Giro Guide

Giro d'Italia

The Giro is 10 days away. Here’s a concise overview of every stage with more on the jerseys, classifications, TV listings.

Closer to the start there will be a separate post to assess the contenders for the overall and more.

Route summary | The Contenders | Team and rider list | The jerseys | The unmissable stages | TV viewing | iCal download

Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4 | Stage 5 | Stage 6 | Stage 7 | Stage 8 | Rest day
Stage 9 | Stage 10 | Stage 11 | Stage 12 | Stage 13 | Stage 14 | Stage 15 | Rest day
Stage 16 | Stage 17 | Stage 18 | Stage 19 | Stage 20 | Stage 21 |

In addition to this overview there will be coverage throughout the race with detailed daily previews of the stages as well as post race analysis of the key moments, commentary and a look at Italian cycling, culture and more.

Route summary
With a a team time trial and one long time trial during the first week suits the rouleurs but then the next two weeks allow the climbers to play catch-up, forcing them to attack in order to gain time with only an uphill time trial near the end to help reverse the balance. As ever the Giro sees mountain on the horizon with eight uphill finishes, of which five are substantial summit finishes. Look closely and many of the crucial mountain stages are only 150km long, they are designed to encourage lively racing as opposed the past where long distances dulled legs and TV action alike.

Talking of travel there are some long transfers and the map shows how concentrated the race is in some areas whilst it avoids others. The route builds to the final week but there will be surprises along the way with … as well as the usual nervous bunch sprints and the drama of the high mountains. It’s the variety of stages and terrain that make the daily battles so good to watch although inevitably over three weeks there will be some siesta days.

Judging by the profiles, it looks like there are few stages for the pure sprinters but note that time bonuses are available most days and these will be crucial for the final result. Here are the whole three weeks of profiles in one image.

Now on to each stage. Note the annotations where TV = Traguardo Volante or Intermediate Sprint and R = Rifornimento or Feed Zone.

Stage 1 – Saturday 4 May
Giro Stage 1
A late route change sees the 10 laps cancelled. Instead the opening stage sees the race loop around Naples with some climbing before a flatter and faster finished. The day’s stage win brings the leaders jersey too thanks to the time bonuses.

Stage 2 – Sunday 5 May
Giro Stage 2
A team time trial on the island of Ischia. As you’d expect from a small island and a coastal route the route has many tight turns. The short distance and technical nature means it’ll be a close contest and one which will help shape the overall classification but should not dominate it for long.

Stage 3 – Monday 6 May
Giro Stage 3
The race sprints away from the shadier parts of the bay of Naples to start in Sorrento and the touristy Amalfi coast. Two climbs along the way are steady with long sections at 4-5% although the second one has a few moments at 8% to add a hint of danger.

Stage 4 – Tuesday 7 May
Giro Stage 4
If Italy is shaped like a boot, today is a journey south to the toecap and the final climbs will see riders giving each other a kicking on the climb of the Croce Ferrata, the “iron cross.” But it’s a stage for the all round riders as the last ascension is 5.6km at just over 6% with one 10% moment and then a fast downhill run to the finish which includes some cobbles.

Stage 5 – Wednesday 8 May
Giro Stage 5
A flat day but with a few bumps. The climb to Montescaglioso is two kilometres at 10%, probably not sufficient for the stage winner to ride away but enough to eject some sprinters before the uphill run into Matera. The town is famous for the Sassi di Matera, the ancient stone houses some of which are cave-like dwellings built into the cliff-face.

Stage 6 – Thursday 9 May
Giro Stage 6
One for the sprinters as the race heads north. Note the circuit finish in Margherita di Savoia, there’s one passage over the finish line before a rectangular loop out in the countryside. The town is named after a former queen of Italy and if the country is a republic today, the pizza margherita lives on.

Stage 7 – Friday 10 May
Giro Stage 7
The stage is up and down all day and the climbs are hard because gradient but also repetition meaning if the sprinters can cope with some climbing there could be a few too many here. A breakaway could get away but if not expect a nervous race from the overall contenders worried about being trapped.

Stage 8 – Saturday 11 May
Giro Stage 8
The decisive stage of the 2013 Giro? No but it will redefine the GC and allow the time trial specialists and overall contenders to stake their claim to the race. Note the final ramp to the finish, a long drag that’s unlikely to suit a climber. After 55km the time gaps will be big and this stage was designed to attract the likes of Bradley Wiggins. The question is how much lead can the rouleurs take over the climbers?

Stage 9 – Sunday 12 May
Giro Stage 9
A quick visit to Toscana or Tuscany, one of Italy’s cycling heartlands. Along the way some real climbs to tackle. But instead of a nod to past champions of the region like Gino Bartali, this takes a peak at the future as the final climb to Fiesole is part of the circuit for the World Championships later this year. Expect to see the Pinocchio mascot again.

