellegrino and the Passo Giau — all of which adds up to a brutal day in the saddle.

Finally, stage 17 concludes on the legendary Monte Zoncolan, which is probably the hardest climb in the entire race. At its steepest, the Zoncolan tops out at 22%, with an average gradient of 11.9%. It is a killer climb, and the fate of the pink jersey won’t be known until this climb is completed.

After all the climbing is done, the Giro ends with a flat 42 kilometre time trial from Bardolino Vérone, before the traditional Milano bunch sprint on June 3rd.

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