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2019 Giro d'Italia Route Revealed

The final new Grand Tour route to be presented is that of the Giro. After last year's start in the South around Naples we return North for a Grande Partenza in Bologna. It will take a special rider to win this route which brings a solid amount of tough ITT kilometres, some hills and most of all some very tough Alpine mountain stages, all of which could be highly dramatic, season-defining days. The route gives a good platform for the puncheurs or breakaways to fight out some first and second week stage wins on hilly profiles, which could also affect the GC with three hill top finishes and one very tough medium mountain stage in week three. One thing to note is there are a number of lengthy stages that will sap the legs - over half the race is made up of stage over 190km!

Week 1: No mountains, deceptively tough


The start of Bologna brings an interesting innovation with basically a hill climb event as a prologue on the San Luca climb, which is of course the classic final climb of the Giro dell'Emilia! With still 6 flat kilometres it will take a versatile rider to ride into pink for the first road stage, most likely a GC contender! And both the hill and the flat kilometres could cause trouble for different riders, so some time will be lost surely.

The route then takes what looks like one of the least interesting routes across the Appenines, surely by design, for a sprint stage that still features two tough climbs in the back half, surely not enough to split the group but if ridden at the right pace could drop or tire the heavier or less well positioned riders! We then travel south for a coastal sprint in Orbetello, where crosswinds could get up in the last 30km if conditions are right! Stage 4 brings a flat day with a not too tough hilltop finish in Frascati that will see the puncheurs vying for the stage win, and perhaps some GC movement!

We then have another coastal sprint as we reach our max. southerness and start to loop back up towards Emilia-Romagna again, with two days in the foothills of the Appenines which should provide interesting racing. Stage 6, the longest of the features the toughest climb yet, 15km at a gradual 4.5% which should make it a breakaway as it tops out with 17km to go. However if someone in the peloton wants it, or a GC man smells blood, who knows? Then a day for either the puncheurs or the breakaway with a hard but short uphill finish in L'Aquila after a lumpy day's racing. Surely some small GC gaps here as well. So not a big first week like in previous years with mountain stages already, but one where every day requires the attention of anyone with any ambition of wearing pink in... well, I'll leave you in suspense where we finish for now!

One thing to note about the first week: four of six road stages are over 200km!

Week 2: Sprints, San Marino and Some Mountains!


An intriguing stage 8 that should go to a sprint but a long (239km, longest of the race) and lumpy profile makes for a day where many outcomes are possible and you doubt every sprinter will be present, or at least fresh, by the time we cross the line in Pesaro. However the GC men will hope it's taken easy given what awaits tomorrow. Another TT with an uphill finish, this time it's a 35km affair, the first half of which is flat but the second half of which is the climb up to the city and country of San Marino, 13km at 3% is deceptive given the downhill sectors - it's a tough climb, especially in this context and will make for another interesting time trial that will give the GC one last shake-up before we reach the Alps!

We then head back where we started, going across the Emilia-Romagna region for two sprint stages taking us westwards towards Piedmont and Aosta where our first mountain stages finally take place! Well, first we have the Cuneo - Pinerolo stage, supposedly an Alpine tribute to Fausto Coppi's famous solo romp there all those years ago but really a boring stage with one major difficulty that insults that legacy and the exciting long mountain stage epics it represents! The hardest climb yet of the race though, the Montsoso climb is 8km at over 9% and will be the decider for who competes for the stage win, likely from the breakaway.

Then we have two absolute beauties to apologise to the fans, who are surely getting a little restless watching this waiting for the mountains to come. Well here they are, and they are a pair of potential classics in the making. Stage 13 gives us a long-awaited stage finish on the Colle del Nivolet, not all the way up but at the picteuresque Lago Serru, for a final climb of 34km at 5%! Preceded by the also tough in its own right Pian del Lupo climb, it will be a real test of who will be a part of the final fight for pink and who isn't up to scratch, and a chance for the climbers to make a statement and recover time lost in the time trials. Stage 14 to Courmayeur embraces the hard climb-easy climb model used often in the Giro (Mortirolo-Aprica, Finestre-Sestriere), centered around the Colle San Carlo (10km at 9%) and finishing at Courmayeur with a more gradual and shorter climb which is still tough after such a day, which also featured three climbs before San Carlo, this all packed into 130km!

Week 3: Climbing, Climbing, Climbing


An intriguing medium mountain day on Stage 15 as we trace the route of the Giro di Lombardia! We all know how hard Lombardia is and at 230km it could see some collapses, and surely some GC men will make some moves! This could be as important as any high mountain stage as it pulls out all the stops including Muro di Sormano and Civiglio. We then have the queen stage of the race, a 225km epic featuring the Gavia, the Mortirolo and (remember when I mentioned the big climb-small climb combo?) finally finishing at "not Aprica but basically still Aprica" Ponte di Legno with a short final climb. Wow, what a stage that could be, two of the race's toughest and most iconic climbs together in what could be an Alpine epic to remember!

A transitional day to Antholtz which given the profile, with false flat climbing for a lot of the way before a medium mountain finish, the GC teams won't want to take too hard and could go to the breakaway. The finish, though, will inevitably see at least some minor gaps, especially given there's only two more days after on which to gain time for the climbers. We then finally have another sprint stage after a week of climbing, with yet another 220km+ stage as we travel past all the major Dolomite climbs without climbing any!

The last two days before the final stage are both mountain tests of quite different styles. For the first time all Giro we receive an effectively one-climb stage (excluding Montoso) with only the second proper summit finish at San Martino di Castrozza (13km at 5.7%). The final day is an intriguing multi-mountain stage that could be the best stage ever if ridden hard and aggressive from the get-go or boil down to another final-climb based stage, just after a harder first part! 193km will be very tough with two HC climbs midway through the stage before a long descent to a tough finish at Croce d'Aune. Will the Giro be decided on these roads? It's very possible, a huge raid could definitely play out with such a tough middle third of the stage.

We then finish with yet another ITT with hilly elements, a 15km route around Verona which could see a few GC spots shift around for the final time - or even the GC race be decided!

7 Flat
2 Hilly (2 HTF)
4 Medium Mountain (2 HTF)
5 Mountain (5 MTF)
3 ITT (58km total)
Again great preview Smile


If you're interested in weird music:
Your doing some amazing work now Jandal! Kudos Smile
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