Full details of the Giro d'Italia 2018 route (May 4 to 27)

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The​ ​Giro​ ​d’Italia 2018 route (May 4-27)​ ​looks set to give the general classification contenders a​ ​serious​ ​challenge​ ​with eight​ ​summit​ ​finishes​,​ ​including​ ​two​ ​major mountain​ ​days​ ​over​ ​Monte​ ​Zoncolan​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Colle​ ​delle​ ​Finestre.

In​ ​typical​ ​fashion​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Italian​ ​Grand​ ​Tour​ ​–​ ​or​ ​a​ ​good​ ​crime thriller​ ​–​ ​the​ ​suspense​ ​builds​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​final​ ​chapters.

Monte​ ​Zoncolan​ ​with​ ​its​ ​22 per cent​ ​pitches​ ​conclude​ ​what​ ​the​ ​Italians call​ ​a​ ​tappone,​ ​a​ ​mammoth​ ​stage​ ​that​, ​in​ ​this​ ​instance, comes​ ​on​ ​the weekend​ ​before​ ​the​ ​final​ ​rest​ ​day,​ ​includes​ ​4000​ ​metres​ ​of climbing.

The​ ​Colle​ ​delle​ ​Finestre​ ​strikes​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​chord​ ​in​ ​cycling​ ​with​ ​its unique​ ​gravel​ ​road​ ​snaking​ ​upwards​ ​to​ ​2178​ ​meters.​ ​From​ ​the pass,​ ​the​ ​Giro​ ​organiser​ ​usually​ ​finishes ​with​ ​the smaller​ ​climb​ ​to​ ​Sestriere,​ ​but​ ​for​ ​2018​ ​they​ ​continue​ ​further​ ​to Bardonecchia​ ​and​ ​the​ ​7.25km​ ​climb​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Jafferau​ ​ski station.​ ​

This​ ​tappone​ ​includes​ ​3500​ ​climbing​ ​metres,​ ​and​ ​given it’s​ ​deep​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Susa​ ​Valley,​ ​cyclists​ ​could​ ​see​ ​anything​ ​from Italian​ ​sun​ ​beams​ ​to​ ​driving​ ​snow.

>>> Chris Froome to race the Giro d’Italia in 2018, say sources

Both​ ​the Zoncolan​ ​and​ ​Finestre​ are ​relatively​ recent additions ​to​ ​the​ ​Giro, which​ ​was contested for the 100th time​ ​in​ ​2017.​ ​The​ ​former​ ​premiered​ ​in 2003​ ​and​ ​the​ ​second​ ​in​ ​2005.​ ​Team​ ​Sky’s​ ​star,​ ​Chris Froome,​ has ​already​ ​ridden both in the last six months.

As expected, race​ ​organiser​ ​RCS​ ​Sport​ ​saves the most spectacular stages for last​ ​–​ ​the​ final ​week​ containing ​three​ ​consecutive​ ​summit finishes​ ​ahead​ ​of​ ​the​ ​final​ ​stage​ ​in​ ​Rome.​ ​

After​ ​its​ ​start​ ​in​ ​Israel,​ ​the​ ​first​ ​Grand​ ​Tour​ to start ​outside​ ​of​ ​Europe​ ​with a​ ​9.7-km ​time​ ​trial​ ​and​ ​two​ ​flat​ ​stages,​ ​it​ ​continues steadily​ ​northwards​ ​from​ ​Sicily​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Italian​ ​boot.​

​The​ ​race​ ​will keep​ ​the​ fans’​ ​attention​ ​with​ ​early​ ​summit​ ​finishes​ ​up​ ​a never​ ​before​ ​used​ ​Mount​ ​Etna​ ascent ​(on stage​ ​six),​ ​and​ ​at​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of the​ ​first​ ​week,​ ​Montevergine​ ​di​ ​Mercogliano​ ​near​ ​Naples​ ​and Gran​ ​Sasso​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Abruzzo​ ​region​ ​(on stages​ ​eight ​and​ ​nine).

