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There are still a couple of days before the route of next year's Giro d'Italia are unveiled on Saturday evening in Milan, but the Italian Association of Pro Riders (ACCPI) has already released a statement condemning some sections of the route, calling the expected demands on riders "inhuman".
Most of their criticism is directed at a heavily rumoured split stage on the final day of the race. According to widely-leaked details of the route, this final day is set to comprise a 10-kilometre time trial up the Ghisallo climb from Bellagio in the morning followed by a 127km run-in to Milan in the afternoon.
ACCPI president Amedeo Colombo said in the association's statement: "Our position adheres fully to the International Cycling Union's rules which say there should be no split stages in major tours, and there should also be more reasoned thinking on the concluding day of a race like the Giro d'Italia at the end of a brutal week.
"For the umpteenth time, we find ourselves demanding greater consideration. We trust that there will be some rethinking in the light of the contradiction of the UCI's regulations and the pressure we are bringing to bear."
Former Giro winner Gianni Bugno, the secretary of the association, commented: "I am surprised that an idea like this has come from [Giro organisers] RCS Sport, who for some time have been in the front line of the fight for more humane cycling. It seems that they are about to launch a Giro for supermen: four stages in Belgium, two so-called rest days that in reality will be given over to tiring transfers, and this final split stage of which one part is a time trial. It seems to be a route that contradicts the widespread desire for a sport that is without excesses."
As well as starting with four stages in northern Europe, the 2006 Giro is also heavily rumoured to contain a 38km team time trial on its return to Italy and a brutally tough final week that includes the horrendously hard climb of the Mortirolo.
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