Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia 2022: Five key stages where the pink jersey will be won or lost

From the final TT to some tough summit finishes, these are the stages that can make or break the Giro d'Italia for the GC riders.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All Access
45% Cyber Week Sale
only $4.54/month*

  • A $500 value with everything in the Print + Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Beta MTB, Peloton, Clean Eating, Yoga Journal, and more
  • Today’s Plan training platform with customized programs
  • Download your personal race photos from FinisherPix* for one race (up to a $100 value).
  • Get up to $30 off your next race and $30 off race fees every year you are a member through AthleteReg*.
  • Expert gear guides and reviews for cycling equipment, performance apparel and tech
  • Discounted race entries to local sportives and centuries
  • Outside TV Shows, Films, and documentaries
Join Outside+

Print + Digital
Special Price

  • Annual subscription to VeloNews magazine
  • Access to all member-exclusive content and gear reviews on
  • Ad-free access to
Join VeloNews

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

The grand tour picture for 2022 is becoming clearer with the publication of the Giro d’Italia route.

Over the course of a week, the organizers released details of the parcours bit by bit, culminating with the unveiling of the decisive time trial in Verona.

Beginning in Hungary, the 2022 Giro d’Italia will trace 3,410 kilometers and climb more than 51,000 altitude meters.

Also read:

There are six classified summit finishes, including four in the high mountains, but just 26km of time trialing, giving the pure climbers a home-court advantage. It won’t be that simple though, as anything can, and often does, happen at a three-week race.

Let’s take a dive into the 2022 Giro d’Italia route and look at five of the decisive stages.

Stage 4: Avola to Mount Etna

The first summit finish of the Giro d'Italia goes up Mount Etna
The first summit finish of the Giro d’Italia goes up Mount Etna (Photo: RCS Sport)

Distance: 166km
Elevation gain: 3,580m

First featured in the 1967 Giro d’Italia and again some 22 years later in 1989, Mount Etna has become a more regular feature over much of the past decade. It is the only classified climb on this 166k stage with the opening section gently rolling before the sting in the tail arrives.

Mount Etna has been used as a summit finish four times since its return in 2011 and it will be the first of the 2022 race. Previous winners on the Sicilian volcano include Alberto Contador, Jan Polanc, and Esteban Chaves.

There are several ways up this climb and next year’s route will take in a couple of them, beginning on the approach through Ragalna — which was used in 2018 — the course swaps midway through to the more traditional ascent at Nicolosi — last used in 2011 — before the finish at the Rifugio Sapienza.

The climbs maxes out at 15 percent, and there is a short descent midway up but is relatively steady throughout its 25.4km. As the old adage goes, you won’t win the Giro d’Italia on this climb, but you could lose it.

Stage 9: Isernia to Blockhaus

The stage to Blockhaus features 4,990m of climbing
The stage to Blockhaus features 4,990m of climbing (Photo: RCS Sport)

Distance: 187km
Elevation gain: 4,990m

Back into mainland Italy as the route traverses from west to east and toward the Adriatic coast for a brutal finish to the opening week of racing. The 187km stage from Isernia to Blockhaus is the second big summit finish of the race and packs in almost 5,000 meters of climbing.

The Blockhaus is back in the mix after a five-year absence from the race. It last featured in the 2017 edition, when Geraint Thomas, Mikel Landa, and Wilco Kelderman crashed after Kelderman collided with a parked police motorcycle. The GC men will be hoping for a much easier time of it when they approach the Abruzzo climb next May.

The 13.6k climb averages 8.4 percent with a maximum gradient of 14 percent, two-thirds of the way up. After a long day in the saddle, this climb will mete out some tough punishment to tired riders.

Indeed, before they can concern themselves with the Blockhaus, the riders must contend with the second category Roccaraso and the first category Passo Lanciano.

Stage 16: Salò to Aprica

The stage to Aprica is one of the longest in the Giro d'Italia 2022
The stage to Aprica is one of the longest in the Giro d’Italia 2022 (Photo: RCS Sport)

Distance: 200km
Elevation meters: 5,440m

This stage is a brute. Not only is it one of the longest stages of the entire race — only stages 3 and 11 beat it at 201km — it contains more climbing than any other day in the race. Just to make it that bit worse, it comes immediately following a rest day.

Any riders who have not rested properly, or are struggling with the post-rest day lull, could find themselves in a lot of trouble here. This is a day where the Giro d’Italia will be made or broken for some riders.

The first climb of three that will feature during the day is the Goletto di Cadino, which tops out at 1,938m and last appeared in the Giro d’Italia in 1998. Marco Pantani won on that day as he rode to victory in Montecampione.

Next on the menu is a climb that strikes fear into riders, the Mortirolo. With an average gradient of 7.6 percent and a maximum of 16, this climb will really thin out the peloton and send strugglers into the hurt locker.

The final climb of the day is another one that has been away for some time with the Santa Cristina making its first appearance since 1999, another climb marked by the lingering legend of Marco Pantani. It was here that a relatively unknown-at-the-time Pantani beat Miguel Indurain by well over three minutes into Aprica.

As it did on that day, the race will descent from the Santa Cristina into Aprica in what is likely to be a fast finish to the day.

Stage 20: Belluno to Marmolada (Passo Fedaia)

The ride to the Marmolada takes in the Passo Pordoi
The ride to the Marmolada takes in the Passo Pordoi (Photo: RCS Sport)

Distance: 167km
Elevation gain: 4,490m

After being cut from the 2021 race due to adverse weather conditions, the Passo Pordoi and Passo Fedaia are back for 2022. They were supposed to provide a thrilling finish to the second week of this year’s race and RCS will hope that moving them to the end of the third week will help it to avoid falling foul of the weather again.

This year the two climbs were to be part of a smorgasbord of climbing, but they are the centerpiece of next year’s stage 20 and packed into a much shorter distance at just 167km.

This will be the final mountain stage of the 2022 Giro d’Italia and, therefore, we should see plenty of aggression from those looking to build a buffer or take back time ahead of the time trial in Verona.

The climbing starts early in the stage with the Passo San Pellegrino, the shortest of the three ascents at 1,918 meters. From there the riders take a quick descent to the bottom of the Passo Podoi, which will bring them to the highest point of the race — also known as the Cima Coppi. A long ride into the valley takes them to the foot of the Marmolada and the Passo Fedaia ascent.

With the stage going above 2,000 meters on a regular basis, this will be a huge test for all the riders.

Stage 21: Verona

Verona will host the final stage of the Giro d'Italia for the fourth time
Verona will host the final stage of the Giro d’Italia for the fourth time (Photo: RCS Sport)

Distance: 17.1km
Elevation gain: 280m

There are very few time trialing kilometers to be had in this Giro d’Italia so the TT specialists will have to make the most of the ones offered.

This will be no parade lap for the GC winner and there could be a lot on the line when the race arrives in Girona on the final Sunday of the Giro. If you look at the parcours and think it looks familiar then you are correct as it was previously used for the finale of the 2019 Giro d’Italia.

While the maglia rosa didn’t change hands on that day, there were some exciting battles up and down the GC and Vincenzo Nibali put race leader Richard Carapaz under plenty of pressure.

The short climb, which averages five percent, makes this TT a slightly different prospect and Filippo Ganna might find himself with some stiffer competition for the stage win — though you still wouldn’t bet against him taking it.