Here’s the Giro d’Italia guide. There’s a concise preview of every stage, with my quick take on the day added. Use the links to find your way around the stage previews, the rules and the other points. From now until the end of the race you’ll find the page linked at the top of the screen, desktop users can look for “Giro” in the bar at the top and if you visit via your mobile then “Giro” on the drop-down menu.
There will be daily stage previews and more on the race and Italian cycling in the coming weeks.
|Stage 1 |||Stage 2 |||Stage 3 |||Rest day|
|Stage 4 |||Stage 5 |||Stage 6 |||Stage 7 |||Stage 8 |||Stage 9 |||Rest day|
|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 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.
A more balanced Giro with three time trials and a reduction in climbing, albeit all relative given a third week that tours the Alps from one end to the other. There are eight likely sprint finishes but a couple have spiky climbs that could thwart the heavier sprinters in their quest for points and the red jersey competition. There are seven mountain stages, five of which have an uphill finish.
Now on to each stage. Note the annotations where TV = Traguardo Volante or Intermediate Sprint and R = Rifornimento or Feed Zone.
Stage 1 – Friday 6 May
As flat as a pizza, the 9.8km opening time trial will create an instant hierarchy for the overall classification. There are several 90 degree bends along the way but with wide and sheltered roads this is for the powerhouse riders who can hold an aero tuck at 55km/h.
Stage 2 – Saturday 7 May
One for the sprinters with a small climb thrown in just so they can award the mountains jersey to someone but it’s no canal bridge, it’s a proper berg that’s a kilometre long. The finish includes laps of Nijmegen, birth place of Eddie van Halen so perhaps the victor will make an air guitar victory salute?
Stage 3 – Sunday 8 May
Back to Arnhem again via a mountains jersey contest and a likely sprint finish with finishing circuits around the town. A rest day awaits for some but for many it’s a long transfer to the south of Italy.
Stage 4 – Tuesday 10 May
The race resumes in Italy and the riders will be in no doubt as they pedal alongside the shimmering Mediterranean and past aromatic bergamot groves. The route darts inland now and then to add a climb. The race arrives into the finish town and then tackles with a sharp climb which tops out at 18% just 7km from the finish.
Stage 5 – Wednesday 11 May
An uphill start makes for a good launchpad for the day’s breakaway. If the rest of the day looks hilly the climbs are steady before a lap around Benvento including some cobbles the finishing straight.
Stage 6 – Thursday 12 May
The first uphill finish of the race but it’s too strong to call it a summit finish. There are 7% slopes on the way and an outside chance a very confident climber launches their move here to stun the others but it’s more a climb for punchy riders who can push a big gear rather than pure climbers and we should see the big names finish together.
Stage 7 – Friday 13 May
A stage across the Apennines before finishing in the plains and a flat run to Foligno. It should be a chance for the sprinters but look to see if any breakaway specialists took it easy on the previous day to save themselves for a raid here.
Stage 8 – Saturday 14 May
It could have been a flat rush to the line in Arezzo, perfect for the sprinters but once they reach the finish line they head out for a 10km long climb which is unpaved and reaches 13-14% in places before a tarmac descent and the scenic finish in Arezzo, uphill and paved with flagstones, as seen before in Tirreno-Adriatico.
Stage 9 – Sunday 15 May
One of the most important stages of the race, this 40km time trial through the Chianti vineyards will reshape the overall classification, a chance for some to gain time and others to flounder like fish out of water. The profile looks hilly but many of the climbs can be tackled in an aero tuck and the descents are fast and reward those who can spin their top gear.
Stage 10 – Tuesday 17 May
After the rest day comes a day of work with barely a metre of flat. The big climb of the day to the Pian del Falco ski resort is 16km at 5% but the final three kilometres are 9-10% before a tricky descent and then a 5-6% drag to the finish line for 7km. There should be a good battle for the stage win even if it’s likely to be indecisive for the overall classification.
