Full details of the Giro d'Italia 2018 route (May 4 to 27)
The Giro d’Italia 2018 is well underway, with still more summit finishes to come ahead of the final stage in Rome.
The route – which includes a total of eight uphill finishes – has made for a perfect launchpad for current leader, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) – who enters the stage 16 time trial with a substantial 2-11 lead over defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).
In typical fashion for the Italian Grand Tour – or a good crime thriller – the suspense builds towards the final chapters – which means there’s plenty of fireworks left for the final week of racing.
Following a relatively flat stage 16 time trial, stage 18 provides a fearsome finish up the Prato Nevoso climb, whilst stage 19 heralds the 18km Colle delle Finestre, with its nine per cent average gradient and 9km of gravel road.
The penultimate day follows an almost flat 125km with three cat-one ascents, all in the last 90km before a finish in Cervinia – whilst the Rome to Rome final stage is pretty much guaranteed to go to a sprinter.
Stages of the 2018 Giro d’Italia route and race reports
|1 – report here||Friday, May 4||Jerusalem to Jerusalem||9.7km (ITT)|
|2 – report here||Saturday, May 5||Haifa to Tel Aviv||167km|
|3 – report here||Sunday, May 6||Be-er Sheva to Eilat||229km|
|Rest Day||Monday, May 7||–|
|4 – report here||Tuesday, May 8||Catania to Caltagirone||202km|
|5 – report here||Wednesday, May 9||Agrigento to Santa Ninfa||153km|
|6 – report here||Thursday, May 10||Caltanissetta to Mount Etna||169km|
|7 – report here||Friday, May 11||Pizzo to Praia a Mare||159km|
|8 – report here||Saturday, May 12||Praia a Mare to Montevergine di Mercogliano||208km|
|9 – report here||Sunday, May 13||Pesco Sannita to Gran Sasso d’Italia
|Rest Day||Monday, May 14||–|
|10 – report here||Tuesday, May 15||Penne to Gualdo Tadino||239km|
|11 – report here||Wednesday, May 16||Assisi to Osimo||156km|
|12 – report here||Thursday, May 17||Osimo to Imola||213km|
|13 – report here||Friday, May 18||Ferrara to Nervesa della Battaglia||180km|
|14 – report here||Saturday, May 19||San Vito al Tagliamento to Monte Zoncolan||181km|
|15 – report here||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, May 25||Venaria Reale to Bardonecchia (Jafferau)||181km|
|20||Saturday, May 26||Susa to Cervinia||214km|
|21||Sunday, May 27||Rome to Rome||118km|
The race’s early summit finishes up 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) have certainly proven instrumental – launching Simon Yates (Mitcelton-Scott) into pink as he’s shown good form on the slopes.
The second week, has seen the peloton enter the Alps along the border with Austria – and stages 14 and 15 look set to really test Yates’ control over the leader’s jersey.
The time trials on stage 16 will tilt the balance back from heavy mountain days, but it remains to be seen if defending champion Tom Doumoulin (Sunweb) will be able to pull back enough time to leapfrog into pink.
Giro d’Italia 2018 route: Stage-by-stage
CW’s James Shrubsall guides us through the race, stage-by-stage…
Stage one: Jerusalem to Jerusalem, 9.7km (ITT)
Friday, May 4
This short, undulating jaunt around the Holy City is too short for the time trial specialists to really shine but the puncheurs will be keen to have a shot at riding in pink the next day.
Stage two: Haifa to Tel Aviv, 167km
Saturday, May 5
A fourth-category hump around halfway through the stage will barely break the sprinters’ stride as they speed north on flat coastal roads towards an inevitable bunch finish in Tel Aviv.
Stage three: Be’er Sheva to Eilat, 229km
Sunday, May 6
This final stage in Israel is expected to also end in a bunch sprint but it’s far from featureless. There’s a cat-four climb around halfway and the stage runs through a 40km crater.
Stage four: Catania to Caltagirone, 202km
Tuesday, May 8
It’s back to the homeland if not the mainland for the Giro peloton as the riders transfer to Sicily after three landmark days in Israel.
The finish in Caltagirone, while looking like butter wouldn’t melt on the stage profile next to the bigger cat-fours earlier in the day, is a tough and technical meander through the town ideal for a powerful finisher in the Ardennes Classics mould.
Stage five: Agrigento to Santa Ninfa, 153km
Wednesday, May 9
Staying in Sicily, the terrain gets even hillier today, with this stage backloaded with small climbs. The coastal location also means wind, and with the help of the warm southern sirocco it ought to be a good day for a small break.
Stage six: Caltanissetta to Mount Etna, 169km
Thursday, May 10
Just as it looms over the residents of eastern Sicily, the imposing hulk of Mount Etna will have been a constant feature on the horizon for riders and fans from day one of the Giro. Its slopes will host the Giro’s first summit finish after a lumpy if not particularly long stage. Although it’s still very early days, this could be the first look we get at the GC contenders.
Of the numerous ways to tackle Etna, this isn’t the hardest, but it does have its difficulties. Barren slopes at the top are ripe for the sort of winds that all but neutralised the Etna stage last year, while an especially steep one-kilometre section halfway up could easily catch riders napping.
