The 2020 Giro d’Italia (Saturday October 3 – Sunday October 25) route began on the island of Sicily after the postponement of the original race in May. The race was moved following lockdowns across the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Giro was originally planned to begin with three stages in Hungary before moving back to Italy for the remaining 18 stages. Giro organiser RCS then officially confirmed the opening four stages will now take place on Sicily, before moving to the mainland and eventually concluding in Milan later in October.
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Despite being shifted to October, this year’s edition should still feature a fascinating mix of riders, with some unexpected starters to race in Italy.
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) has made his Giro d’Italia debut and has now taken his first win at the race. Meaning he is one of a select few to have won a stage at every Grand Tour.
Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) were down as the two big favourites for the race, but Thomas didn’t even make it off Sicily, crashing out after getting entangled with a bidon and breaking his pelvis, whereas Yates abandoned a few days later with a positive Covid-19 test.
British hopes fell to Tao Geoghegan-Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) who climbs up to the top four with some brilliant riding in the Dolomites.
Vincenzo Nibali, now in Trek-Segafredo colours, is riding his home race, after another glowing performance last season. He has been building up steadily and is looking good in the top ten in the general classification.
Riders like Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-McLaren) and Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT Pro Cycling) have also worked well to be right up there in GC behind João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) who wears pink.
For any fans of a time trial, there is plenty of testers there to take a prestigious victory against the clock. The route began with a 16km time trial from Monreale to Palermo which was dominated by the new World Champion, Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), before a long 33.7km time trial on stage 14 and a 16.5km individual effort to conclude the race in Milan.
The GC contenders are likely to keep their cards close to their chest until the final week – stages 17 and 18 all contain over 5,000 metres of climbing, with ascents including the Stelvio (from the hardest side).
Combined with the 16.5km time trial the following day, organisers RCS clearly intend to keep the battle for the maglia rosa raging right up until the final moments of the 103rd edition of the race.
|1||Sat Oct 3||Monreale||Palermo||15km||ITT|
|2||Sun Oct 4||Alcimo||Agrigento||150km||Hills|
|3||Mon Oct 5||Enna||Etna||150km||Mountains|
|4||Tues Oct 6||Catania||Villafranca||138km||Flat|
|5||Weds Oct 7||Mileto||Camigliatello Silano||225km||Hills|
|6||Thurs Oct 8||Castrovillari||Matera||18km||Hills|
|7||Fri Oct 9||Matera||Brindisi||143km||Hills|
|8||Sat Oct 10||Giovinazzo||Vieste (Gargano)||200km||Flat|
|9||Sun Oct 11||San Salvo||Roccaraso (Aremogna)||208km||Hills|
|–||Mon Oct 12||Rest day|
|10||Tues Oct 13||Lanciano||Tortoreto||177km||Hills|
|11||Weds Oct 14||Porto Sant’Elpidio||Rimini||182km||Flat|
|12||Thurs Oct 15||Cesenatico||Cesenatico||204km||Hills|
|13||Fri Oct 16||Cervia||Monselice||192km||Flat|
|14||Sat Oct 17||Conegliano||Valdobbiadene||33.7km||ITT|
|15||Sun Oct 18||Rivolto||Piancavallo||185km||Mountains|
|–||Mon Oct 19||Rest day|
|16||Tues Oct 20||Udine||Valdobbiadene||229km||Mountains|
|17||Weds Oct 21||Bassano del Grappa||Madonna di Campiglio||203km||Mountains|
|18||Thurs Oct 22||Pinzolo||Laghi di Cancano||207km||Mountains|
|19||Fri Oct 23||Morbegno||Asti||251km||Flat|
|21||Sat Oct 24||Alba||Sestriere||190km||Mountains|
|21||Sun Oct 25||Cernusco di Naviglio||Milan||16.5km||ITT|
Mount Etna reared its head during the race, finishing off the parcours on stage three, 150km after the start in Enna which saw and end to Thomas’ and Yates GC fight.
The famous hills of Emilia Romagna that host the Nove Colli Gran Fondo every year will welcome the Giro on stage 12, with riders starting and finishing in Cesenatico.
The hilly stage will cover 206km and over 3,800 metres of climbing, in celebration of the Nove Colli which celebrates 50 years as one of cycling’s biggest sportives.
This is also the region that hosted the World Championships the week before the Giro starts.
The climbing continues with stages 17, 18 and 20 which together add up to in excess of 15,000 metres of climbing and will be sure to test even the strongest of GC contenders.
It’s not all about the mountains though, stage 19 from Morbegno to Asti may be flat but could prove a test of endurance, at an eye-watering 251km.
The penultimate stage, from Alba to Sestriere promises fireworks ahead of the Milan time trial – which could still prove to be the decider.
Giro d’Italia 2020 route
Stage one, Saturday October 3, Monreale to Palermo (16km, ITT)
The race saw several crashes as the wind whipped up and hobbled some of the top TT riders with Victor Campenaerts (NTT Pro Cycling) and Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers) and it was Ganna who put in a commanding display to take pink.
Stage two, Sunday October 4, Alcimo to Agrigento (150km)
Ganna stayed in pink but it was Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) who held of the charge from Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) to take his win at the Giro.
Stage three, Monday October 5, Enna to Etna (150km)
It was all about the breakaway for victory where Jonathan Caicedo (EF Pro Cycling) and Giovanni Visconti (Vini Zabu-Brado-KTM) fought for the stage. It was Caicedo who went solo and took the win. Behind, Almeida went into the pink jersey.