Stage 10 – Tuesday 14 May
Giro Stage 10
The first mountain summit finish of the race and the route is perfect for this point in the race, selective but not enough to settle race. 100km to warm up after the rest day and then the first climb. The Passo Cason di Lanza is 15km at 5.9% but note the descent in the middle which skews the maths. Instead there are large sections over 10%. The final climb has 5km at 10% which is highly selective, more so with a 15% section. It is the “Twitter stage” where messages sent in by others will be painted on the road. Your correspondent thought of sending “If you can read this then you’re going too slow” but thought better.

Stage 11 – Wednesday 15 May
Giro Stage 11
A big climb over the Sella Ciampigotto pass which is hard but rolls well for most of the way. The finish will mark the 50th anniversary of the Vajont disaster. The Vajont dam is one of the world’s tallest and holds a large lake but in 1963 a landslide provoked a huge wave in the artificial lake which crashed over the dam and caused about 2,000 people to die in the flooding below. The disaster became highly politicised with different sides accusing each other, a topic that is still relevant in today’s Italy with the L’Aquila earthquake. But the race can benefit from the hilly terrain which the dam exploits and the final climb will suit a punchy rider.

Stage 12 – Thursday 16 May
Giro Stage 12
A finish for the sprinters but it’s not without its difficulties. The Ca’ Del Poggio was the main climb of the tough 2010 Italian national championships but it’s only climbed once. The race rolls into Treviso, the home of frame maker Pinarello.

Stage 13 – Friday 17 May
Giro Stage 13
A transition stage and the longest day in the race. And not just in terms of distance for the riders but probably for TV viewers as well because the race is flat and rolls across the pianura, the terrain often described by singer Paolo Conte, in fact one of his songs is about Stradella, a place on the route after 68km. There’s a chance for surprise ambush late in the day but many riders will be thinking about the next stage.

Stage 14 – Saturday 18 May
Giro Stage 14
A short stage at 156km but packed with climbing. When the route was announced last year the name of Jafferau stood out because it’s a mountain with an infamous long unsurfaced mountain pass. But as wild as the Giro can get, this stage finish is “only” 7.2km at 9% on standard roads to cluster of ski lifts above Bardonnechia and, to the relief of many riders, won’t take the ancient pass any higher.

Stage 15 – Sunday 19 May
Giro Stage 15
A French accent to the race and an accent aigu at that with the Mont Cenis and then the Télégraphe and Galibier combo. At 150km this is again a short stage but with a lot of vertical gain and there’s nowhere to hide on the Galibier. Decisive.

Stage 16 – Tuesday 21 May
Giro Stage 16
The start reverses the previous day’s route as the race climbs back to Italy and then skirts along the bottom of the Alpine foothills past Turin to Ivrea and the end of the Aosta valley where the race crosses the line to climb up to Andrate before a fast descent back to the finish. This has breakaway written all over it.

Stage 17 – Wednesday 22 May
Giro Stage 17
The painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was named after the the start town but clearly the race didn’t find much inspiration because the route is hardly an exploration of light and dark with the short climb above Barbano Vicentino the only bright spot. But the race is on and remember days like this are essential for the points competition. The finish in Vicenza is the home town of Campagnolo.

Stage 18 – Thursday 23 May
Giro Stage 18
The profile says it all: a short uphill time trial. It’s not quite a mountain time trial but the gradients will hurt. It’s a balanced course that could allow the more powerful riders to take back some time from the pure climbers. As short as the stage might be it is a specific effort that requires a lot of concentration and places a big load on the legs ahead of two crucial stages.

Stage 19 – Friday 24 May
Giro Stage 19
Huge climbs and a short distance means this could be an explosive stage. The Passo Gavia is infamous and the Passo Stelvio is the literal high point of the race and a very challenging climb especially because its length induces fatigue. All this before the climb of Val Martello, 22.3km long at 6.4% but with a series of steep steps to climb on the way making it ideal for attacks. Will this stage settle the result of the race? No, because look at the next day.

Stage 20 – Saturday 25 May
Giro Stage 20
The Queen stage of the race, there are four climbs which are each had in their own right but by now the race is three weeks old and this is the third consecutive day of climbing. The final ascension to the Tre Cime de Lavaredo is a mythical place in the Giro and its steep slopes are the last chance to decide the race. During the final four kilometres the gradient reaches 18% and never dips below 10%.

Stage 21 – Sunday 27 May
Giro Stage 21
Basta! The final day would be a parade to the city of Brescia only it’s surprisingly long 199km meaning amongst the fun and games there’s plenty of riding to reach the finish line. Unlike the Tour and Vuelta the Giro happily swaps the host for the final stage and Brescia won the bid in part thanks to money but also because because road closures were no problems.