Stage seven: Pizzo to Praia a Mare, 159km
Friday, May 11
Finally onto the mainland. After yesterday’s fireworks today is flat and short — the third consecutive day around the 100-mile mark, in fact — and should allow the GC men some respite as the sprinters duke it out at Praia a Mare.
Stage eight: Praia a Mare to Montevergine di Mercogliano, 208km
Saturday, May 12
Today’s lengthy outing features an intriguing mix of sea and mountains — or sea and mountain, to be precise. From the beautiful resort of Praia a Mare on the Tyrrenhian coast, the road skirts the seafront as far north as Salerno, before cutting inland for the 50km final approach to the second summit finish of the race at Montevergine di Mercogliano.
Stage nine: Pesco Sannita to Gran Sasso d’Italia, 224km
Sunday, May 13
Despite the substantial length of what could be the toughest stage yet, the final climb to Gran Sasso still manages to make up nearly a quarter of the total distance. A steep final 4km in particular could see a real GC shakeout.
Stage 10: Penne to Gualdo Tadino, 239km
Tuesday, May 15
After Monday’s rest day, the riders better be ready to rock again — hard. There mightn’t be a summit finish but there are three classified climbs, countless lumps and more kilometres than on any other day. One for the breaks.
Stage 11: Assisi to Osimo, 156km
Wednesday, May 16
A brace of third-category climbs along the way won’t be enough to distract from the real prize — a steep little haul up to the finish in the stunning hill-top town of Osimo. It’s a perfect hunting ground for a punchy finisher.
Stage 12: Osimo to Imola, 213km
Thursday, May 17
An almost entirely flat stage along the coast, punctuated only by a minor blip mid-distance and a small climb near the finish where the race performs a circuit outside the city to return for an inevitable bunch sprint on the feted motor racing circuit.
Stage 13: Ferrara to Nervesa della Battaglia, 180km
Friday, May 18
It’s another day for the fastmen as the bunch heads north-east into the Veneto region. These are the flattest roads yet, aside from the climb to Montello with 20km remaining where only the strongest and wiliest of escapees will elude the sprinters.
Stage 14: San Vito al Tagliamento to Monte Zoncolan, 181km
Saturday, May 19
Today is unlikely to be referred to as anything but ‘the Zoncolan stage’. This brutish ascent in north-eastern Italy averages nearly 15 per cent for much of its 10km, and features ramps of up to 22 per cent.
There are three cat-three and one cat-two climbs to soften up the legs on the way to the Zoncolan today, plus various lumps in-between. ‘Attritional’ is the word that springs to mind.
Stage 15: Tolmezzo to Sappada, 176km
Sunday, May 20
After the mighty Zoncolan, the four small classified climbs on today’s menu will seem like small fry, but will still be dangerous territory for anyone still suffering after the previous day. Three climbs concertinaed into the final 40km are likely to see most of the action.
Stage 16: Trento to Rovereto, 34.5km (ITT)
Tuesday, May 22
On paper the race’s only full-length time trial looks a fast enough course, with a short climb at two-thirds distance and some tight corners into the finish at Ravetto the only difficulties. However, its location means the weather could play a significant part – it’s in a valley so the wind can change at lunch time.
The GC contenders should be pretty well grouped towards the top of the field by this point in the race, so it’s unlikely they’ll be split by a lunchtime weather change. But it could mean an unexpected stage winner if those who are off early enjoy a tailwind which turns around for the later riders.
Stage 17: Riva del Garda to Iseo, 155km
Wednesday, May 23
With a bunch of climbs in the first two thirds, today could be a rare opportunity for the breakaway specialists to have a turn atop the podium. However, a fairly flat 55km run to the finish means it’ll have to be a strong break to hold off the sprinters.
Stage 18: Abbiategrasso to Prato Nervoso, 196km
Thursday, May 24
Labelling this a ‘mountains’ stage is slightly misleading. The Prato Nevoso summit finish is fearsome — 13km at around seven per cent — but the preceding 170km is basically flat bar one cat-four climb and is likely to be a bit of a procession.
Stage 19: Venaria Reale to Bardonecchia (Jafferau), 181km
Friday, May 25
‘Ferocious’ is one of only a few words to describe the profile of stage 19. It’s a four-summit belter which, coming with only two days to go, is going to make for a daunting day in the saddle.
The centrepiece is surely the Colle delle Finestre. Eighteen kilometres long at a brutish nine per cent average gradient, not only does it host the Cima Coppi — the highest point in the race — its top half comprises 9km of gravel road which could make for some fascinating racing.
Stage 20: Susa to Cervinia, 214km
Saturday, May 26
If ever a bike race could be described as backloaded with climbs, this is it. A very nearly flat first 125km leaves three cat-one ascents packed into the final 90km, including a summit finish to Cervinia.
There will be some very tired legs being shaken out on the earlier of this stage’s considerable 214 kilometres — it’s perfectly feasible that the overall winner could be decided today; the organisers would love just this scenario.
Stage 21: Rome to Rome, 118km
Sunday, May 27
A short city circuit around the nation’s capital featuring a little bit of everything sets the scene for the Giro’s final stage. Little climbs, cobbles and numerous tight turns will make this an interesting day out for the peloton, but expect a bunch finish all the same.