Giro d'Italia Women 2024 route unveiled: Blockhaus stars in varied route

The race, formerly known as the Giro d'Italia Donne, will take place across eight stages in Italy from 7 to 14 July

(L-R) Juliette Labous, Annemiek van Vleuten and Gaia Realini on the podium of the 2023 Giro d'Italia Donne
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Blockhaus is the standout destination in the Giro d’Italia Women’s 2024 route, which was announced by organisers RCS in Milan on Tuesday.

The newly renamed event will take place over eight stages and 858.6km from 7 to 14 July next summer, and will be won by a woman not named Annemiek van Vleuten or Anna van der Breggen for the first time since 2016. It is now organised by RCS, the same group which runs the men's Giro d'Italia.

The Women's WorldTour race, the longest on the calendar in 2024 in terms of days, will begin in Brescia in the north of Italy, and then travels south over the next eight days, passing through Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria, Marche and Abruzzo. The race has shifted back a week in the calendar, compared with its slot in 2023.

The opening stage is a 14.6km time trial around Brescia, largely flat but featuring 14 reasonably tight corners on a technical course. It is followed by a flat stage two for the sprinters, 102km from Sirmione to Volta Mantovana, before four transitional stages down the middle of Italy.

Stage three, 111km from Sabbioneta from Toano, is an early test for the climbers, with a final 12.2km climb ending the day. The category two effort will not be the star of the race, but will possibly see the maglia rosa pass from a rouleur or sprinter to a climber.

The next day begins in Imola, where Anna van der Breggen won her second World Championships in 2020, finishing in the walled city of Urbino. The Renaissance World Heritage Site's position on top of a hill means stage four finishes uphill, with three categorised climbs within the final 50km. The 133km will be testing.

Stage five has a lot less of a jagged profile, with just one classified climb on the 111km from Frontone to Foligno, but it is not a simple one for the sprinters.

The Giro's longest stage comes on stage six, where the peloton will travel 155km from San Benedetto del Tronto on the Adriatic coast to Chieti in Abruzzo, a day which features three more classified climbs, including one at the finish. It looks a hard day out on the bike, with a Classics rider possibly suited to the punchy stage.

It is on stage seven where the race will likely be decided, or at least pointed in the right decision. The climb of Blockhaus has featured as a stage finish on seven occasions in the men's Giro, most recently in 2022 when Jai Hindley won there, but has never been tackled by the women's peloton in the race.

As a result, the 123-km long stage from Lanciano to Blockhaus will be hotly anticipated by the best climbers in the world. It contains two ascents of the Passo Lanciano, the climb up to Blockhaus, with the second time featuring the finalé to the peak. 

It is followed by a tricky final day stage, which features multiple climbs on a rolling day in the Apennines, which beings in Pescara and ends in L'Aquila, the epicentre of the disastrous earthquake in 2009. There is the second category climb of Forca di Penine and first category Castel del Monte, but also a few hidden surprises.

The unveiling of the Giro d'Italia Women route coincided with the UCI's awarding of the Women's WorldTour licences for the 2024 season.Two teams will join the top tier next season in AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step and Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling. 

EF-Education-TIBCO-SVB will drop off the WorldTour, as the team reforms under the moniker EF Education-Cannondale, while Liv Racing TeqFind will merge with Jayco AlUla to form Liv-AlUla-Jayco.

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Giro Donne 2024 overview
DatesSun 7 July - Sun 14 July
Total distance856.6km
StartBrescia, Lombardia
FinishL'Aquila, Abruzzo
UCI rankingWomen's WorldTour
Total climbing11,950m
2023 winnerAnnemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar)
Leader's jersey colourPink
TV coverageEurosport

Giro d'Italia Women 2024 stage table

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Giro d'Italia Women 2024 Route
17 JulyBresciaBrescia14.6kmITT
28 JulySirmioneVolta Mantovana102kmFlat
39 JulySabbionetaToano111kmHilly
410 JulyImolaUrbino131kmHilly
511 JulyFrontoneFoligno111kmFlat
612 JulySan Benedetto del TrontoChieti155kmHilly
713 JulyLancianoBlockhaus123kmMountains
814 JulyPescaraL'Aquila109kmMountains

Giro d'Italia Women 2024 route map

Giro d'Italia Women route map 2024

(Image credit: Giro d'Italia Women/RCS)

Giro d'Italia Women 2024: All you need to know

The Giro d'Italia Women has the longest pedigree of all the women's Grand Tours on the women's calendar, stretching back unbroken to 1988, when it was won by Maria Canins. Since then it has been won by major names including Nicole Cooke and Marianne Vos, and has been dominated in recent years by the now-retired Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen. While the Tour de France Femmes and La Vuelta Femenina have emerged in recent years, the Giro is the original.

With Van Vleuten now out of the picture, riders like Gaia Realini (Lidl-Trek) and Juliette Labous (dsm-firmenich PostNL), who finished on the podium last year, might now have a chance to stand on the top step - although possibly not if the SD Worx juggernaut turns its eye to the pink jersey, with Demi Vollering or Marlen Reusser, potentially.

The race's record stage winner, Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) is still riding, but expect sprint and hilly opportunities to also be targeted by the likes of Elisa Balsamo and Elisa Longo Borghini (both Lidl-Trek), and Lotte Kopecky and Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx), if they ride.

New organisers in 2021 meant the race, formerly known as the Giro Rosa, or Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, rebranded as the Giro Donne for the 32nd edition. However, a lack of live television coverage saw it downgraded to ProTour level for that edition – but it was quickly reinstated to WorldTour last year after securing airtime. After even more off-season wrangling, it is now run by RCS, who also organise the men's Giro.

Giro d'Italia Women previous winners

2010: Mara Abbott (USA) Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty12
2011: Marianne Vos (NED) Nederland Bloeit
2012: Marianne Vos (NED) Rabobank Women Team
2013: Mara Abbott (USA) Exergy Twenty16
2014: Marianne Vos (NED) Rabobank-Liv Women Cycling Team
2015: Anna van der Breggen (NED) Rabobank-Liv Women Cycling Team
2016: Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
2017: Anna van der Breggen (NED) Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
2018: Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) Mitchelton-Scott
2019: Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) Mitchelton-Scott
2020: Anna van der Breggen (NED) Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
2021: Anna van der Breggen (NED) SD Worx
2022: Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) Movistar
2023: Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) Movistar

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