The 105th Giro d’Italia is well underway, with the grand finale set to take place in Verona during an individual time trial.
The 2022 Italian Grand Tour is taking place between May 6 to May 29, where the riders will tackle 21 stages over a gruelling three-week period. Race organiser RCS initially announced the Grande Partenza would take place in Budapest, Hungary, before revealing the Italian stages of the event.
Hungary hosted three stages of the Giro, with the Grand Tour then heading back to Italy after three days in the central European country. In total, the race is set to feature two ITTs, seven flat, six mountain, and six hilly stages in total.
Last year's winner Egan Bernal didn't line up for the Giro this time around either, meaning there will be a new rider donning the Maglia Rosa on the top step of the podium in Verona, come the end of the race.
Week one - Hungary
Budapest in Hungary will host the Grande Partenza of the 105th Giro d'Italia, after missing out on the chance to do so in 2020 due to the pandemic.
This is the 14th time that the Giro has started outside of Italy, and is the first time that a Grand Tour has visited Hungary, with the country set to host the opening three stages of the tour.
The Giro will begin on May 6 with a slightly undulating, largely flat 195km route from Budapest to Visegrád. The first maglia rosa will be awarded at the end of an increasingly narrow sprint.
Day two signals the turn of the powerhouses, with the second stage consisting of a 9.2km time trial. The route follows a city circuit from Pest to the historical centre of Buda. Partly on cobblestones, the final climb contains peaks of 14 per cent, with the finish line in Buda Square.
The Grande Partenza ends with a 201km route from Kaposvár to Balatonfüred, taking in the sea of Hungary, Lake Balaton, which is where the race's first bunch sprint is expected to take place.
Week one - Italy
The peloton arrives in Sicily for the first Italian stage of the tour after a day's break, following the opening in Hungary.
It's not an easy start either, with a difficult mountain stage from Avola to Etna awaiting the riders, which includes a 14km final ascent.
Two flat stages follow the opening mountain race, and gives the sprinters more chances to earn an early win on the tour. By this time the riders will have vacated Sicily and started heading further north, finishing the second of the flat stages at Scalea, the Riviera dei Cedri.
The day after there is a hilly stage from Diamante to Potenza, before a circuit around Naples will see the riders hit plenty of undulating climbs.
The week ends with an arduous mountain stage from Isernia to Blockhaus, which features double-digit gradients and the same finish as 2017. Following the conclusion of this race, the riders will have their second day off of the Giro as the leader of the pink jersey becomes clearer.
The 10th stage of the Giro will see a fairly simple start for the peloton, with the first stage flat along the eastern coast of Italy for half of the route. However, it will become slightly hillier as they head further inland, meaning only a select group of riders will be battling for the stage win.
The route begins to head further north at this point, and a flat stage facilitates this towards Reggio Emilia. Following this, a race from Parma to Genova will see plenty of breakaways and a stretched-out peloton. The final three climbs of this hilly stage concludes the race with what will be a whittled-down group of riders.
Afterwards, a route from Sanremo to Cueno heads in the opposite direction to the 2020 summertime Milan-San Remo. The Cueno plain will ensure the peloton moves quickly towards the sprint finish at the end of this race.
The final two days of this week will be tough, where there will be a series of difficult climbs on the hilly stage from Santena to Torino. During the next stage, stage 15, riders will spend 46km of the last 80 ascending.
The final week ends with three mountain stages, and one hilly, flat, and time trial stage apiece.
Riders will spend the first two stages of this week, after their day's rest, climbing the tough mountains of the Dolomites. Here, the Santa Cristina pass returns to the Giro for the first time since 1999, on the way to Aprica.
The final bunch sprint of the Giro will happen on stage 18 on the way to Treviso, with the flat route featuring the Prosecco-wine producing district and lowlands around Treviso.
Stage 19 passes into Slovenia and closes with a summit finish, while the proceeding race returns to the Marmolada after 14 years without hosting a stage ending.
An individual time trial around Verona completes the 2022 iteration of the Giro d'Italia, where the pink jersey winner will be crowned.
