Giro d'Italia time trial: Shorter and harder

Benat Intxausti, Giro d'Italia 2013 time trial

The Giro d'Italia stage 12 time trial will be shorter but harder than originally planned. Instead of a flat run from Barbaresco to Barolo, the pink jersey race will climb the red wine producing hills on May 22.

Piedmont's tourism and sports councillor, Alberto Cirio said, "We couldn't let the route, passing down the valley, be one of warehouses instead of wines."

Cirio announced the decision yesterday in Alba with Giro d'Italia organisers, including technical director, Mauro Vegni. and Ciclo Web reported on the meeting this morning.

The originally published 46.4-kilometre time trial began in Barbaresco, passed Alba and Cherasco and finished in Barolo. It cut though the famous region of red wines without actually seeing the grapes on the vine. The Northwest region of Piedmont asked to change that.

Instead of 46.4, the time trial will cover 43 kilometres. More importantly, it climbs straight into the hills southeast of Alba instead of taking the valley road to the north. Cirio said that it will pass Manera vineyards, travel down through the valley through Alba and before Barolo, head through the Bussia vineyards.

A delicate balance

The long and flat time trial had sat well with the numerous and difficult climbs in the final week. Instead, the changes could tip the Giro's delicate balance towards the climbers.

Two days later, the Corsa Rosa reaches its first high-mountaintop finish in Oropa. It continues in the same vein for the rest of its journey towards Trieste on June 1 with finishes at Montecampione, Val Martello, Panarotta, Cima Grappa and Zoncolan.

Alex Dowsett (Movistar) won the Giro's time trial this year. It covered 54.8 kilometres but the short finishing climb to Saltara also helped the climbers. Bradley Wiggins (Sky) finished second at 10 seconds but eventual Giro d'Italia winner, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) placed fourth at 21 seconds.

Overall contenders for the pink jersey, like Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp), will welcome the Barolo news. Others like Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) would have preferred gaining time by the warehouses instead of visiting Piedmont's vineyards.

Giro d'Italia 2014: Stages

Stage one - May 9, Belfast-Belfast TTT, 21.7km

Stage two - May 10, Belfast-Belfast, 218km

Stage three - May 11, Armagh-Dublin, 187km

REST DAY - May 12, transfer

Stage four - May 13, Giovinazzo-Sari, 121km

Stage five - May 14, Taranto-Viggiano, 200km

Stage six - May 15, Sassano-Montecassino, 247km

Stage seven - May 16, Frosinone-Foligno, 214km

Stage eight - May 17, Foligno-Montecopiolo, 174km

Stage nine - May 18, Lugo-Sestola, 174km

REST DAY - May 19, Modena

Stage 10 - May 20, Modena-Salsomaggiore Terme, 184km

Stage 11 - May 21, Collecchio-Savona, 249km

Stage 12 - May 22, Barbaresco-Barolo ITT, 43km

Stage 13 - May 23, Fossano-Rivarolo Canavese, 158km

Stage 14 - May 24, Agliè-Oropa, 162km

Stage 15 - May 25, Valdengo-Montecampione, 217km

REST DAY - May 26, Ponte di Legno

Stage 16 - May 27, Ponte di Legno-Val Martello, 139km

Stage 17 - May 28, Sarnonico-Vittorio Veneto, 204km

Stage 18 - May 29, Belluno-Rif. Panarotta, 171km

Stage 19 - May 30, Bassano del Grappa-Cima Grappa ITT, 26.8km

Stage 20 - May 31, Maniago-Monte Zoncolan, 167km

Stage 21 - June 1, Gemona del Friulli-Trieste, 169km 

Related links

Giro d'Italia 2014 route presented

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.