Jai Hindley has said he likes the look of the look of the 2023 Giro d’Italia course as he weighs up whether to be back in Italy next year to defend his crown.
The 26-year-old, who became the first Australian to wear the maglia rosa on the final podium, took part in the announcement of the full route in Milan on Monday.
On stage at the Giorgio Gaber Opera House he was asked if he would be riding in 2023.
“Yeah, potentially,” he said, adding: “We still have to make a decision with the team, but I really like the look of the route.
“The whole race looks interesting. The organisers have put a lot of work in and made a fantastic route. I am sure it will be an interesting race.
The Perth rider became the second Australian, after 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, to win a grand tour when he triumphed in May.
Whether he returns to defend the title will depend on his Bora-Hansgrohe team’s approach to the Giro and the Tour de France, which follows barely a month later. Hindley has yet to race the Tour but has expressed a wish to do so.
Hindley picked out stage seven as one he particularly liked. The 218km route runs from Capua, 25km north of Naples, to Campo Imperatore, a plateau above the Gran Sasso massif in the Apennine ridge often used for films.
It is a daunting finish but has good memories for Hindley from his time as an amateur.
He said: “It is a super-nice looking stage. I won that stage actually at the Baby Giro in 2017.”
The Giro runs May 6-28 beginning with an 18.4km time trial on the Adriatic coast, also in the Abruzzo region.
It finishes with a ten-lap 115km circuit stage in Rome.
In between there is 51km of climbing, a trio of time trials including one in the mountains which could break many contenders, and up to eight sprints. In total the route is 3,449km in 21 stages.
Two-time winner Alberto Contador said, “it is a really difficult Giro, exceptional.”
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