The memory of the dramatic 2020 Giro d’Italia is still fresh, but the rumours about the 2021 Giro route are already starting.
This year’s race was unforgettable as Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) went head-to-head with Jai Hindley (Sunweb) in the the time trial, with the pair starting the final stage on exactly the same time.
Geoghegan Hart emerged as the fifth British Grand Tour winner in history and the second Brit to win the Italian Grand Tour after Chris Froome.
The 2020 race took place entirely in Italy after Grand Partenza in Hungary was cancelled due to coronavirus, and the race instead started on the island of Sicily, with an early mountain finish on Mount Etna.
After heading to Emilia Romagna and thrilling stages to Laghi di Cancano and Sestriere, the race finished with the decisive time trial in Milan.
Looking ahead to the 2021 edition, we’ll have to rely on the rumours to give us an insight into what kind of race we can expect.
The 2020 Giro was pushed back from it’s usual slot and instead took place in October, but next year’s Giro will return to traditional dates in May, running from the May 8-30.
Giro d’Italia director Mauro Vegni has revealed that much of the route has already been planned and that the Hungary start is not likely to be a feature.
Vegni also said the race is likely to remain in Italy, as the world continues to fight through the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster RAI at the 2020 Giro, Vegni said: “ I don’t think that the problems linked to COVID-19 will have been overcome for 2021, so for that reason we’re working towards having all 21 stages of the race in Italy.
“We’re thinking about it and we do have different options for the start, in Italy and abroad. But obviously if we still have an important problem with Covid-19, then a foreign start would be too complicated.”
While the 2020 Giro was initially scheduled to start in Budapest with three stages in Hungary before heading to Sicily, the 2021 route was originally planned to start in Sicily.
But after the redesigned 2020 edition also started on the island, the organisers may choose to shift the first stages elsewhere to keep the race fresh.
There are always rumours about the legendary climbs of the Giro and the 2021 edition is no different with the Monte Zoncolan and Tre Cime di Lavaredo being two of the big names in the rumour mill.
No signs of the usual Stelvio, Gavia, Agnello or Pordoi but the 25km Colle dei Morti is a climb that may be seen in the route.
The Morti climb has three possible ascents which have incredibly narrow rugged roads and takes you up to almost 2500 metres above sea level with the ascent starting in the town of Pradleves being the hardest by farwith gradient rarely dipping below 10 per cent.
There is very little other information about the 2021 Giro d’Italia route available currently, but information will continued to trickle through before the official announcement.
The full route for the Giro d’Italia is traditionally released in October, but due to the delays caused by coronavirus the announcement was postponed with no date currently set for the presentation.