Giro d'Italia route 2022
|Giro d'Italia 2022 route|
|Stage one, Fri May 6||Budapest - Visegrád||195km flat|
|Stage two, Sat May 7||Budapest - Budapest||9.2km ITT|
|Stage three, Sun May 8||Kaposvár - Balatonfüred||201km flat|
|Stage four, Tue May 10||Avola - Etna||166km mountain|
|Stage five, Wed May 11||Catania - Messina||172km flat|
|Stage six, Thu May 12||Palmi - Scalea (Riviera del Cedri)||192km flat|
|Stage seven, Fri May 13||Diamante - Potenza||198km hilly|
|Stage eight, Sat May 14||Napoli - Napoli||149km hilly|
|Stage nine, Sun May 15||Isernia - Blockhaus||187km mountain|
|Stage ten, Tue May 17||Pescara - Jesi||194km hilly|
|Stage 11, Wed May 18||Santarcangelo di Romagna - Reggio Emilia||201km flat|
|Stage 12, Thu May 19||Parma - Genova||186km hilly|
|Stage 13, Fri May 20||Sanremo - Cueno||157km flat|
|Stage 14, Sat May 21||Santena - Torino||153km hilly|
|Stage 15, Sun May 22||Rivarolo Canavese - Cogne||177km mountain|
|Stage 16, Tue May 24||Salò - Aprica||200km mountain|
|Stage 17, Wed May 25||Ponte Di Legno - Lavarone||165km mountain|
|Stage 18, Thu May 26||Borgo Valsugana - Treviso||146km flat|
|Stage 19, Fri May 27||Marano Lagunare - Santuario Di Castelmonte||178km hilly|
|Stage 20, Sat May 28||Belluno - Marmolada||167km mountain|
|Stage 21, Sun May 29||Verona - Verona||17.1km ITT|
Giro d'Italia 2022 stages
Stage one, Budapest - Visegrád, 195km
Unlike last year, the Giro begins with a 195km flat route through the north of Hungary. While the entire bunch will make it almost all the way to the finish together, the final climb to the line looks tough enough to stop the pure sprinters from remaining in contention. Expect the lighter, punchier riders to be in the mix here with the versatile fast-men that can hold on up the incline.
Stage two, Budapest - Budapest, 9.2km ITT
A day that will likely see world time trial champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), take the stage and go into pink. The Italian won the first time trial of the 2021 Giro, and will expect to do the same heading into Budapest.
Stage three, Kaposvár - Balatonfüred, 201km
The third stage will see the race's first bunch sprint, with the finish line almost without any corners. Expect the peloton's best sprinters to be battling and jockeying for position heading into the final couple of kilometres around Lake Balaton.
Stage four, Avola - Etna, 166km
A stage through inland Sicily with a summit finish, this part of the Giro starts in Avola, and later passes Pantalica and Vizzini on the approach to the volcano. The stage finishes by Rifugio Sapienza - as it has done before - but with a slightly different route this time around. The ascent starts in Ragalna, as in 2018, before shifting to the traditional Nicolosi side for the final 14km.
Stage five, Catania - Messina, 172km
This stage will inevitably see a bunch sprint at the end, after the riders head from Catania in the east of Sicily, to Messina in the north of the island. The riders will take in the gentle slopes of Portella Mandrazzi, before passing through Villafranca Tirrena and Ganzirri, where the tall steel tower of the former overhead power line is situated, referred to as Pilone dello Stretto.
Stage six, Palmi - Scalea (Riviera del Cedri), 192km
The stage starts with an undulating terrain through Mileto, Vibo Valentia and Pizzo, but soon flattens out as the route follows the Tyrrhenian coast in the Italian region of Calabria. Expect a fast-running finale for the compact peloton.
Stage seven, Diamante - Potenza, 198km
This stage includes the largest elevation on the entirety of the Giro route in 2022, with 4490m of climbing. Riders will pass through the Calabrian-Lucanian mountains, resembling a gradient normally witnessed on a Dolomite stage. The start along the sea on the east of Italy is the only partially flat stretch, before the demanding climbs begin after Maratea. The Giro returns to Monte Sirino after 23 years during this stage too, while the riders will climb the challenging Montagna Grande di Viggiano for the first-ever time.
Stage eight, Napoli - Napoli, 149km
A short but intense stage leaves little time for the riders to catch their breath on a series of undulating climbs. Starting in Naples, the race heads to a Bacoli where the riders will cover a 19km circuit five times between Bacoli and Monte di Procida. At the end of the last lap, the route goes back to Naples, with the closing sprint along the Via Caracciolo seafront - expect a reduced group for this ending.
Stage nine, Isernia - Blockhaus, 187km
This is a high mountain stage across the Apennines, starting in Isernia and heading towards Rionero Sannitico. The route rises past the Macerone pass, before hitting the first major climb in Roccaraso. The gradients begin to ease off as the route continues mostly downhill to Guardiagrele, but the double climb to Blockhaus begins at the end of that descent. The stage finale features double-digit gradients along a series of hairpin bends leading to the finish, with the finish the same as in 2017.
Stage ten, Pescara - Jesi, 194km
This is truly a mixed stage, with a continuous flat route following the coast lasting for half of the course. Once the riders reach Civitanova Marche, they won't have many opportunities to recover because a series of demanding climbs, with steep stretches, will meet them. This will inevitably create a select group that arrives in Jesi for the final sprint.
