Giro d’Italia 2020 route: Hungary start, three time trials and Mount Etna finish for 103rd edition

The Italian Grand Tour will kick off in Hungary this year and we are expecting some star names in the peloton

The 2020 Giro d’Italia (Saturday May 9 – Sunday May 30) includes three individual time trials, with the final test against the clock falling on the last day in Milan.

This year’s edition will feature a fascinating mix of riders, with some unexpected starts expected to race in Italy.

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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) has announced he will ride the Giro for the first time, as he looks to complete the set of Grand Tour victories. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) will be making his three-week debut in the race, while reigning champion Richard Carapaz (Team Ineos) will return to defend his title, with team-mate Rohan Dennis riding in support.

Vincenzo Nibali, now in Trek-Segafredo colours, is also expected to ride his home race, after another glowing performance last season.

For any fans of a TT, there will be plenty of testers there to take a prestigious victory against the clock. Dennis will be showing the world champion’s jersey, alongside his team-mate and individual pursuit specialist Filippo Ganna. Hour Record holder Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) will continue his pursuit of GT, TT victory, with Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation) also rumoured to be racing.

>>> Giro d’Italia 2020 route analysis: Which type of rider does the 103rd edition suit most?

The GC contenders are likely to keep their cards close to their chest until the final week – stages 17, 18 and 20 all contain over 5,000 metres of climbing, with ascents including the Stelvio (from the hardest side),  and the Col d’Izoard.

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.

Stage Date Start Finish Distance Terrain
1  Sat May 9  Budapest Budapest 9.5km ITT
2  Sun May 10 Budapest Györ 193km Flat
3  Mon May 11 Székesfehérvár Nagykanizsa 197km Flat
4 Tues May 12 Monreale Agrigento 136km Hills
5 Weds May 13 Enna Etna 150km Mountains
6 Thurs May 14 Catania Villafranca Tirrena 138km Hills
 7 Fri May 15 Mileto Camigliatello Silano 223km Hills
8 Sat May 16 Castrovillari Brindisi 216km Flat
9 Sun May 17 Giovinazzo Vieste 190km Hills
Mon May 18 Rest day
10 Tues May 19 San Salvo Tortoreto Lido 212km Hills
11 Weds May 20 Porto Sant’Elpidio Rimini 181km Flat
12 Thurs May 21 Cesenatico Cesenatico 206km Hills
13 Fri May 22 Cervia Monselice 190km Flat
14 Sat May 23 Conegliano Valdobbiadene 33.7km ITT
 15 Sun May 24 Rivolto Piancavallo 183km Mountains
Mon May 25 Rest day
16 Tues May 26 Udine Valdobbiadene 226km Mountains
17 Weds May 27 Bassano del Grappa Madonna di Campiglio 202km Mountains
18 Thurs May 28 Pinzolo Lago di Cancano 209km Mountains
19 Fri May 29 Morbegno Asti 251km Flat
21 Sat May 30 Alba Sestriere 200km Mountains
21 Sun May 31 Cernusco di Naviglio Milan 16.5km ITT

RCS Sport unveiled the full details of the route at a press conference on Thursday October 24.

The famous sports organiser associated with the pink newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport has planned a start from Budapest, three stages in Sicily, and a stage to honour the Nove Colle Gran Fondo.

>>> Tour de France 2020 route revealed 

The heavy focus on time trials will be a welcome marker for many, but there are a number of big stars who will not be tempted by the prospect.  Geraint Thomas, the 2018 Tour champion, was talking about heading to Italy and letting Egan Bernal and Chris Froome represent Ineos in France, but instead he has confirmed he will return to the tour to give it “one more good go.” 


As was rumoured, Mount Etna rears its head during the race, finishing off the parcours on stage five, 150km after the start in Enna.

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.

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 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 and over 5,000 metres of climbing ahead of the Milan time trial – which could still prove to be the decider.

Giro d’Italia 2020 route

Stage one, Saturday May 9, Budapest (9.5km)

Giro d’Italia 2020 route

Beginning in UNESCO World Heritage site, Heroes’ Square, at the centre of Budapest, the route will pass the Danube and the Parliament, looping into the old city. The race against the clock will finish in the Castle district, on a 4 per cent climb of around 1.5km in length.