Rider list
23 teams of nine riders will start the race. For the daily-updated version of the rider list, visit

1. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN)
2. Thomas Danielson (USA)
3. Thomas Dekker (NED)
4. Nathan Haas (AUS)
5. Robert Hunter (RSA)
6. David Millar (GBR)
7. Ramūnas Navardauskas (LTU)
8. Peter Stetina (USA)
9. Christian Vandevelde (USA)

Ag2r La Mondiale
11. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA)
12. Davide Appollonio (ITA)
13. Manuel Belletti (ITA)
14. Julien Bérard (FRA)
15. Carlos Betancur (COL)
16. Guillaume Bonnafond (FRA)
17. Hubert Dupont (FRA)
18. Ben Gastauer (LUX)
19. Sylvain Georges (FRA)

Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela
21. Franco Pellizotti (ITA)
22. Giairo Ermeti (ITA)
23. Fabio Felline (ITA)
24. Mattia Gavazzi (ITA)
25. Tomas GilMartinez (VEN)
26. Jackson Rodriguez (VEN)
27. Diego Rosa (ITA)
28. Miguel Angel Rubiano (COL)
29. Emanuele Sella (ITA)

31. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)
32. Valerio Agnoli (ITA)
33. Fabio Aru (ITA)
34. Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ)
35. Tanel Kangert (EST)
36. Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE)
37. Paolo Tiralongo (ITA)
38. Alessandro Vanotti (ITA)
39. Andrey Zeits (KAZ)

Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
41. Sacha Modolo (ITA)
42. Enrico Battaglin (ITA)
43. Nicola Boem (ITA)
44. Francesco Bongiorno (ITA)
45. Marco Canola (ITA)
46. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA)
47. Stefano Locatelli (ITA)
48. Stefano Pirazzi (ITA)
49. Edoardo Zardini (ITA)

51. Robert Gesink (NED)
52. Jack Bobridge (AUS)
53. Stef Clement (NED)
54. Juan Manuel Garate(ESP)
55. Wilco Kelderman (NED)
56. Steven Kruijswijk (NED)
57. Paul Martens (GER)
58. Maarten Tjallingii (NED)
59. Maarten Wynants (BEL)

BMC Racing
61. Cadel Evans (AUS)
62. Adam Blythe (GBR)
63. Stephen Cummings (GBR)
64. Klaas Lodewyck (BEL)
65. Steve Morabito (SUI)
66. Daniel Oss (ITA)
67. Taylor Phinney (USA)
68. Ivan Santaromita (ITA)
69. Danilo Wyss (SUI)

71. Damiano Caruso (ITA)
72. Tiziano Dall’Antonia (ITA)
73. Paolo Longo Borghini (ITA)
74. Alan Marangoni (ITA)
75. Fabio Sabatini (ITA)
76. Cristiano Salerno (ITA)
77. Cayetano Sarmiento (COL)
78. Elia Viviani (ITA)
79. Cameron Wurf (AUS)

81. Darwin Atapuma (COL)
82. Edwin Avila (COL)
83. Robinson Chalapud (COL)
84. Fabio Duarte (COL)
85. Leonardo Duque (COL)
86. Wilson Marentes (COL)
87. Dalivier Ospina (COL)
88. Jarlinson Pantano (COL)
89. Carlos Quintero (COL)

91. Samuel Sanchez (ESP)
92. Jorge Azanza (ESP)
93. Egoi Martinez (ESP)
94. Ricardo Mestre (POR)
95. Miguel Minguez (ESP)
96. Ioannis Tamouridis (GRE)
97. Pablo Urtasun (ESP)
98. Gorka Verdugo (ESP)
99. Robert Vrečer (SLO)

100. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA)
101. Sandy Casar (FRA)
102. Murilo Fischer (BRA)
103. Arnold Jeannesson (FRA)
104. Johan Le Bon (FRA)
105. Francis Mourey (FRA)
106. Laurent Pichon (FRA)
107. Dominique Rollin (CAN)
109. Anthony Roux (FRA)

111. Luca Paolini (ITA)
112. Maxim Belkov (RUS)
113. Pavel Brutt (RUS)
114. Giampaolo Caruso (ITA)
115. Vladimir Gusev (RUS)
116. Petr Ignatenko (RUS)
117. Dmitry Kozontchuk (RUS)
118. Yury Trofimov (RUS)
119. Angel Vicioso (ESP)

121. Michele Scarponi (ITA)
122. Mattia Cattaneo (ITA)
123. Kristijan Durašek (CRO)
124. Roberto Ferrari (ITA)
125. Przemyslaw Niemiec (POL)
126. Daniele Pietropolli (ITA)
127. Filippo Pozzato (ITA)
128. Jose Serpa (COL)
129. Simone Stortoni (ITA)

131. Lars Bak (DEN)
132. Dirk Bellemakers (NED)
133. Brian Bulgac (NED)
134. Francis De Greef (BEL)
135. Kenny Dehaes (BEL)
136. Gert Dockx (BEL)
137. Adam Hansen (AUS)
138. Vicente Reynes (ESP)
139. Frederik Willems (BEL)