Stage 11, Santarcangelo di Romagna - Reggio Emilia, 201km
Entirely flat, this stage is also the joint-longest of the Giro this year, alongside stage three in Hungary. Riders will head from the start along the ancient Via Emilia towards Bologna, before reaching some of the towns affected by the 2012 earthquake - San Giovanni in Persiceto, Crevalcore, Camposanto, Carpi and Correggio. The route then continues along straight and flat roads towards an expected bunch sprint at the end.
Stage 12, Parma - Genova, 186km
This medium mountain stage will likely see plenty of breakaways. The route rises steadily at first, entering Liguria through the Bocco pass, before rapidly descending towards Chiavari. Once the riders reach the coast though, they will climb up to Ruta and then take a challenging ascent to Monte Becco, followed by another climb up to Monte Fasce. All three climbs are challenging, and will whittle down the peloton before the finish line in Genoa.
Stage 13, Sanremo - Cueno, 157km
This stage replicates what the riders faced in the 2020 summertime Milan-San Remo, but in the opposite direction. From Sanremo, the route climbs up to Colle di Nava and then turns towards Cuneo. Some of the most iconic Giro places are located on this route, with the Sanctuary of Vicoforte and Mondovì both set to feature during this stage. The Cuneo plain will ensure a fast finale all the way to the closing sprint.
Stage 14, Santena - Torino, 153km
A short and challenging stage, there is no chance for a rider to catch his breath before he takes yet another challenging hill. The first ten kilometres from Santena to Chieri are the only ones of the stage that are flat, and from there the peloton will face a circuit two and a half times that ascends to Colle della Maddalena, descends into Moncalieri and takes a punchy climb up to Santa Brigida. The finish line is at the Gran Madre, but the riders will have to climb the Superga hill twice before crossing the line for good.
Stage 15, Rivarolo Canavese - Cogne, 177km
This stage across the Western Alps features lengthy climbs with more generous gradients. Starting in Rivarolo Canavese, the route runs along the Dora Baltea to the Vallée and the regional capital. The riders will then be welcomed with successive climbs from Pila up to Le Fleurs, a climb last witnessed 30 years ago on the Giro. Then comes the ascent to Verrogne, with Cogne the final destination in the Gran Paradiso National Park. 46km of the final 80 features a steady climb.
Stage 16, Salò - Aprica, 200km
This stage is a traditional mountain stage through the Valtellina that brings back some long forgotten climbs. The stage begins in Salò, entering the Val Sabbia, and passes the Bagolino climb and Goletto di Cadino - last tackled in 1998 on the occasion of the victorious ride of Pantani in Montecampione. Riders then climb the Mortirolo from Monno, before descending into Grosio and following the roads of the Sforzato Wine. Finally, the route clears the Santa Cristina pass, last passed in 1999, to reach Aprica.
Stage 17, Ponte Di Legno - Lavarone, 165km
This is a stage divided into two parts: the first starts uphill before downhill lasts for over 70 kilometres; the second is a series of mountainous climbs. After crossing the Adige river, the route ascends to Palù di Giovo, passing through the Valle dei Mocheni, reaching Pergine Valsugana and heading for the finish at Lavarone. However, there are still a series of climbs left, such as the one to the Menador along the tunnels and tight hairpins of the former Kaiserjägerweg. After the Monte Rovere categorised climb, the slender peloton will be just a few kilometres away from the finish.
Stage 18, Borgo Valsugana - Treviso, 146km
Stage 19, Marano Lagunare - Santuario Di Castelmonte, 178km
Stage 20, Belluno - Marmolada, 167km
The last summit finish of the 2022 Giro d'Italia is a classic Dolomites stage. Starting in Belluno, the route takes a short diversion across the valley of the Piave river. The finale is the main part of this stage though, featuring three consective climbs. The first is Passo di San Pellegrino, where gradients exceed 15 per cent past Falcade, while the second is Passo Pordoi, and the final climb is Passo Fedaia, which includes the iconic Malga Ciapela straight. The gradients hover steadily above ten per cent here, but reach as high as 18 per cent in parts. After 14 years, the Marmolada will be hosting another stage finish.
Stage 21, Verona - Verona, 17.1km ITT
The final stage of the 2022 Giro d'Italia will be an individual time trial on the Torricelle Circuit, going anti-clockwise. The stage starts along straight and wide roads, before a climb of around five per cent follows. Split time is taken at the summit, where mountain points are available. The route then descends for four kilometres, with the final three kilometres along the city streets leading to Piazza Bra and the Arena of Verona.
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