The​ ​second​ ​week,​ ​which​ ​could​ ​seem​ ​like​ ​the​ ​third​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Giro’s first​ ​phase​ ​in​ ​Israel​ ​and​ ​the​ ​second​ ​spanning​ ​Southern​ ​Italy, passes​ ​the​ ​Po​ ​Valley​ ​and​ ​enters​ ​the​ ​Alps​ ​along​ ​the​ ​border​ ​with Austria.​

​The​ ​dreamy​ ​landscapes​ ​provide​ ​the​ ​perfect​ ​scene​ ​for those​ ​classification​ ​cyclists​ ​with​ ​eyes​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Giro’s​ ​famous​ ​spiral trophy,​ ​now​ ​etched​ ​with​ ​100​ ​victors.​ ​

Osmio​ ​counts​ ​as​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the eight​ ​summit​ ​finishes,​ ​but​ ​its​ ​short​ ​and​ ​steep​ ​finish​ ​near​ ​the hometown​ ​of​ ​Michele​ ​Scarponi,​ ​who​ ​died​ ​in a training crash​ ​April​ ​training,​ ​is better​ ​suited​ ​for​ ​your​ ​Diego​ ​Ulissis​ ​than​ ​your​ ​Chris​ ​Froomes​ ​or Tom​ ​Dumoulins.

The​ ​time​ ​trials​ ​will​ ​tilt​ ​the​ ​balance​ ​back​ ​from​ ​heavy​ ​mountain days.​ Time gained ​in​ ​the​ ​9.7-kilometre​ ​Jerusalem​ ​time​ ​trial​ ​and​ ​the ​34.5-kilometre​ ​time​ ​trial​ ​through​ ​the​ ​Lagarina​ ​Valley​ ​to Rovereto on stage 16​ ​will​ ​dictate​ ​how​ ​the​ ​story​ ​unfolds​ ​in​ ​the​ ​remaining week​ ​with​ ​its​ ​three​ ​consecutive​ ​summit​ ​finishes​ ​stages​ ​in​ ​Italy’s Western​ ​Alpine​ ​front.

Followers​ ​with​ ​a​ ​sharp​ ​eye​ ​will​ ​note​ ​a​ ​few​ ​items.​ ​After​ ​time​ ​trials in​ ​the​ ​vineyards​ ​of​ ​Barolo,​ ​Prosecco,​ ​Chianti​ ​and​ ​Sagrantino,​ ​this year​ ​organiser​ ​RCS​ ​Sport​ ​continues​ ​the​ ​trend​ ​instead​ ​with​ ​a​ ​road stage​ ​through​ ​Franciacorta.​ ​The​ ​sparkling​ ​white​ ​wine​ ​should​ ​go down​ ​well​ ​with​ ​the​ ​stage​ ​17​ ​sprint​ ​winner​ ​at​ ​Lago​ ​D’Iseo​ ​on​ ​May 23.

As announced in previous months, the​ ​Giro’s​ ​3546.2​km ​voyage​ will start in Israel, the state paying approximately​ ​€10​ ​million​ ​to​ ​RCS​ ​MediaGroup​ ​host​ ​the first​ ​three​ ​stages,​ ​but​ ​not​ ​without​ ​controversy.

Groups​ ​protested​ ​in​ ​several​ ​Italian​ ​cities​ ​and​ ​European​ ​Coordination​ ​of​ ​Committees​ ​and​ ​Associations​ ​for Palestine​ ​(ECCP),​ ​consisting​ ​of​ ​120​ ​human​ ​rights​ ​groups,​ ​sent statements​ ​urging​ ​RCS​ ​Sport​ ​to​ ​reconsider​ ​its​ ​Big​ ​Start​ ​plans.

The​ ​group​ ​said​ ​”that​ ​holding​ ​the​ ​Giro​ ​d’Italia​ ​in​ ​Israel​ ​will​ ​both cover​ ​up​ ​Israel’s​ ​military​ ​occupation​ ​and​ ​discrimination​ ​against Palestinians​ ​and​ ​increase​ ​Israel’s​ ​sense​ ​of​ ​impunity,​ ​encouraging continued​ ​denial​ ​of​ ​Palestinians’​ ​UN-stipulated​ ​rights.”​ ​And​ ​no nod​ ​was​ ​given​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​Israel’s​ ​Arabian​ ​neighbour​ ​by presenting​ ​the​ ​2018​ ​Giro​ ​route​ ​on ​November​ ​29,​ ​the​ ​day​ ​the United​ ​Nations​ ​recognises​ ​an​ ​International​ ​Day​ ​of​ ​Solidarity​ ​with the​ ​Palestinian​ ​People.

