|Dates||Friday 30 June to Sunday 9 July|
|Start||Chianciano Terme, Tuscany|
|2022 winner||Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar)|
|Leader's jersey colour||Pink|
|TV coverage||GCN+, Eurosport|
The Giro Donne is a nine-day WorldTour stage race taking place from 30 June to 9 July, and 2023 will see its 34th edition.
It has the longest pedigree of all the Grand Tours on the women's calendar, stretching back unbroken to 1988, when it was won by Maria Canins. Since then it has been won by major names including Nicole Cooke and Marianne Vos, and has been dominated in recent years by Annemiek Van Vleuten and the now-retired Anna Van Der Breggen.
Van Vleuten (Movistar) and Vos (Jumbo-Visma) are set to battle it out again this year, as is Lizzie Deignan (Lidl-Trek) and team-mates Elisa Longo Borghini and Elynor Backstedt, plus newly-crowned US champion Chloe Dygert (Canyon-SRAM) and Maria Bastianelli (UAE-Team ADQ).
New organisers in 2021 meant the race, formerly known as the Giro Rosa, or Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, rebranded as the Giro Donne for the 32nd edition last year. However, a lack of live television coverage saw it downgraded to 2.Pro Series level for that edition – but it was quickly reinstated to WorldTour last year after securing airtime.
Covering 930.3km, the Giro Donne is one stage shorter than last year, and features a rest day between stages seven and eight. It ranges across the country, with much of it concentrated in the northern regions of Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Piemonte and Liguria, before a hop across the Ligurian Sea to finish on the island of Sardinia.
The stage one time trial starts in Chianciano Terme in Tuscany, and the race slowly loops north before finally crossing to Sardinia for stages eight and nine, finishing in Olbia on the final day.
Last year's edition of the Giro Donne saw Dutch star Annemiek Van Vleuten win the race for the third time, and she took the points classification with it. She will be back this year for a final tilt at the this illustrious race, but is bound to face stiff competition from the likes of Elisa Longo Borghini, who was fourth last year, and others.
GIRO DONNE ROUTE 2023
|Stage one, Friday 30 June||Chianciano to Chianciano (ITT)||4.4km|
|Stage two, Saturday 1 July||Bagna a Ripoli to Marradi||102.1km|
|Stage three, Sunday 2 July||Formigine to Modena||118.2km|
|Stage four, Monday 3 July||Fidenza to Borgo Val di Toro||134km|
|Stage five, Tuesday 4 July||Salassi to Ceres||105.6km|
|Stage six, Wednesday 5 July||Canelli to Canelli||104.4km|
|Stage seven, Thursday 6 July||Albenga to Alassio||109.1km|
|Stage eight, Saturday 8 July||Nuoro to Sassari||125.7km|
|Stage nine, Sunday 9 July||Sassari to Olbia||126.85km|
The Giro Donne has been reduced to nine stages from 10 for 2023, but begins as it did last year with a short time trial. The 4.4km test, based on Chianciano Terme in Tuscany, is super-flat with the first maglia rosa sure to go to a power rider.
Stage two to Marradi is a largely flat 102km outing with a sting in the tail in the form of a category-two climb. The Passo della Colla – 16km long at an average 4.5% gradient – comes around 16km from the finish. A long enough climb for GC hopefuls to make significant gains uphill and close enough to the finish to make them stick.
Stage three from Formigine to Modena looks like a nailed-on sprint day if ever there was one. It's flat along its 118km length, aside from the cat-three climb at Villabianca Marano that comes at the 47km mark.
Stage four stays in the Emilia Romagna region, but gets decidedly lumpier with this 134km day from Fidenza to Borgo Val di Toro. It's backloaded with a trio of category-three climbs that could prove prime hunting territory for breakaway stage-win seekers.
The race heads to Piemonte in the far north-east for stage five from Salassi to Ceres. It takes riders into the mountains proper, kicking off with the category-one ascent to Passo del Lupo. This is the Cima Coppi – the highest point of the race – at 1,407m. The riders crest this only 28km in, but what follows is a grippy, lumpy 80km that includes a pair of cat-three climbs near the end, the last of which coming just 10km from the end. It looks distinctly like another one for the breakaways.
Still in Piemonte stage six, starting and finishing in Canelli, flattens things out somewhat. It still manages to chuck in another trio of cat-three climbs though, all towards the end. In fact, this could end up being a GC day, with a summit finish on the last of these – a three-kilometre haul out of town.
The race moves south to the Ligurian coast for stage seven, takes in roads familiar to riders in the men's Milan-San Remo Classic, not far from the three famous capi, the Mele, Cervo, and Berta. None of these feature on today's stage though, as the race jinks inland and instead takes on its own selection of climbs. This is a properly tough day out, with four climbs in all – a pair of cat-twos bookended by a pair of cat-threes.
The stage finishes atop the latter of these at the end of 110km of hard riding, and like yesterday is likely to play a part in the GC race.
Moving to Sardinia, the single classified climb on this 125.7km eighth stage from Nuoro to Sassari belies the constant niggling ups and downs that tired riders will face. That single cat-three climb comes around 30km from the finish, and there is also a small, unclassified climb to the finish. A good opportunity for the breakaways.
Stage nine – the final day – is also in Sardinia and is very similar to the previous day. It features constant small lumps, as well as two cat-three climbs – one near the start and another not far past the halfway mark. Unlike the previous day, it finishes on the flat, and the sprinters will once again be confident of having their day.
2010: Mara Abbott (USA) Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty12
2011: Marianne Vos (NED) Nederland Bloeit
2012: Marianne Vos (NED) Rabobank Women Team
2013: Mara Abbott (USA) Exergy Twenty16
2014: Marianne Vos (NED) Rabobank-Liv Women Cycling Team
2015: Anna van der Breggen (NED) Rabobank-Liv Women Cycling Team
2016: Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
2017: Anna van der Breggen (NED) Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
2018: Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) Mitchelton-Scott
2019: Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) Mitchelton-Scott
2020: Anna van der Breggen (NED) Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
2021: Anna van der Breggen (NED) SD Worx
2022: Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) Movistar
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