Stage 1: Monreale to Palermo
The 2020 Giro d’Italia opens with a mostly downhill individual time trial in northern Sicily that will play out on city streets. From the start in Monreale the route climbs slightly to the local cathedral before hitting a long, fast, and mostly straight descent into downtown Palemro. The final 2.7 kilometers run straight along the Via dell Libertà, a stretch of upscale shops and homes.
Stage 2: Alcamo to Agrigento
The fast and rolling stage across southern Sicily skirts the coast for the second half before culminating in a fast uphill push to Agrigento. The final push to the line won’t shed any GC riders, however it isn’t easy. The final climb averages 5 percent and peaks at 9 percent, just 3 kilometers from the finish. Expect a fast finish between the peloton’s most versatile riders.
Width in meters (26 feet) of the final straightaway on stage 2.
Stage 3: Enna to Mt. Etna
The GC battle begins early this year with the painful but explosive slog up the slopes of Mt. Etna. The volcano has hosted the Giro d’Italia on five previous occasions, but this year’s climb is potentially more decisive and harder than any previous routes. The ascent from Linguaglossa stretches 18.9 kilometers in length, and the extended route used this year averages 6.6 percent and includes extremely steep double-digit pitches in the final 3 kilometers. Look for a break to go early on the hilly opening section of the race, and for the GC riders to throw big punches on Etna.
Stage 4: Catania to Villafranca Tirrena
Breakaway riders will battle the sprint teams on this short and painful slog up and over the Portella Mandrazzi climb, which falls at the midpoint of this otherwise flat stage. The climb is 20 kilometers long, which will entice some riders to roll the dice on a breakaway. But the final 30 kilometers are flat and held on wide roads, setting up a dramatic chase into Villafranca Tirrena.
Stage 5: Mileto to Camigliatello Silano
The Giro heads to the Italian mainland, and this route runs along Italy’s base. A long stage at 225 kilometers, this day is bound to test the endurance of everyone in the peloton with a hilly profile that builds to the grinding 27-kilometer climb to Valico di Montescuro. The ascent is likely to shred the front group to the strongest climbers, who will then battle on a 10-kilometer descent to the finish.
Stage 6: Castrovillari to Matera
The route’s hilly opening half runs through the Pollino National Park and then past the lake of Monte Contugo and then north to Matera. A punchy category 3 climb with 26 kilometers to go could entice riders to take a chance, especially with a finish that features a gradual climb. We expect a sprint in Matera.
Stage 7: Matera to Brindisi
A flat stage for the sprinters, this route opens with a descent to the Ionian Sea before a fast and straight journey to Brindisi on the Adriatic coast. Expect a bunch sprint on a wide, straight avenue to close out this stage.
Stage 8: Giovinazzo to Vieste
The peloton will receive a wonderful view of the Adriatic coast as the route follows the coastline for the entire stage. After 100 kilometers of flat road the route includes several punchy climbs that will cater to breakaway riders, including the ascent of Monte Sant’Angelo and the Coppa Santa Tecla climb. Once the group hits Vieste it will complete two laps of a 14.5-kilometer circuit that includes the steep Via Saragat climb 10 kilometers from the finish.
Stage 9: San Salvo to Roccaraso
Another new route for 2020, stage 9 is a punishing Queen stage across the Appennines that boasts an eye-popping vertical gain (4,000 meters). The punishment comes in the stage’s second half as riders tackle the Passo Lanciano, Passo di San Leonardo, and the Bosco di Sant’Antonio, before climbing to Roccaraso. The final climb is 10 kilometers and averages 5.7 percent, with a 12-percent pitch in the final kilometer.
Meters higher that stage 9 will finish on Roccaraso this year compared to its finish there in 2016.
Stage 10: Lanciano to Tortoreto
The Giro continues north with another stage along the Adriatic coast. On paper this long 177-kilometer stage may seem innocuous, as it lacks the big climbs that tend to break up the group of contenders. But the final 65 kilometers include five punchy ascents that come in succession. The peloton hits Tortoreto and then embarks on two circuits around the city, where the peloton will endure the wall of Tortoreto, as well as the steep climbs at Colonella and Controguerra. Don’t be surprised if the GC men battle each other in the finale.
Stage 11: Porto Sant’Elpidio to Rimini
Another day along the Adriatic coast, this flat stage will likely finish with a sprint in downtown Rimini.
