Dates: Saturday, May 8-30 Stages: 21 Length: 3450km Start: Turin Finish: Milan TV Coverage (UK): Eurosport, GCN+
Giro d’Italia 2021
The final podium of the 2020 Giro d’Italia (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
The Giro d’Italia is the first of the Grand Tours, with the other three-week-long races being the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. The riders tackle 21 stages around Italy with the event usually taking place in May.
Usually, the race takes place entirely within the borders of Italy but the ‘Corsa Rosa’ has held stages in other nations over its 103 editions. These include the likes of Denmark, Israel and France. 2021 is going to be the race’s 104th edition.
This year, the race once again visits two other countries outside of Italy with a trip in and out of Slovenia on stage 15 and spends a large amount of stage 20 within Switzerland.
Those border crossings will likely inspire the two Slovenian and six Swiss riders to try and make it into the winning breakaway.
Away from that, the race spends the rest of its time in Italy. Starting and finishing in the northwest of the country before snaking around almost all of the mainland during its 3450km voyage.
Italy’s terrain is very varied and the race has taken on and made names of some of its best mountains like the Monte Zonccolan, Passo dello Stelvio, Colle dell’Angnello, Passo di Mortirolo and Passo Gavia as well as many more besides.
Some of these climbs will be seen in the race with the Monte Zoncolan being the star attraction on stage 14 of this year’s event. Other big names include the highest point of the race or Cima Coppi the Passo Pordoi as well as the Passo San Bernardino in Switzerland.
Usually, the race comes down to the final day with the Giro, stage 21 is often an individual time trial and 2021 is no different with almost 30km of a test against the clock into the city of Milan bringing the race to a close.
This year’s edition of the race is bookended by time trials in Turin and Milan. With the final stage of the Giro seeing the pink jersey change shoulders on many occasions, the pure climbers will have to make sure they have a big enough gap over those better against the ticking of the clock.
But it’s not all about being good at the time trial side of cycling. Anybody who hopes to take the pink jersey at the Giro will need to get through several sprint stages and medium mountain stages. These also give a chance for stage wins that can spark amazing careers
Last year’s event was exceptionally close after Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) and Jai Hindley (Team DSM) went into the final time trial at exactly the same time.
Geoghegan Hart eventually came out on top winning the overall by 39 seconds over the Australian rider after a very strong time trial to close the race.
The British rider went into the race to support Geraint Thomas, who crashed out early on after hitting a bottle. Last year’s edition introduced a whole new cast of Grand Tour riders with Geoghegan Hart, Hindley and João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) looking like potential future winners.
Giro d’Italia 2021 route
Riders climb the Stelvio during stage 18 of the 2020 Giro d’Italia (Photo by LUCA BETTINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Here is the route of the Giro d’Italia 2021, a total of eight mountain stages, two time trials, four flat sprint stages and six hilly days, the winner will need to be able to face it all to come out on top. For more information on each stage, go to our route page.