Stage 11 – Wednesday 18 May
227km north towards the foot of the Alps and a profile that begs you to tune in late. The Forcella Mostaccin is a tough little climb above Maser, home of Sidi, that will have riders tightening their shoes as it’s 2.5km at 8%. There’s a claimed max of 16% but you’ll need your theodolite to find that. There’s 19km to go from the top to the finish but this includes a twisting descent and then some narrow roads with few flat sections to get a chase working.
Stage 12 – Thursday 19 May
A big day for the sprinters and a recovery day for the GC riders, TV watchers and preview writers alike who will all look to coast as much as possible. There are two finishing laps around Bibione, the seaside town that’s got Italy’s second longest beach (after Rimini in case you needed to know).
Stage 13 – Friday 20 May
At first glance this looks hilly and nothing more but ride the 170km and you and your knees would be cursing that casual glance. This is a very hard stage through the spiky Friuli region with steep roads and the mechanics will be busy fitting low gears and perhaps even compact chainsets for this stage.
Stage 14 – Saturday 21 May
A classic day in the Dolomites with many of the range’s best known climbs and a route that mirrors much of the popular Maratona gran fondo. The race goes beyond 2,000m above sea level five times and there’s more climbing in between. Expect two races here, a breakaway racing for the stage win and behind them the contenders for the overall classification testing each other. How early do the climbers have to attack in order to distance the others? Watch for the tricky finish and the Mür dl Giat, dialect for “Wall of the Cat” and a cruel 19% ramp with 5km to go.
Stage 15 – Sunday 22 May
A brave decision by the organisers to put a second time trial on a Sunday afternoon, prime time but will stage offer gripping television? For the riders this is a challenging test and far more than a tilt up the the mountain. Instead there are ever-changing gradients that incite the strongest to accelerate where they can and punish the weaker riders.
Stage 16 – Tuesday 24 May
Who had a successful rest day? Here’s a very short but explosive mountain stage. The Passo della Mendola is a long and gradual climb while the road the Fai della Paganella was used in the recent Giro del Trentino where Mikel Landa was so at ease as he contained attack after attack.
Stage 18 – Thursday 26 May
The race heads for the Alps and a very spiky finish. Pramartino is 4.6km at over 10% before the race drops into Pinerolo. You can’t see it on the profile above but it’s got a sharp climb, 500m up a narrow, stone-paved road that averages 14% and peaks at 20%.
Stage 19 – Friday 27 May
Say bonjour as the Giro crosses into France via the giant Colle dell’Agnello, the highpoint of the race – assuming it’s open and clear of snow – and fingers crossed the sun is shining because this should be a stunning day on the bike, at least until the steady ski station access road to Risoul which isn’t as scenic. It may look familiar as it’s where Vicenzo Nibali triumphed in 2014 on his way to winning the Tour de France.
Stage 20 – Saturday 28 May
The last day to win the Giro and what a course. At just 132km and an uphill start. the town of Guillestre will hum to the sound of riders warming-up before the Cols de Vars, a hard climb but a mere taster before the giant Bonette. Then comes the Col de la Lombarde and the race returns to Italy via a twisty descent a short but still significant final climb to the finish.
Stage 21 – Sunday 29 May
Basta! The final day is a parade as the race turns its back to the Alps and heads for the wealthy industrial city of Torino, home of Fiat and Lavazza coffee and a likely sprint finish.
Stage 6 – Thursday 12 May: the first uphill finish
Stage 8 – Saturday 14 May: the offroad climb, the uphill finish in Arezzo
Stage 9 – Sunday 15 May: the 40km Chianti time trial stage. Maybe it won’t be gripping TV but it is decisive
Stage 10 – Tuesday 17 May: a hard mid-mountain stage
Stage 13 – Friday 20 May: the steep Friuli mountain stage
Stage 14 – Saturday 21 May: the day of the Dolomites
Stage 19 – Friday 27 May: a big mountain stage, albeit with a steady finishing climb
Stage 20 – Saturday 28 May: the final mountain stage, a coronation parade or is the race still up for grabs?
Italian host broadcaster RAI offers the best coverage with pre- and post-stage broadcasts, experienced commentators as well as roving reporters on motorbikes to add extra coverage from the breakaway or the back of the peloton.