Giro Rosa 2019: everything you need to know

The toughest parcours in race history, plus daily highlights, mean this could be the best Giro Rosa yet for audiences

The Giro Rosa (July 5-14) has, for many years, been the longest stage race the women’s peloton has to contend with. With that title lost due to the arrival of the 10-day Battle of the North, the organisers have pulled out all the stops to ensure an explosive race of summit finishes and uphill time trials.

The race has been included within the UCI Women’s World Tour calendar since its inaugural year in 2016, but the Italian procession of women’s cycling far pre-dates the UCI series – and this will be the toughest edition in its 30-year back catalogue.

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The organiser’s insistence on ensuring the Giro Rosa’s dates coincide with the Tour de France mean that in the past the race has been overlooked and incredibly hard to follow.

>>> The Giro Rosa and why it risks becoming irrelevant

However, this year, Trek bikes and Voxwomen have collaborated to bring a full hour of daily highlights to viewers around the world – except in Italy where RAI hold the rights. The commantry will be in English, too.

And there will be a lot to say – with two summit finishes plus a testing uphill time trial to content with. Here’s what you need to know…

Giro Rosa 2019: stages

We’ve taken a look at each individual stage further down the page, but first, here’s a brief look at the route:

Stage Route Length
Stage one, Fri June 5 Cassano Spinola – Castellani 18km
Stage two, Sat June 6 Viù – Viù 78.3km
Stage three, Sun June 7 Sagliano Micca – Piedicavallo
Stage four, Mon June 8 Lissone – Carate Brianza 100.1km
Stage five, Tues June 9 Ponte in Valtellina – Lago di Cancano 87.5m
Stage six, Weds June 10 Chiuro – Teglio 12.1km
Stage seven, Thurs June 11 Cornedo Vicentino – San Giorgio di Perlena 128.3km
Stage eight, Fri June 12 Vittorio Veneto – Maniago 133.3km
Stage nine, Sat June 13 Gemona – Montasio 125.5km
Stage 10, Sun June 14 San Vito del Tagliamento – Udine 120km

Giro Rosa 2019 contenders

Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images

The defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) was a force to be reckoned with last year, winning three stages outright to take the title ahead of South Africa’s Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (then Cervelo-Bigla) by 4 minutes 12 seconds.

The Dutchwoman has shown no signs of slowing down this year, and returns flanked by team mate Amanda Spratt, who rounded out the overall podium last year.

Last year’s second placed rider, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, is back this year in CCC-Liv colours alongside Marianne Vos – who already has three wins to her name and looked in good form at the Women’s Tour before a crash put her out of contention. Moolman-Pasio had a difficult start to the year, plagued by injuries following spring crashes, but her form may be back in time for an outing in Italy.

Boels-Dolmans bring with them Anna van der Breggen – reigning world and Olympic champion, plus sprinters Jolien D’Hoore and Amy Peiters. Having won the Giro in 2015 and 2017, Van der Breggen skipped the race last year, focusing on La Course, where compatriot Van Vleuten pipped her on the line in a thrilling final.

For Canyon-SRAM, we have Kasia Niewiadoma  – who proved she was strong in the Welsh mountains at the Women’s Tour, losing out to Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafrdo) by just one second. Deignan will no doubt be a rider to watch, with support from climber Elisa Longo-Borghini, she was just inside the top ten in the overall herself in 2018, and second in 2017.

Previously taking on a domestique role for Moolman-Pasio, Cecille Uttrup Ludwig now leads Bigla. Her 2018 La Course breakaway proved that she can shine in the mountains, and since moving up the ranks she’s demonstrated all-round potential with the likes of a podium at the Tour of Flanders too.

Giro Rosa 2019: route analysis

Here’s a look at each stage. Trek-Segafredo women’s DS and former pro Giorgia Bronzini has provided some insight into how she sees each stage playing out too, which we’ve included below…

Stage 1: Cassano Spinola-Castellania (18km – TTT)

Giro Rosa 2019, stage one

Giro Rosa 2019, stage one

It all begins with a team time trial. The 18km loop travels from Cassano Spinola  to Castellania – the latter being the home town of Fausto Coppi, to celebrate 100 years since the Italian legend’s birth.

Bronzini said: “This will be a particularly hard TTT, with two climbs of 5km. The first section of each climb is quite hard, around 8 percent gradient, and it also finishes uphill.”

The final ever UCI World Time Trial Champions Canyon-SRAM may look to shine, this being one of very few opportunities now trade teams are out of the world champs.

Stage 2: Viù-Viù (78.3km)

Giro Rosa 2019, stage two

Giro Rosa 2019, stage two

The stage from and to Viù might be short, at 78km, but it’s no easy entrance with the top of the Colle del Lis reached after just under 16km of racing. The finish line is uphill, too, but after a more gradual ascent.

