Giro d'Italia 2017 returns to Sardinia
Ten years. Has it been that long since the Giro d'Italia last visited Sardinia? Really?
Apparently so but the wait is almost over. Because in May Italy's grand tour arrives back on that sun-drenched isle for three stages running more or less along the north, east and part of the south coast.
This is no ordinary Giro. Next year marks the 100th edition of the race which is part of the reason it's back on Sardinia. The first time the race touched down there was in 1961 on the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Italian kingdom. That tour had started in Turin and didn't get to Sardinia until stage four.
Sardinia was honoured by a Big Start in 1991 and then the tour arrived again in 1997 for its 90th anniversary. The whole thing coincides with a drive to invest in cycle tourism on the island and has been especially welcomed by Fabio Aru of Astana, who comes from Sardinia. He said it made him "really proud," although he hinted that he wouldn't know if he would be riding it until his programme is announced in November.