Fast facts about the Giro d'Italia and its 100th anniversary
The Giro d'Italia starts on Friday morning and will take place all throughout the month of May.
The race, which translates to the Tour of Italy, is one of cycling's three Grand Tours and in the same class as the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana.
Here are some facts about this year's race:
Anniversary: This year's race marks the 100th anniversary of the Giro d'Italia.
Pre-race favorites: Nairo Quinatana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)
Other contenders: Team Sky is always considered a squad to watch and Geraint Thomas is expected to be their leader.
Leader jersey color: The Tour de France is famous for its yellow jerseys and the Giro has its own distinctive pink top that is worn by the leaders. A red jersey is worn by the leader of the points classification. A green jersey is worn by the leader of the mountains classification. A white jersey is worn by the leader of the young rider classification.
Last year's champion: Italian Vincenzo Nibali won last year's race for Astana. It was his second career victory. He also won in 2013.
Course details: There are 21 stages. The first one starts on Friday, May 5 in Alghero, which is on the island of Sardinia. The race concludes in Milan on May 28. It travels through main Italian cities like Tortoli, Messina, Peschici, Montefalco, Monza and more. Each leg can be anywhere from 130 to 240 kilometers.
How many riders are there? It is estimated that 197 cyclist will be in Alghero to start on Friday morning.
Who has won this the most times? Alfredo Binda, Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx are all tied for the all-time Giro d'Italia record with five respective victories. Italy has most wins by a country with 41 cyclists winning 68 Giros.