Bronzini said: “Stage 2 starts with a long and hard climb of 13.5km, which is  followed by a fast and technical descent. The peloton will then race through the valley before making their way back up to Viù with a gradual 8km climb.”

Stage 3: Sagliano Micca-Piedicavallo (104.1km)

Giro Rosa 2019, stage three

Giro Rosa 2019, stage three

The road to the line is uphill, once again. There’s an intermediate sprint 75km in, in Gaglianico – then the climb begins, with the QOM – and the day’s winner, crowned in Piedicavallo.

Bronzini reckons the last 10km will provide exciting viewing: “Stage 3 has a much gentler start compared to the previous day. There is a long descent down the valley before the peloton reaches two short steep climbs and then makes it way back up to the finish. The final climb is 8km, and although it is steady, it will be a hard final.”

Stage 4: Lissone-Carate Brianza (100.1km)

Giro Rosa 2019, stage four

Giro Rosa 2019, stage four

A 100km day of ups and downs, as the peloton arrives in Italy’s Lombardy region. The intermediate sprint comes at 70km, in Sovico, with the QOM points given out atop of the climb in Brianza. Then the road goes downhill, to the finish line in Carate Brianza.

Bronzini reckons this route won’t have too much of an effect on the overall, provided there are no major incidents – saying: “This is probably the easiest stage of the tour.  Saying that, it does have a lot of undulations and a lot of turns so it could be quite nervous day in the peloton.”

Stage 5: Ponte in Valtellina-Lago di Cancano (87.5km)

Update: Landslide puts Gavia stage at risk – more info coming soon 

A landslide meant that this stage, initially planned to finish on top of the Gavia had to be re-routed. 

However, the replacement is no walk in the park. The route still contains the category 2 climb, the Teglio, which Bronzini said “is not easy and will be a big factor in the stage”.

Then the riders ascend the final climb. The ascent is  7.3km and averages at 8.3 per cent. Last time the race visited the climb in 2011, the stage was won by Emma Pooley – with the peloton split and large time gaps emerging as a result.

Stage 6: Chiuro-Teglio (12.1km – ITT)

Giro Rosa 2019, stage six

Giro Rosa 2019, stage six

How hard can 12km be? We’ll find out today.

The route is mostly uphill, running alongside the Scrivia river and the Rhaetian Alps, with a finish in Teglio.

Whilst the Giro Rosa’s profiles have come under scrutiny for a certain lack of accuracy before, this one shouldn’t be as brutal as last year’s steep mountain affair. Annemiek van Vleuten won the 2018 TT, and with her expertise in the mountains and in solo events, we can see her being a force to be reckoned with again.

Bronzini will expect most riders to stick to TT rigs, explaining: “Today is an uphill time trial that starts with a short section of flat to downhill before it begins to climb. Although it is a climb, it is not super steep, so it is likely that most riders will still opt for a time trial bike.”

Stage 7: Cornedo Vicentino-San Giorgio di Perlena/Fara Vicentino (128.3km)

Giro Rosa 2019, stage seven

Giro Rosa 2019, stage seven

There’s plenty of steep climbs over this 128.3km route. Lying in wait to split the peloton are the Monte di Malo, Fara Vicentino, Marostica and the summit finish of the Fara Vicentino-Loc. Perhaps a day for a break, or a real GC battle as the key contenders look to bolster their advantage or leapfrog the competition.

Bronzini said: “This stage has a lot of up and down. There is one steep climb in Culmine Salita Della Rosina that the peloton will race over twice before making their way to Fara for an uphill finish.”

Stage 8: Vittorio Veneto-Maniago (133.3km)

Giro Rosa 2019, stage eight

Giro Rosa 2019, stage eight

The longest stage of the race certainly won’t make life easy for sprinters.

There’s a climb over Andreis at the midway point, then another QOM opportunity at Clauzetto, with just under 40km to the line. There’s then a long descent, before a more gradual elevation increase to the line.

The fast legs can compete for points via intermediate sprints in Polcenigo, at 24km and Meduno at 81km.

Bronzini said: “Another hard stage with a long climb in the middle that is followed by another climb of 6km. The stage then continues to drag up a valley to the finish in Maniago”

Stage 9: Gemona-Chiusaforte/Malga Montasio (125.5km)

Giro Rosa 2019, stage nine

Giro Rosa 2019, stage nine

The penultimate stage may open up with a long 75km flat stretch. However, those final 50km represent a serious sting in the tail – with a summit finish atop of the Malga Montasio.