141. Eros Capecchi (ITA)
142. Juan Jose Cobo (ESP)
143. Alex Dowsett (GBR)
144. José HerradaLopez (ESP)
145. Benat Intxausti (ESP)
146. Vladimir Karpets (RUS)
147. Pablo Lastras (ESP)
148. Francisco Ventoso (ESP)
149. Giovanni Visconti (ITA)

Omega Pharma-Quick Step
151. Mark Cavendish (GBR)
152. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA)
153. Michal Gołas (POL)
154. Iljo Keisse (BEL)
155. Serge Pauwels (BEL)
156. Jérome Pineau (FRA)
157. Gert Steegmans (BEL)
158. Matteo Trentin (ITA)
159. Julien Vermote (BEL)

161. Matthew Goss(AUS)
162. Luke Durbridge (AUS)
163. Leigh Howard (AUS)
164. Jens Keukeleire (BEL)
165. Brett Lancaster (AUS)
166. Christian Meier (CAN)
167. Jens Mouris (NED)
168. Svein Tuft (CAN)
169. Pieter Weening (NED)

171. George Bennett (NZL)
172. Danilo Hondo (GER)
173. Robert Kišerlovski (CRO)
174. Tiago Machado (POR)
175. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA)
176. Nelson Oliviera (POR)
177. Yaroslav Popovych (UKR)
178. Hayden Roulston (NZL)
179. Jesse Sergent (NZL)

Team Sky
181. Bradley Wiggins (GBR)
182. Dario Cataldo (ITA)
183. Sergio Henao (COL)
184. Christian Knees (GER)
185. Danny Pate (USA)
186. Salvatore Puccio (ITA)
187. Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR)
188. Rigoberto Uran (COL)
189. Xabier Zandio (ESP)

191. John Degenkolb (GER)
192. Thomas Damuseau (FRA)
193. Bert De Backer (BEL)
194. Koen De Kort (NED)
195. Patrick Gretsch (GER)
196. Cheng Ji (CHN)
197. Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)
198. Luka Mezgec (SLO)
199. Albert Timmer (NED)

201. Rafał Majka (POL)
202. Daniele Bennati (ITA)
203. Manuele Boaro (ITA)
204. Matti Breschel (DEN)
205. Mads Christensen (DEN)
206. Karsten Kroon (NED)
207. Evgeni Petrov (RUS)
208. Bruno Pires (POR)
209. Rory Sutherland (AUS)

211. Marco Marcato (ITA)
212. Grega Bole (SLO)
213. Martijn Keizer (NED)
214. Maurits Lammertink (NED)
215. Pim Ligthart (NED)
216. Rob Ruijgh (NED)
217. Rafael VallsFerri (ESP)
218. Frederik Veuchelen (BEL)
219. Willem Wauters (BEL)

Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
221. Stefano Garzelli (ITA)
222. Rafael Andriato (BRA)
223. Francesco Chicchi (ITA)
224. Danilo Di Luca (ITA)
225. Oscar Gatto (ITA)
226. Alessandro Proni (ITA)
227. Matteo Rabottini (ITA)
228. Mauro Santambrogio (ITA)
229. Fabio Taborre (ITA)

The Jerseys

Giro Jerseys

There are four jerseys in the race: pink, blue, red and white.
Pink: the most famous one, the maglia rosa, it is awarded to the rider with the shortest overall time for all the stages added together. As such, they have covered the course faster than anyone else. It is pink because the race has always been organised by newspaper La Gazzetta Dello Sport which is printed on bright pink paper. It is sponsored by Balocco, a biscuit maker.

There are time bonuses available on all the road stages, ie not the prologue, team time trial or the final time trial stage.

  • 20 seconds for the winner, 12 seconds for second place and eight seconds for third place
  • Also for the intermediate sprint of the day six, four and two seconds are available for the first three riders

Blue: the mountains jersey. It was green in the past but is now blue, the maglia azzurra. It is sponsored by Banca Mediolanum, a bank. Points are available on the climbs in the race. There are five categories of climb:

  • Fourth category: there eight of these climbs. The first three riders crossing the top of the climb win 3, 2 and 1 points respectively.
  • Third category: there are 11. The first four riders over the top get 5, 3, 2, 1 points
  • Second category: there are 10 and points for the first five riders: 9, 5, 3, 2, 1 points
  • First category: there are nine. There are points for the first six riders: 15, 9, 5, 3, 2, 1 points
  • Cima Coppi: a special award, the “Coppi Summit” for the highest point of the race. This year it is the Passo Stelvio on Stage 19. The first seven win points: 21, 15, 9, 5, 3, 2, 1 points

Red: the points competition. Riders pick up points at the intermediate sprints during a stage and at the finish line. Points are awarded at an intermediate spring and the finish line. It is sponsored by Italo, a train operator.