Stage two, Sunday May 10, Budapest to Györ (193km)

The battle for the sprinter’s jersey starts here.

The peloton will leave Budapest’s Heroes’ Square once again, with a short and easy ascent of Svábvár taking riders to the Danube, before they travel along the Magyar plain. There will be a few undulations along the way, but nothing that’s expected to distance the fast men, with the last steep ascent of Pannonhalma lying 22km from the line.

Stage three, Monday May 11, Székesfehérvár to Nagykanizsa (197km)

Stage three will be almost pan flat, with just a couple of gentle slopes to keep things active. The majority of the 197km route will be played out alongside Lake Balaton, heading inland to visit Veszprém and Héviz. There’s nothing that looks likely to prevent a sprint finish – but you never know, a breakaway could always fancy its chances.

Stage four, Tuesday May 12, Monreale to Agrigento (136km)

giro ditalia stage four

There’s a few climbs on the way, but nothing that’s likely to split the peloton. However, the final 5km will see riders climb the Valley of the Temples, 4km of which averages at 5 per cent, with peaks in the double fingers in the closing metres.

Stage five, Wednesday May 13, Enna to Etna (150km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage five

The first summit finish of the race will not disappoint! Beginning in Enna, the route travels through inland Sicily. Here the riders get a glimpse of the volcano, but first they’ll climb 18km at 7 per cent from Linguaglossa to Piano Provenzana. Then, it’s up Etna…

Stage six, Thursday May 14, Catania to Villafranca Tirrena (138km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage six

There’s one key climb in Portella Mandrazzi, slap bang in the middle of the stage, then the peloton heads from the Ionian to the Tyrrhenian coast for a flat and fast 40km. This looks like a day for the sprinters.

Stage seven,  Friday May 15, Mileto to Camigliatello Silano (223km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage seven

An undulating profile which visits Vibo Valentia, Catanzaro and Cosenza, taking in three categorised climbs along the way. The final ascent  – Valico di Montescuro – is 25km long and gains 1,500m in altitude, before a 10km downhill to the finish.

Stage eight, Saturday May 16, Castrovillari to Brindisi (216km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage eight

Not a lot of climbing today! The route starts downhill, and then flattens out. It’s hard to imagine anything but a bunch sprint.

Stage nine, Sunday May 17, Giovinazzo to Vieste (190km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage nine

The opening 80km are flat as a pancake, then things take a hillier turn with the Monte Sant’Angelo climb. Following the descent, there’s a few undulations before riders hit a 13km circuit in Vieste.

Monday May 18 – rest day 

Stage 10, Tuesday May 19, San Salvo to Tortoreto Lido (212km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 10

There’s no major climbs today, but there are some short and steep ramps. The route starts with a ride along the coast before heading inland. At Tortoreto, the peloton hits a 50km circuit featuring punchy 20 per cent “wall” style ascents.

Stage 11, Wednesday May 20, Porto Sant’Elpidio to Rimini (181km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 11

A mostly flat stage, kicking off in Porto Sant’Elpidio and leading riders along the coast. The road becomes a little more undulating in the last km’s to Rimini, but this is still expected to be one for the fast men.

Stage 12, Thursday May 21, Cesenatico to Cesenatico (206km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 12

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 May 22, Cervia to Monselice (190km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 13

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 May 23, Conegliano t0 Valdobbiadene (33.7km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 14

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 May 24, Rivolto to Piancavallo (183km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 15

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 May 25 – rest day 

Stage 16, Tuesday May 26, Udine to Valdobbiadene (226km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 16The 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 May 27, Bassano del Grappa to Madonna di Campiglio (202km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 17

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 May 28, Pinzolo to Lago di Cancano (209km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 18

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. Immediately after the descent, the route heads up to the Laghi di Cancano  via its 21 hairpins.

Stage 19, Friday May 29, Morbegno to Asti (251km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 19

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 May 30, Alba to Sestriere (200km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 20

Another beast of a day, with 5,000 metres of ascent once again and a brief detour into France. Climbs include the Colle dell’Agnello, Col d’Izoard and Monginevro, before the final decider up to Sestriere.

Stage 21, Sunday May 31, Cernusco di Naviglio to Milan (16.5km)

giro ditalia 2020 route stage 21

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…