Bronzini commented: “A hard stage with a long climb to the finish. It starts in a valley with a kicker at 75km before dragging up to a hard 13km finishing climb”

Stage 10: San Vito al Tagliamento-Udine (120km)

Giro Rosa 2019, stage ten

Giro Rosa 2019, stage ten

It’s not over yet. The peloton will contend with a 5km ascent of the Moruzzo with 20km to go, but anyone who is in contention is unlikely to struggle there – before a likely sprint finish in Udine.

Bronzini thinks the GC standings could still see a reshuffle, saying: “An undulating stage that includes a lap in the middle. There is a 5km climb near the end of the stage that has some steep pitches, and with only 15km from the finish, it could be a final decider for the GC.”

Giro Rosa 2019 start list: teams and riders

The full start list has been confirmed – here’s who is riding the Italian stage race…

1 VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek
2 SPRATT Amanda
4 BROWN Grace
5 ROY Sarah

Alé Cipollini
11 NA Ahreum
13 KASPER Romy
14 PALADIN Soraya
15 ERIĆ Jelena

Aromitalia Vaiano
22 BALDUCCI Michela
23 BEGGIN Sofia
24 BORGHESI Letizia
25 CIPRIANI Carmela
26 NESTI Nicole

Conceria Zabri-Fanini
31 SALTON Basei Marzia
32 MEUCCI Claudia
34 GEPPI Leonora
36 FOLLONI Silvia

41 GUDERZO Tatiana
44 RAGUSA Katia
45 PERINI Chiara

Bigla Pro Cycling
51 LUDWIG Cecilie Uttrup
52 BANKS Elizabeth
53 THOMAS Leah
54 CHABBEY Elise
55 HARVEY Mikayla
56 NOSKOVÁ Nikola

Bizkaia Durango
61 D’AGOSTIN Nicole
62 LOPEZ Enara
64 ALONSO Sandra
65 MARTINEZ Cristina
66 GRINCZER Natalie

Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team
72 BLAAK Chantal
73 CANUEL Karol-Ann
74 HALL Katie

BTC City Ljubljana
81 BUJAK Eugenia
82 NILSSON Hanna
83 ŽIGART Urška
84 PINTAR Urša
85 RATTO Rossella
86 BOOGAARD Maaike

Canyon SRAM Racing
92 BARNES Hannah
94 CROMWELL Tiffany
95 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna
96 RYAN Alexis

CCC – Liv
101 MOOLMAN Ashleigh
102 VOS Marianne
103 ROOIJAKKERS Pauliena
104 KOREVAAR Jeanne
105 LACH Marta
106 MARKUS Riejanne

Cogeas – Mettler Pro Cycling Team
111 PAINE Deborah
112 PLIASKINA Anastasiia
114 PITEL Edwige
115 DEYKO Olga
116 UVAROVA Marina

Eurotarget – Bianchi – Vittoria
121 FIDANZA Arianna
122 COVRIG Ana
124 FRANCHI Elena
126 FERNANDES Clemilda

FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
131 GILLOW Shara
132 BECKER Charlotte
133 BRAVARD Charlotte
134 GUILMAN Victorie
135 MUZIC Évita
136 RICHIOUD Greta

Lotto Soudal Ladies
141 DOM Annelies
142 KOPECKY Lotte
143 VAN DE VELDE Julie
145 BRAAM Danique

Movistar Team
151 BIANNIC Aude
152 PATIÑO Paula
153 GUTIÉRREZ Sheyla
154 JASINSKA Małgorzata
155 MERINO Eider
156 RODRÍGUEZ Gloria

Parkhotel Valkenburg
161 DE VUYST Sofie
163 BUYSMAN Nina
165 VAN VEEN Esther
166 DE BOER Sophie

Servetto – Piumate – Beltrami TSA
172 DOBRYNINA Kseniya
173 VYSOTSKA Yevgenia
174 HAJKOVA Marketa
175 GONCHAROVA Alexandra
176 CAUZ Francesca

Team Sunweb
181 BRAND Lucinda
182 MATHIESEN Pernille
184 LABOUS Juliette
185 MACKAIJ Floortje
186 SOEK Julia

Team Virtu Cycling
192 KOSTER Anouska
193 KROGSGAARD Birgitte
194 AALERUD Katrine
196 NEYLAN Rachel

Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
202 LEONARDI Elena
205 STEFANI Martina
206 TOMASI Laura

Trek-Segafredo Women
213 PLICHTA Anna
214 WILES Tayler
215 WINDER Ruth
216 WORRACK Trixi

Valcar Cylance Cycling
221 ARZUFFI Alice Maria
222 PIRRONE Elena
224 PALADIN Asja
225 MUCCIOLI Dalia
226 VIGILIA Alessia

WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling
231 MAGNALDI Erica
232 VIECELI Lara
234 HAMMES Kathrin
235 ENSING Janneke
236 WILD Kirsten