Stage four, Tuesday October 6, Catania to Villafranca Tirrena (138km)
A stage that came down to millimetres between Sagan and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) with the French champion coming out on top.
Stage five, Wednesday October 7, Mileto to Camigliatello Silano (225km)
Another breakaway day and a second win for Ganna. A masterful solo effort with about 20km to go leaving an arguing duo of Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Einer Rubio (Movistar Team) behind. Almeida extended his lead in pink thanks to bonus seconds.
Stage six, Thursday October 8, Castrovillari to Matera (188km)
A day that was meant for the punchers but in fact, it was a sprinter who was head and shoulders above the rest. Démare took his second win after being largely anonymous for much of the race, appearing at the front just as the sprint opened up.
Stage seven, Friday October 9, Matera to Brindisi (143km)
Two-out-of-two for Démare. He took his third win of the race but his second in a row after victory in Matera. Almeida solidly still in pink after a very well managed day in hectic crosswinds that eventually came to nothing.
Stage eight, Saturday October 10, Giovinazzo to Vieste (200km)
The day that went to the break, but not to a rider that people were expecting. Brit, Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation) sprung clear of the others and soloed to victory.
Stage nine, Sunday October 11, San Salvo to Roccaraso (208km)
A day that was thrown in to fill out the 21 stages, it went to the break and it was Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling) who took the day and EF Pro Cycling’s second stage win. Almeida lost a few seconds, meanign Kelderman was moved up to just 30 seconds down.
Monday October 12 – rest day
Stage 10, Tuesday October 13, Lanciano to Tortoreto Lido (212km)
It was a fast day that was based all around one man. Peter Sagan put in an incredible ride to solo to victory and hold off the peloton after he was in the breakaway all day.
Stage 11, Wednesday October 14, Porto Sant’Elpidio to Rimini (182km)
A fourth victory came the way of Démare despite UAE Team Emirates really trying to take it to the Frenchman’s team. No-one was able to pass the Maglia Ciclamino.
Stage 12, Thursday October 15, Cesenatico to Cesenatico (204km)
The parcours today celebrates the Nove Colli Gran Fondo. After leaving Cesenatico, riders reach the Apennines, covering nine of the key climbs on the sportive, with KOM points at each. The last 30km sees riders sail over the plains back to the seafront of Cesenatico.
Stage 13, Friday October 16, Cervia to Monselice (192km)
Another flat stage, with two very clear challenges at the end – the 4km Passo Roverello, then the 2km Muro di Calaone, which promises slopes of 20 per cent. The finish in Este is wide and flat.
Stage 14, Saturday October 17, Conegliano t0 Valdobbiadene (34.1km ITT)
The second time trial of the race stays within the Unesco World Heritage Site of the Prosecco Superiore. The route is far from flat, and includes the Muro di Ca’ del Poggio with sections at 19 per cent.
Stage 15, Sunday October 18, Rivolto to Piancavallo (185km)
The first 40km are fairly flat, but riders best not be lulled into a false sense of security – this is a mountain stage with a series of climbs. The final ascent of Piancavallo provides its steepest slopes in the first 6km, levelling out later but continuing to point upwards until the very end.
Monday October 19 – rest day
Stage 16, Tuesday October 20, Udine to San Daniele del Fruili (229km)
The first two thirds of the stage takes place across the Julian Prealps, before entering the valley of the Tagliamento river.
Riders climb the Madonnina del Domm, head up the northern slope of the Castelmonte Abbey hill (Monte Spig), pass through Monteaperta before meeting San Daniele. Here, there’s two laps of a technical circuit, with punchy 15 per cent climbs to the castle of Susans and Monte Ragogna.
Stage 17, Wednesday October 21, Bassano del Grappa to Madonna di Campiglio (203km)
This is a big day! There’s over 5,000 metres of ascent, with major climbs: the Forcella Valbona, Monte Bondone, Aldeno, Passo Durone and the Madonna di Campiglio.
Stage 18, Thursday October 22, Pinzolo to Lago di Cancano (207km)
If riders thought that stage 17 was hard, it’s far from over yet. Stage 18 boasts 5,400 metres of ascent, taking in the Passo Campo Carlo Magno, and Passo Castrin/Hofmandjoch, then entering the Vinschgau Valley to tackle the Slevio from its hardest side, this will be the Cima Coppi climb too, the highest point of the race. Immediately after the descent, the route heads up to the Laghi di Cancano via its 21 hairpins.
Stage 19, Friday October 23, Morbegno to Asti (251km)
The peloton will have a lot of climbing in its collective legs, and it’s not over yet – but at least today things are flat. No rest for the wicked, though, with 251km from Morbegno to Asti.
Stage 20, Saturday October 24, Alba to Sestriere (198km)
Sadly, due to Covid-19 and weather restrictions this stage had to be changed to have three ascents of the finishing climb on Sestriere. The climbs of Colle dell’Agnello, Col d’Izoard and Monginevro are all taken out wit the Agnello being the second highest point this year’s race was meant to race.
Stage 21, Sunday October 25, Cernusco di Naviglio to Milan (16.5km ITT)
If the gaps in the GC are small, then this could be the decider – a slightly downhill time trial into Milan should be rapid for everyone, but there can only be one winner…