Stage 12: Cesenatico to Cesenatico
This route into the Apennines follows the path of the popular Nove Colli Gran Fondo, one of the biggest mass-participant rides in Italy. Look for a breakaway group to push to the finish today. The stage takes in nine climbs, five of which are categorized, including the long ascent of the Madonna di Pugliano, before a long descent to the finish. While this stage may not crown an overall winner, it will make the GC men ride hard.
Age in years of the Nove Colli Gran Fondo, which stage 12 will honor by using the event’s route.
Stage 13: Cervia to Monselice
This flat stage ends with a bang—the bang is the short and steep Passo Roverello and then the Muro di Calaone climbs. The second climb is a true stinger, hitting 20 percent for nearly two kilometers. The summit is just 17 kilometers for the finish, so GC riders who are dropped on the sharp ascent will need to chase like mad to regain contact before the finale.
Stage 14: Conegliano to Valdobbiadene
The second individual time trial will paint a clearer picture of the GC fight as the Giro prepares for its mountainous final week. The route is entirely in the terroir of Prosecco Superiore, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The route is hilly, and just 7 kilometers into the journey the riders tackle the ascent of Muro di Ca’ Del Poggio, a short but steep ramp that approaches 20 percent.
Stage 15: Base Area Rivolto to Piancavallo
The Giro’s punishing finale begins with a challenging stage that includes four major climbs, including the punishing summit finish to Piancavallo. The 17-kilometer above-category climb includes ramps of 14 percent over the opening kilometers. Even though it eases toward the summit, the Piancavallo climb is sure to shake up the GC picture.
Year anniversary of the Frecce Tricolori aerobatic squadron, housed at Base Area Rivolto.
Stage 16: Udine to San Daniele del Friuli
After a rest day the peloton tackles another challenging stage across the Julian Prealps that includes six short, but extremely demanding, climbs. The riders climb the Madonnina del Domm and the north slope of the Castelmonte Abbey hill. After reaching San Daniele, the peloton completes two laps of a tough circuit that includes the castle of Susans climb, which has ramps of 15 percent.
Stage 17: Bassano del Grappa to Madonna di Campiglio
Another brute of a day, this unrelenting mountainous stage includes more than 5,000 meters of vertical gain across four categorized climbs, including the summit finish. The riders will make the first ever Giro ascent of the Forcella Valbona before tackling Monte Bondone from the Aldeno side (another first). The second half of the Monte Bondone climb includes ramps at 10 percent. After taking in the Passo Durone, the GC men will battle to the ascent of Madonna di Campiglio.
Stage 18: Pinzolo to Laghi di Cancano
The punishment continues with this colossal Alpine stage that surpasses 5,400 meters of total altitude gain across four climbs. Included in this route is the ascent of the Passo dello Stelvio from the north side, a punishing climb that marks the Cima Coppi of this year’s route. After the riders descend the Stelvio they face the final battle on the climb to Laghi di Cancano, which features 21 hairpins along the mountainside in the so-called “scale di Fraele.” The Giro will not be won on this stage, however it may be lost.
Stage 19: Morbegno to Asti
The longest stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia is a flat day for the sprinters. The route transfers the riders out of the Alps through the Po valley and around Milano to the finishing town in Asti.
Stage 20: Alba to Sestriere
One final mountainous battle for the climbers, this route packs four successive monstrous climbs and 5,000 meters of vertical gain into the second half of the stage. From the start in Alba the route gradually climbs to the base of the ascent of the Colle dell’Agnello, which is where Steven Kruijswijk saw his chances at the 2016 Giro victory crash into a snowbank. After descending the pass, the peloton takes in the Col d’Izoard, one of the famed climbs of the Tour de France, before climbing to Montgenèvre and then to the summit of Sestreiere. This route is a reinterpretation of the legendary Cuneo-Pinerolo. This is the final chance for the climbers to gain an advantage before the final time trial.
Stage 21: Cernusco sul Naviglio to Milano
The Giro concludes with a short and flat individual time trial through greater Milano, with a finish right in front of the famed Piazza Duomo, the classic finish in the city that gave birth to the Giro. It’s the final opportunity for the GC to reshuffle, and all of the riders will tackle the race against the clock with extremely tired legs, before celebrating with a glass of grappa at the finish.
Seconds separating Fiorenzo Magni from Ezio Cecchi at the 1948 Giro, the race’s tightest victory.