  • For the intermediate sprints, the traguardi volanti, there are 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 points for the first six
  • The first 15 on the finish line get 25, 20, 16, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points

White: for the best young rider, this is awarded on the same basis as the pink jersey, except the rider must be born after 1 January 1988, ie aged 25 or under. It is sponsored by Fratelli Orsero, a fruit distributor.

Obviously a rider can’t wear two jerseys at once, they’d get too hot. So if a rider leads several classifications, they take the most prestigious jersey for themselves and the number two ranked rider in the other competition gets to wear the other jersey. For example if a rider has both the pink jersey and the blue mountains jersey they’ll wear pink whilst whoever is second in the mountains jersey will sport blue jersey.

There are also a host of daily prizes which keep the podium ceremonies going for some time.

The unmissable stages
Anything can happen during the Giro but there are some stages that matter more than others. Note the first week will have plenty of drama and both the prologue and the team time trial will see time gaps open up, possibly large ones for some. There will be sprint finishes which are always tense. But if you need to plan ahead and book space in your diary, here are some suggestions for the stages to watch.

Stage 3Monday 6 May: it might be a day for the sprinters but the hilly finish means that’s not certain and the race will be fast and furious, tune in for the last half hour.

Stage 4Tuesday May: this isn’t a summit finish but it’s the first uphill test and goes to 900m above sea level. It’s too early for lessons about the overall classification but the stage finish should be lively.

Stage 8 – Sunday 11 May: the longer the time trial, the smaller the suspense. It might not be great TV but it will set the tone for the next two weeks, the tactics for every overall contender and pretender will depend on the result.

Stage 10 – Thursday 14 May: the first summit finish of the race and the steep gradients mean the first mountain test.

Stage 14 – Saturday 18 May: another summit finish.

Stage 15 – Sunday 19 May: another summit finish? Yes but the race visits France and climbs to the top of the Galibier.

Stage 18 – Thursday 23 May: the uphill time trial, will this shake-up the overall classification?

Stage 19 – Friday 24 May: the penultimate mountain stage promises plenty of punch during just 139km.

Stage 20 – Saturday 25 May: have they saved the best to the end? The final stage in the high mountains will decide the race winner.

TV viewing
In recent years the race has offered free streaming via La Gazzetta TV and but this is being scrapped.

Instead the race will be on a variety of TV channels according to where you are in the world. Eurosport is covering the race across most of Europe. beIN SPORT has the rights in the US and France.

Italian host broadcaster RAI offers the best coverage with experienced commentators as well as roving reporters on motorbikes to add extra coverage. As ever and are the go-to sites.

The timing will vary but the finish is expected for around 5.00pm each day.

Giro iCal
The calendar sees the stage listed along with the distance and also the rating. The Giro awards stars to each stage to indicate the difficulty or importance, from one to five stars for the biggest days.


Save the ics / iCal / iCalendar file and you can import it into your electronic diary. One or two clicks and it’s on your iPhone / Outlook etc. Alternatively you can use the Google calendar below.

Just use +Google Calendar option. Note this method works with Android phones when the iCal file might not.

Remember a similar calendar exists for all the main pro races for men and women and can be found at

Finally an admin note. This is a blog post but from now until the end of the race you’ll find a duplicate permanent page linked at the top of the page, look for “Giro” or bookmark as that page will be updated daily to reflect the stages covered, abandons and more.

69 thoughts on “Giro Guide”

  1. Great write up.

    Sad to see the live stream go, it feels like a step back but commercial interests must be satisfied to bring us the show I guess.

    Will you be attending any of the stages like last year at the TDF?

    • I know some of the roads well but I’ve been wanting to do some more detailed previews with visits. But I need some ad revenue to make it worthwhile and to cut several long stories short am still trying to get some partners for this site. Having only space for one ad means the site is clearer to read but it means bookings are harder to juggle plus I’m pressed for time just to cover the sport without doing ad sales.

  2. for free TV coverage (not pirate feeds) check filmon they have RAI and ITV so there is coverage through that.

    ps. this is not an advert just advise for people who do not want to pay for their TV. I personally prefer the eurosport player because with very little money you have very good quality…

  3. You should get more sponsors for your website. I’m sure with the kind of following you have, there will be no shortage. Also, if the side ads are not flashy, they could some times add galmour to the website.

    Thanks very much for this post, whets your appetite for the big feast.

  4. Great post as usual, INRNG.
    But why the gratuitous pic of paul smith? (A nod to future sponsors?) In any even someone should tell Mr. smith that one does not wear a belt if sporting a vest — at least you should not if you pretend to be a fashion guru as he does…

    • beIn had MSR coverage and I believe another Italian race earlier in the Spring, so I’d assume they’ll also show the Giro. This is in the US btw.

