The 104th edition of the Giro d’Italia will start in Turin on May 8 and end in Milan on May 30, returning to its traditional time-slot after the 2020 edition took place in October.
Organisers have revealed a route that will start and finish with individual time-trials – over a total of 38.4km.
The route also has six mountain finishes and seven other hilly stages and will cover a total distance of 3 450km.
In a bid to counter any Covid-19 drop outs, organisers have invited an extra wild card team to increase the field to 184 riders from 23 teams of eight.
A number of big-name riders have already committed to the year’s first grand tour.
Italian world champion Filippo Ganna will start as favourite in stage one’s 9km individual time-trial.
“I’m really happy that the 104th edition of the Giro will start from Turin and my home region, Piemonte.
“The course for Stage one looks like a really fast one and I’m ready to do well in it.
“I’m looking to start the Giro on the right foot and replicate what I did last year, trying to wear the first Maglia Rosa,” Ganna warned.
For Belgium phenom Remco Evenepoel just getting to the start in Turin injury-free will be a remarkable achievement.
“My big goal is to be ready for the start of the Giro. As you all know, last year, I was not able to compete in the race because of an injury after my crash at Il Lombardia.
“The course for this year seems to be really hard, and beautiful too. So I think it will be a nice race.
“I’m looking forward to feeling the Italian atmosphere and seeing all those amazing tifosi!” the 21-year-old Evenpoel said.
“My participation at the Giro d’Italia last year was a wonderful experience and something that I’d always wanted to do.
“Now I am training in the Canary Islands ahead of the new season and hope to return to Italy ready to race,” Sagan said as he shakes off the after effects of having tested positive for Covid-19.
“I’m really happy to be preparing for the Giro d’Italia.
“This is a race that I have been wanting to do for a long time, since I first came to Italy.
“This year, I am really happy to be racing it and I have already been up Alpe di Mera, to try out that stage.
“This will be a difficult race, but still, I cannot wait to do it, as this one will be a beautiful Giro.
“I’ll be expecting all the fans to be cheering from home, in front of the TV, for both myself and for all the riders and teams that will be there,” the Colombian said.