Organisers will officially present the 2013 Giro d’Italia route on September 30 in Milan, the day after the Tour of Lombardy, but some important details are already filtering through. The race will start in Naples, visit Italy’s southern regions, head north for the Galibier in France and conclude in Milan on May 26.
Already in June, organiser RCS Sport announced that the Giro d’Italia will launch from Naples on May 4. The three-week race will likely open with a team time trial and end with a short individual time trial in Milan, nothing like the two 50km time trials that Bradley Wiggins (Sky) dominated in this year’s Tour de France. Along the way, riders may encounter a time trial in Puglia, but most likely a 20km mountain time trial in the final week near Lake Garda.
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The Giro will enjoy the southern spoils unlike this year’s edition, which saw the northern most start in Grand Tour history in Herning, Denmark. In fact, besides the brief foray into France, this edition will be strictly Italian. After the Naples team time trial, a series of road stages will skirt the Giro around the coast. The race travels as far south as Cosenza for the finish of stage three, through Basilicata and east to Puglia before turning north.
The second week will reference Italians and cycling. The stage to Florence will travel on the 2014 Worlds circuit, taking in the Chiusi della Verna and Consuma climbs. After a rest day-transfer from Tuscany to Friuli on May 13, the Erto stage will honour 50th anniversary of the Vajont Dam tragedy. And a stage to Vicenza will celebrate Tullio Campagnolo, who died 30 years ago. According to an article in Italy’s Tuttosport newspaper, the date of the stage is TBD after Vicenza officials passed on the chance, and price, to host the Giro’s finish.
This year, the Jafferau and the Galibier will highlight a mountainous third weekend. From Bardonecchia, as when Eddy Merckx passed José Manuel Fuente to win in 1972, the Jafferau climbs up to 1908 metres. The next day the race should travel from Cesana, into France, cover the Télégraphe and finish up the north side of the Galibier. It is the opposite side from last year’s Tour de France when Andy Schleck won, but just as high at 2645 metres.
Neither the Stelvio Pass nor the popular Monte Zoncolan will feature next year, but other passes just as famous and ramps just as steep may feature. After the Galibier and a rest day on Monday, the Giro will travel east through Bergamo and to the Polso mountain time trail. The Punta Veleno, in this year’s Giro del Trentino, will not feature because the roads are too narrow. The Passo di Gavia may be the last big kick, preceded by the Mortirolo with a descent to Ponte di Legno.
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) will not return after losing his 2011 title to a doping suspension. Instead, according to Tuttosport, he will prepare for a Tour comeback. Vincenzo Nibali (in Astana colours), 2012 champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and Spain’s Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) may race. And Sky could send Wiggins and let Chris Froome concentrate on the Tour.
Giro d’Italia 2012: Possible stages
May 4: Naples TTT
May 5: Pozzuoli – Agropoli
May 6: Marina di Ascea – Cosenza
May 7: Sibari – Martinafranca
May 8: Altamura – Barletta
May 9: Foggia – Tortoreto Lido
May 10: Giulianova – Numana
May 11: Senigallia – Città di Castello
May 12: San Sepolcro – Florence
May 13: Rest day transfer to Friuli
May 14: Cordenons – Malga Montasio
May 15: Cave del Predil – Erto
May 16: Longarone – Treviso
May 17: Busseto – Cherasco
May 18: Cervere – Jafferau
May 19: Cesana – Galibier
May 20: Rest day
May 21: Bergamo ??
May 24: Mori – Polsa (TT)
May 26: Milan TT