Giro d’Italia 2018 route: Stage-by-stage

Stage one: Jerusalem to Jerusalem, 9.7km (ITT)
Friday, May 4

 

The 2018 Giro big start will based around the holy city with a 10.1km time trial to kick off the race on Friday, May 4, before two sprint stages finish off the race’s time in Israel.

Stage two: Haifa to Tel Aviv, 167km
Saturday, May 5

Stage two will see the riders move from the north of the country southwards with a 167km route from Haifa to Tel Aviv that looks destined to end in a sprint.

Stage three: Be’er Sheva to Eilat, 229km
Sunday, May 6

The sprinters will likely have their fun again on stage three with a longer 226km stage from Be’er Sheva to Eilat, with a long descent from Mitzpe Ramon to the finish. The race will then fly out of Eilat and back to Italy, with the rest of the stages to be revealed in November.

Stage four: Catania to Caltagirone, 191km
Tuesday, May 8

Stage five: Agrigento to Santa Ninfa, 152km
Wednesday, May 9

Stage six: Caltanissetta to Mount Etna, 163km
Thursday, May 10

Stage seven: Pizzo to Praia a Mare, 159km
Friday, May 11

Stage eight: Praia a Mare to Montevergine di Mercogliano, 208km
Saturday, May 12

Stage nine: Pesco Sannita to Gran Sasso d’Italia, 224km
Sunday, May 13

Stage 10: Penne to Gualdo Tadino, 239km
Tuesday, May 15

Stage 11: Assisi to Osimo, 156km
Wednesday, May 16

Stage 12: Osimo to Imola, 213km
Thursday, May 17

Stage 13: Ferrara to Nervesa della Battaglia, 180km
Friday, May 18

Stage 14: San Vito al Tagliamento to Monte Zoncolan, 181km
Saturday, May 19

Stage 15: Tolmezzo to Sappada, 176km
Sunday, May 20

Stage 16: Trento to Rovereto, 34.5km (ITT)
Tuesday, May 22

Stage 17: Riva del Garda to Iseo, 155km
Wednesday, May 23

Stage 18: Abbiategrasso to Prato Nervoso, 196km
Thursday, May 24

Stage 19: Venaria Reale to Bardonecchia (Jafferau), 181km
Friday, May 25

Stage 20: Susa to Cervinia, 214km
Saturday, May 26

Stage 21: Rome to Rome, 118km
Sunday, May 27

 

Stages of the 2018 Giro d’Italia route

Stage Date Start/Finish Distance
1 Friday, May 4 Jerusalem to Jerusalem 9.7km (ITT)
2 Saturday, May 5 Haifa to Tel Aviv 167km
3 Sunday, May 6 Be-er Sheva to Eilat 229km
Rest Day Monday, May 7
4 Tuesday, May 8 Catania to Caltagirone 191km
5 Wednesday, May 9 Agrigento to Santa Ninfa 152km
6 Thursday, May 10 Caltanissetta to Mount Etna 163km
7 Friday, May 11 Pizzo to Praia a Mare 159km
8 Saturday, May 12 Praia a Mare to Montevergine di Mercogliano 208km
9 Sunday, May 13 Pesco Sannita to Gran Sasso d’Italia
224km
Rest Day Monday, May 14
10 Tuesday, May 15 Penne to Gualdo Tadino 239km
11 Wednesday, May 16 Assisi to Osimo 156km
12 Thursday, May 17 Osimo to Imola 213km
13 Friday, May 18 Ferrara to Nervesa della Battaglia 180km
14 Saturday, May 19 San Vito al Tagliamento to Monte Zoncolan 181km
15 Sunday, May 20 Tolmezzo to Sappada 176km
Rest Day Monday, May 21
16 Tuesday, May 22 Trento to Rovereto 34.5km (ITT)
17 Wednesday, May 23 Riva del Garda to Iseo 155km
18 Thursday, May 24 Abbiategrasso to Prato Nervoso 196km
19 Friday, July 25 Venaria Reale to Bardonecchia (Jafferau) 181km
20 Saturday, July 26 Susa to Cervinia 214km
21 Sunday, July 27 Rome to Rome 118km