    • beIN’s onling programming guide only goes out the Thurs May 2 at this time, so it will be a few more days before the guide will tell us how much coverage, and when, they plan to show each day – unless they start promoting it before then.

      I called Comcast, and I can add the sports package that includes beIN1 and beIN2 for $10/month. I think I’ll pull the trigger if it looks like a decent amount of coverage each day.

  5. I would add stages seven and nine to your list of must see viewing. Lots of rollinh hills and I have no doubt the breal will survive on both of these days. Perhaps we will see an escape artist in Pink prior to the long ITT in Stage 8.

    Unfortunately, in terms of excitement and drama, Wiggo will wear pink from stage 8 until the finish in Brescia. This Giro looks more like last years TdF than it does a Giro. So sad, too bad.

    • I think almost all the stages can bring their surprises, picking some to watch invariably means you exclude others and one of the best thing with the Giro is the daily variety, you don’t get several sprint stages in a row.

      • I know you can’t tip them all.

        But, like I said, You could see a rider from the break wearing pink after stage 7 and stage 9 is when the KOM contenders will announce themselves. 32 kom points available that day. For me, the Giro starts that day.

    • It seems the schedule for stages 7 and 8 could have been flipped to promote TV viewing and maybe even the race action; a 55km time trial on the weekend instead of that rolling stage 7 profile? If stage 7 followed the TT it would give GC contenders that lost time in the TT an opportunity to try and escape, as it seems unlikely that a big move will stay away on stage 9.

    • I wouldn’t be quite so sure. I thought Wiggins was the standout favorite but looking at the numerous steep summit finishes, I am no longer convinced. Wiggins certainly can win but someone like Quintana (is he riding?) could spring a surprise. When you crack on these crazy summit finishes, you can lose LOTS of time.

      INRNG, what are the odds of the Galibier being shut so early in May? I have ridden it twice later in the year and both times it was absolutely freezing – I recall it being closed as late as July a couple of years ago.

      A real shame the Giro has moved away from the free streaming. It was a godsend and got lots of viewers. A bit of advertising and they could be onto a real winner there.

      • The Col should be open for the race but the weather is the problem, it could easily be snowing up there which forces the cancellation of the stage. Summer is slow to arrive at these altitudes and the Giro has seen several stages altered because of bad weather in the past.

  6. “If Italy is shaped like a boot, today is a journey south to the toecap and the final climbs will see riders giving each other a kicking on the climb”
    Love it!

  7. Sky squad looks an interesting mix. From Sky press release:

    “Sir Bradley Wiggins – He follows his success at the 2012 Tour de France by mounting a challenge on the next Grand Tour, supported by one of Team Sky’s strongest line-ups to date.

    Dario Cataldo – A strong addition to Team Sky this season, he finished 12th in the last two editions of the Giro and, after winning an epic mountain-top finish at the Vuelta a Espana last season, his Grand Tour credentials are undeniable.

    Sergio Henao – Made an impression on his Giro debut in 2012, routinely riding at the head of the race on his way to ninth position overall. The Colombian has enjoyed a superb start to the season and will be a crucial asset in the mountains.

    Christian Knees – The former German national champion brings power and Grand Tour experience. One of three riders from the Tour-winning team, where he played a key role riding hard on the front and keeping Wiggins out of trouble on the road.

    Danny Pate – Reads a race like few others and his knowledge and selfless work ethic make the American an integral part of the nine-man unit. Pate rode alongside Wiggins as he chalked up a string of stage-race victories in 2012.

    Salvatore Puccio – Makes his Grand Tour debut at the Giro. The young Italian will tackle the biggest challenge of his career to date. Despite being just 23, he has already contested all five of cycling’s monument classics.

    Kanstantsin Siutsou – Brings both power and climbing prowess to the team. A former stage winner back in 2009, ‘Kosta’ makes his Grand Tour return after suffering a broken leg at the Tour de France last year.

    Rigoberto Urán – Team Sky’s highest-placed Giro finisher to date, riding to seventh overall and the young rider’s jersey last year. He has formed an exciting climbing partnership with compatriot Henao and will support Wiggins in the mountains.

    Xabier Zandio – The Spanish domestique is another rider who brings incredible Grand Tour know-how in addition to a laid back, calming and cheerful demeanour.


  8. To me the best idea is to put the uphill TT on the eve of major mountain stages. It’s the kind of TT where all favourites must give all they have… and there might not be a lot left for the day after. I expect some of them will seriously crack on the Stelvio.
    The bad idea is that for this very reason nothing much will happen prior to Pora, except obviously the other TT.

    • The climbers can’t wait too late. But we’ll see with the TT. The worry for the race is that Wiggins takes a commanding lead and then Sky’s mountain train chases down everything but we’ll see what happens.

      • Then its up to the other teams to get away and stay away. One team alone doesnt make or break a race – its a mix of the parcours and how the other 21 (22 in this case) teams play their tactics too.

