Fabio Aru is relishing the chance to race on his home island of Sardinia after it was announced the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia will begin there in 2017.
The Astana rider - who has finished on the Giro podium twice in three attempts - was present in Milan on Wednesday as organisers revealed the opening three stages of their historic Grand Tour.
The Giro will begin in Sardinia for the third time as organisers opted against a foreign start for the landmark race after the 2016 edition began in the Netherlands.
Over the first three stages of the 2017 race the peloton will cover 559 kilometres, finishing its time on the island in its capital Cagliari.
Aru expects a challenging start to the year's first Grand Tour and the Italian hopes to be on the start line in Alghero.
"The main problem will be the wind, because there's a lot of that in Sardinia, and there's not really a lot of flat either," he said.
"These are two very long and quite hard stages to start with, so I think it will be hard from the start, so I think we'll need to be well-prepared right from the start.
"Since I've heard the rumours about a Giro start in my region I've always hoped it was really going to happen.
"I will make my next year's racing programs with our sport directors at the end of November, but I can certainly say that I wouldn't like to miss a Giro that starts in my Sardinia for anything in the world."
Where the Giro will go from Sardinia remains to be seen, with the rest of the route not due to be announced until October 25.