The 103rd edition of the Giro will begin with a short time trial in Budapest and two further stages in Hungary, both suitable for sprinters, before moving to Sicily for another three stages which will include a climb up Mount Etna.
It will then move up through Italy before a series of mountain stages. Organisers bust out some favourite hits for a macbre final week, with climbs up Monte Bondone, the legendary hairpins of Passo dello Stelvio, Colle dell'Agnello, and an incursion into France for Col d'Izoard.
The 17th stage, to be held on May 27 and finishing at Madonna di Campiglio, appears to be the most demanding with over 5,000 metres of climbing over the course of its 202 kilometres. But the final week also contains mountain finishes at Piancavallo, Laghi di Cancano and Sestriere out of seven total.
Giro adds to speculation over grand tour leadership at Ineos and Jumbo-Visma
The 58.8 kilometres of time trials across three stages, including the last day in Milan, should bring all the grand tour time trial specialists to the start in Hungary. But this potentially gives rise to further speculation around leadership over the huge stable of grand tour stars on powerhouse teams Ineos and Jumbo-Visma.
With the brutal Tour de France recently revealed, Tom Dumoulin will likely choose the more favourable Giro leaving the Tour de France for new Jumbo-Visma team mate Primoz Roglic. But where would that leave this year's Tour third overall Steven Kruijswijk and is Roglic a Tour certainty, given the Giro's time trial kilometres?
It's a similar story at Ineos. With Chris Froome expected to make a full Tour de France resurrection alongside this year's champion Egan Bernal, the Giro will likely feature not too ITT shabby, 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas. But will he have to fight off new Ineos team mate and this year's Giro champion Richard Carapaz?
At the route announcement overnight (AEDT), the Ecuadorian said he really wanted to race after this year's special win.
“The 2019 Giro d'Italia will always be a very important moment in my history as a pro rider, just thinking about it excites me," he said.
"I will never stop telling the kids in Ecuador who start cycling how important it is to pursue their dreams."
"It is a very interesting route with stages that present many surprises. In the last week, there are a lot of mountains, the Stelvio could be decisive, I really hope to be there.”
Wait, what? Peter Sagan has never raced the Giro d'Italia?
Also at the route announcement was Peter Sagan who amazingly has never before suited up for a Giro d'Italia, even during his five-year stint at Italian team Liguigas, and its iterations.
“I really like this route, right from the first stages in Hungary," he said. "I am sure there will be many of my supporters on the route for the first three stages because Slovakia is very close.
"But we will also enjoy the stages on the Italian roads, as I lived and used to train in Italy. It’s a nice Giro route; the first part suits me best but I will try to stay until the end in Milan.”
Out of the 21 stages, six stages are suitable for the faster men like Sagan.
It will be the 14th time the race has started outside Italy and the first in Eastern Europe.