According to a report in La Stampa, plans are at an advanced stage for the 2018 Giro d’Italia to start in Japan. The plan would see four stages taking place in the Shizuoka area east of Tokyo.
According to the report, Giro director Mauro Vegni has already visited the Shizuoka Prefecture to sign a preliminary agreement with its governor, Heita Kawakatsu.
It has been suggested that one of the stages could include an ascent of Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776m,
In an effort to overcome jet lag from the 10,000 kilometre journey to Italy after the Grande Partenza, Race Director Mauro Vegni is said to have contacted the UCI to request two rest days to accommodate recovery for the riders after the 14-hour flight.
La Stampa also reported that the four stages would be worth more than €35m, with each team to receive between €250,000 and €500,000 in expenses to deal with the logistics.
To-date, the Giro has started outside of Italy on 12 occasions but never outside of Europe. In recent years, the race has started in Denmark in 2012, Belfast in 2014 and Apeldoorn in the Netherlands this year.
It’s not the first time that the Italian race has considered a Grande Partenza outside of Europe though as back in 2009, the organisers RCS Sport considered starting the 2012 edition in Washington DC before returning to Italy.