    • Call me sick and twisted but I’d like to see ’em take another run at a DOWNHILL chrono. They did this in 1989 I think, down the Poggio. Good descenders like Vincenzo Nibali would probably not take huge chunks of time from old geezers like Ivan Basso, so perhaps they use the bonus scheme to reward the guys who are good at going down and willing to take a risk or two? After all, it’s DOWNHILL skiing, no? There’s plenty of uphill stuff already.

      • It was in 1987, Roche’s magical year, and the Irishman outdescended everybody. He was the best descender I’ve seen, more than Nibali, Samuel Sánchez or Savoldelli. He was just flawless choosing his line around the bends, and in timing his braking, and had enormous power to start again after each turn. There is one piece of footage of the 1987 Galibier descent, where you see Delgado (a great descender), in yellow, in a super-aero off-showy position, and there comes Roche from behind, oh-so-naturally, carefully putting his hand on Delgado’s backside, like saying “oh, please, be my guest, you first, Mr. Yellow Jersey”. (Yes, that’s the stage where Roche attacked later from the Madeleine, and Delgado counter-attacked at the foot of La Plagne, only for both of them to finish within 5 secs, and exhausted).
        The thing with downhill TTs is that, spectacular as they surely are, they are deemed “dangerous”. I should certainly love to see one, for example down the Stelvio (Prato side) or Navacerrada (Segovia side). Actually a TT including both the ascent and the descent would be wonderful, with very unpredictable results… But coming to think of it, crashing at 90kph on one of those mountain roads is really no joke, helmet or no helmet… This kind of race would be no more dangerous than F1, but probably no less.

  9. Yes Steve! Sky’s line up looks awesome. Pate and Knees are the Diesels. Suitsou seems to have hybrid skills. Uran, Henao and Cataldo are a very impressive set of SMDs. Zandio and Puccio will carry the bottles. Will be interesting to see who Sky position as the VP in case something happens to Wiggins – like if he refuses to come out of his bedroom one day or throws his bike at a mouthy Italian farmer. Henao seems slightly better than Uran but Uran seems to have more seniority at Sky. Or will they leave those 2 to bury themselves in the mountains and keep Swizzoo in reserve?

    Cataldo is a huge add. The Giro was always where he performed in the past and he’ll be key. It’s a slight gamble from Sky to not take Porte or Froome but I guess schedule dictates these things. Cataldo’s experience will be crucial in helping the Colombian young-guns time their efforts and make all the right ‘cacurlehshuns’.

    As for the route, it’s another old Kellyism that I’ll defer to – it’s not the route, it’s the riders. It doesn’t take huge mountains to blow a race apart – it takes aggressive riding. In the TDF last year, Sky’s team was simply too strong for any other team in the race to remotely trouble them. In this Giro, Sky’s team is less potent. However will the other teams be stronger? Will SaxyTinks save their best men for the TDF? Will Katusha do the same? Who will lead Movistar? Surely at least Astana and Nibali will bring the A-squad. They’ll represent a better challenge to Sky than Liquigas’ dismal efforts (they seemed to try much harder for Basso no?).

    Given Nibali’s form last week is it really wise to write him off so easily? Despite Wiggos undeniable talent, one thing he can’t do is go with the super acceleration in the big mountains. If Sky can pull it along at monolithic Sky pace for the whole 3 weeks then they will succeed. But with the amount of climbing (just the right amount really) they simply won’t be able to do it. Swap Henao and Uran for and Porte and froome maybe. But as it stands, no. At some point in week 3 Sir Bradley will be put in a situation where he has to solo chase a definitive megaburst from someone, probably Nibali. Can he chase it? The answer is not clear to me.

    Other contenders? Well I’ve done the reigning champ a disservice by not mentioning him already. He looked scary good in the Giro last year – J-Rod gapped him on the climbs but never came remotely close to breaking him. I think Hesjedal has the drive to repeat and he’s in form. Garmin have a decent selection of domestiques but again, who will they commit to the Giro?

    Caruso may be given semi-leadership of Katusha and he’ll do well. Ag2r will be fun to watch and will cameo on some big stages – can either Pozzovivo or Betancur style their way into the top 5? Rujano is a sleeper pick too, always does well when lots of mountains are involved. Top 10 at least beckons for him. Samu is dangerous and is probably well capable of winning a race like the Giro in his career – will now be the time? A podium should be the least of his ambitions, but then again Euskatel are hardly the most ambitious squad about.

    Also a note on time bonuses – I don’t like them in the big mountain stages. It can make riders reluctant to attack in the final kms because it’s more logical to save yourself for the sprint and gain seconds that way. Happened in the Vuelta last year and was an unnessecary addition to stages already illuminated with attacking riding. Time bonuses have their place in cycling, but not in the big stages of the GTs.

    • Sky will likely go 1-2-3 in bothe the Giro and Tour this year, and the Vuelta if they feel like it.
      Froome is Wiggins 2012 2.0, apparently Porte is now capable of winning tours, and Stannard can now contest monuments.

