THE BATTLE LOOMS LARGE
WHO’S UP FOR ITALY IN MAY?
The good news for the riders was that after the 2018 edition, which saw riders starting the three-week-long race in Israel, the 2019 running of the Giro d’Italia only jumps over the border into neighboring San Marino for a time trial.
The bad news for the handful of riders who might be contemplating doing the historic Giro/Tour double is that there is a shorter gap between the end of the race in Italy (on June 2) and the start of the race in France
(on June 29).
With less than a month to recover, 2018 Giro winner and four-time Tour winner Chris Froome wasn’t so sure about repeating the double effort again. “I’m not 100 percent sure if I’ll be there at the Giro d’Italia. It’s a decision
we’ll have to make,” said Froome, who appeared onstage during the presentation.
“The pink jersey for me is a great honor,” said the British rider. “It had been missing from my collection. It was an important jersey for the history of cycling, and something I had dreamed of as a child. It’s also an important race for the team, as it’s the 10th anniversary of Team Sky. We’re all together at our training camp, so I think in that period we will decide everything for the year,” he added.
This year’s race will cover 3,518 kilometers and starts with a tough 8.2-kilometer time trial in Bologna and then heads southwest to Fucecchino and into Tuscany. Eventually, the riders will tackle climbs, including the Passo Gavia at 2,618 meters high on Stage 16 and Passo del Mortirolo with a total of seven summit finishes between the Dolomites and Alps.
“It’s a brutal, brutal second half,” added Froome. “A very organized team will be needed too. The stage with Gavia and Mortirolo is a beast! It comes after a rest day, and that day the true champions will stand out from the bunch.”
THE FIVE KEY STAGES
• May 19, Stage 9; Riccione – San Marino (time trial): A hilly time trial from the Adriatic coastal town of Riccione to the Republic of San Marino will test the climbers before the first rest day. The route is winding and undulating for the first 22 kilometers up to the border of San Marino. The only stage outside of Italy before running uphill all the way to Fiorentino. The climb is particularly suited to rouleurs/climbers.
• May 24, Stage 13; Pinerolo – Ceresole Reale (Lago Serru): The first of five highly difficult stages starts at Pinerolo in northwestern Italy, with three climbs culminating at Ceresole Reale. This high-mountain stage features three difficult summits—Colle del Lys, Pian del Lupo and the final Colle del Nivolet climb. This leads to Lago Serru on a route that includes steep gradients of up to 15 percent.
• May 25, Stage 14; Saint-Vincent – Courmayeur (Skyway Monte Bianco): This is a very short stage (131 km) featuring five categorized summits. Racers ascend the Verrayes, Verrogne, Truc d’Arbe and Colle San Carlo before the summit finish in Courmayeur. The riders will need to pace themselves over the Colle San Carlo for 10.5 kilometers with a gradient of 9.8 percent.
• May 28, Stage 16; Lovere – Ponte Di Legno: The final week of the race kicks off with a vengeance, with the Passo Gavia the highest point of the Giro at 2,618 meters high. This is the queen stage across the Alps with a 5700-meter elevation over 226 kilometers. The route includes climbs up Passo della Presolana, Passo Gavia and Passo del Mortirolo that should widen the gap among the contenders.
• June 1, Stage 20; Feltre – Croce D’Aune-Monte Avena: The final uphill battle will take place on the penultimate day, with over 5000 meters altitude to climb over 193 kilometers in the Dolomites. Starting in Feltre, with climbs of the Passo Manghen (2,047 meters), Passo Rolle and culminating with the climb of Croce d’Aune. The last summit finish features long climbs, over 15 kilometers, with gradients of up to 12 percent.
THE FULL ROUTE
Saturday, May 11
Stage 1: Bologna – Bologna (8.2-km individual time-trial)
Sunday, May 12
Stage 2: Bologna – Fucecchio (200 km)
Monday, May 13
Stage 3: Vinci – Orbetello (219 km)
Tuesday, May 14
Stage 4: Orbetello – Frascati (228 km)
Wednesday, May 15
Stage 5: Frascati – Terracina (140 km)
Thursday, May 16
Stage 6: Cassino – San Giovanni Rotondo (233 km)
Friday, May 17
Stage 7: Vasto – L’Aquila (180 km)
Saturday, May 18
Stage 8: Tortoreto Lido – Pesaro (235km)
Sunday, May 19
Stage 9: Riccione – San Marino (34.7 km individual time-trial)
Monday, May 20
Tuesday, May 21
Stage 10: Ravenna – Modena (147 km)
Wednesday, May 22
Stage 11: Carpi – Novi Ligure (206 km)
Thursday, May 23
Stage 12: Cuneo – Pinerolo (146 km)
Friday, May 24
Stage 13: Pinerolo – Ceresole Reale (Lago Serru) (188km)
Saturday, May 25
Stage 14: Saint-Vincent – Courmayeur (Skyway Monte Bianco) (131 km)
Sunday, May 26
Stage 15: Ivrea – Como (237 km)
Monday, May 27
Tuesday, May 28
Stage 16: Lovere – Ponte Di Legno (226 km)
Wednesday, May 29
Stage 17: Commezzadura – Anterselva/Antholz (180 km)
Thursday, May 30
Stage 18: Valdaora/Olang – Santa Maria Di Sala (220 km)
Friday, May 31
Stage 10: Treviso – San Martino Di Castrozza (151 km)
Saturday, June 1
Stage 20: Feltre – Croce D’Aune-Monte Avena (193 km)
Sunday, June 2
Stage 21: Verona—Verona (15.6km individual time-trial)