Giro d’Italia

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.

Stage Date Start Finish Distance Terrain
1 Sat May 8 Torino Torino 9km ITT
2 Sun May 9 Stupinigi Novara 173km Flat
3 Mon May 10 Biella Canale 187km Hilly
4 Tue May 11 Piacenza Sestola 185km Hilly
5 Wed May 12 Modena Cattolica 171km Flat
6 Thu May 13 Grotte di Frassassi Ascoli Piceno 150km Mountain
7 Fri May 14 Notaresco Temoli 178km Flat
8 Sat May 15 Foggia Guardia Sanframondi 173km Mountain
9 Sun May 16 Castel di Sangro Campo Felice 160km Mountain
Rest day Mon May 17
10 Tue May 18 L’Aquila Foligno 140km Hilly
11 Wed May 19 Perugia Montalcino 163km Hilly
12 Thu May 20 Siena Bagno di Romagna 209km Hilly
13 Fri May 21 Ravenna Verona 197km Flat
14 Sat May 22 Cittadella Monte Zoncolan 205km Mountain
15 Sun May 23 Grado Gorizia 145km Hilly
Rest day Mon May 24
16 Tue May 25 Sacille Cortina d’Ampezzo 212km Mountain
17 Wed May 26 Canazei Sega di Ala 193km Mountain
18 Thu May 27 Rovereto Stradella 228km Flat
19 Fri May 28 Abbiategrasso Alpe di Mera Valsesia 178km Mountain
20 Sat May 29 Verbania Alpe Motta 165km Mountain
21 Sun May 30 Senago Milan 29.4km ITT

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Past winners of the Giro d’Italia

2020 – Tao Geoghegan-Hart
2019 – Richard Carapaz
2018 – Chris Froome
2017 – Tom Dumoulin
2016 – Vincenzo Nibali
2015 – Alberto Contador
2014 – Nairo Quintana
2013 – Vincenzo Nibali
2012 – Ryder Hesjedal
2011 – Michele Scarponi
2010 – Ivan Basso
2009 – Denis Menchov
2008 – Alberto Contador
2007 – Danilo Di Luca
2006 – Ivan Basso
2005 – Paolo Savoldelli
2004 – Damiano Cunego
2003 – Gilberto Simoni
2002 – Paolo Savoldelli
2001 – Gilberto Simoni
2000 – Stefano Garzelli