      Marginal gains at work.

  10. SKY have been clueless in the Classic’s and Liege was the icing on the cake. Come back Sean, come back Bobby all is forgiven. Marginal gains my backside!

    • What does their Classics campaign have to do with GTs? BTW Sean Yates wasnt DS for Classics – he was very much the chief stage race DS. As for Bobby J – again, never a DS but a coach – he coached Froome and Porte, amongst others, and they’ve hardly looked weaker by his absence.

      • Yes i was forgetting, there is Spring SKY and then there is Summer SKY and Sean never rode the Classic’s so he would have had no input there would he. Sorry if I am upsetting the Murdoch fan boys.

        • Oh dear, so that’s the best you can do – label anyone who points out something that’s inaccurate in your posts, ‘Murdoch fan boys.’ Room for improvement in your ability to debate, perhaps?

        • See, now you’ve gone and inspired the wrath of the Sky koolaid club. That’s a dangerous game with the blindly homer crowd as animated as they are at the moment.

          • See, now I’ve gone and inspired the wrath of the anti-Sky bandwagon. That’s a hilarious game with the blindly ignorant whiners as animated as they are at the moment.

  11. That’s upsetting that the live Italian feed won’t be available. I used to watch the race early in the morning (PST) on my iPhone or iPad via La Gazzetta TV. Back to pirate feeds that only play on computers. Bollocks.

  12. I have a kind of nerdy question:
    say, somebody is leading the white jersey competition but is also second in the mountain classification. Now the leader of the mountain competition is also the rider in pink. who gets to wear blue? the rider in 3rd or the the rider in 2nd and the 2nd in the white jersey competition gets the white?

  13. Quickly,

    I have followed sections of the Tour over the past years camping along the route. Is this permitted during the Giro? Any tips or links to resources would be huge. The clock is ticking! Thanks all.

      • Ok, Sounds consistant with what i experienced in France. “No sir, camping on the calanques in Marsielle is not permitted even though the finish was in Sisteron today…”
        That’s all the reassurance I need. Thanks!

    • Everybody and his fratello is on the mountain stages, camping out in whatever space they can find. As InnerRing advises, I’d not try to camp out in the middle of an arrival city though you might get away with it. Get the Giro guide put out by Bicisport (should be out very soon) for all the details..and maybe we’ll see you during the last week?

      • I am basing the trip on the long Pfingsten weekend here in Germany. That puts the galibier as my goal, with as much as can be packed in on either side. Thanks for the tips!

  14. I believe that no.1 favourite is Nibali. He has the form, he has the team, he is Italian and the many of the stages are suited to him.. I believe that Astana strategy will be to bring Nibali and Wiggins at equal term to the first TT and then hope to loose around a minute.. With such a time gap there will be enough stages to take the win in Brescia.

    As for Wiggins and Sky, it is all about TT’s and control! Be infront of Astana in the TTT, not loose any time even through bonus seconds to Nibali before the TT and then try to maintain the gap until the second TT.

    For the rest I believe it is a point of just hanging on to the Sky and Astana trains and try to find small opportunities to attack!

    Usually there is a suprise in every GT, I just hope that someone has the legs to attack the two favorites and spice up the race..

    • Nibali is toast. Whatever Sky is doing, Nibali won’t be able to hang, while their (formerly) second tier riders drop the best climbers in the world.

      Which is a crying shame, as he is the most exciting grand tour racer in the world right now.

  15. Dear all,

    I have organized a fantasy league for the Giro d’Italia on and would like to invite you too!
    The game is great fun and works easy:
    –       Choose a team of 16-20 cyclists
    –       Choose 3 team leaders
    –       Pick your line up of 9 cyclists for each stage
    –       Pick one team leader for each stage

    It is possible to join until Saturday 4th of May (5 minutes before start of the first stage). Let’s see who has the best knowledge of cycling! Click on the link below to join!

    Regards, Bas de Brouwer

    • Looks great, I’m joining. On that note, which sprinters are going to be to the fore? Cav and Meersman seem to be obvious choices, but who are the other contenders for the sprints? Perhaps some dark-ish horses like Gatto…anyone else come to mind?

      • Nice that you will join the game Chris, let’s find out who is the best cycling manager 😉

        about the sprinters: I think you should not select Cav and Meersman both because they are in the same team. I think Meersman is pulling the sprint for Cav en therefor he will not finish in the top 5…. but that’s my opinion.

        Good luck!

  16. Hesjedal was a DNG in Romandie today. Not sure if that was planned, to get ready for the Giro, or if something is wrong. He didn’t have a great prologue either.

  17. GIRO time, always something nice to look at besides the bikes and a few years ago I spotted a tree decorated in pink ribbon it looked simply beautiful. Great how some go to great lengths to add to the race.

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