Giro d’Italia confirms 2022 ‘big start’ with three stages in Hungary
Two sprint stages and a time trial will mark the 14th time the Italian grand tour will start beyond Italian borders.
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RCS Sport teased out the details Wednesday of the “grande partenza” for the 2022 Giro d’Italia by confirming dates, distances, and locations of the first three stages in Hungary.
Originally slated to start in Hungary in 2020, the pandemic played havoc with the race calendar, eventually forcing RCS sport to move the start back to Italy, with an October start.
In the 2021 Giro d’Italia, Groupama-FDJ rider Attila Valter became the first Hungarian to wear the maglia rosa. Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) ultimately claimed the overall race lead.
The opening road stage, set for Friday, will take the peloton on a flat, 195km stage from Budapest to Visegrád, with a sharp uphill finale.
The following day, the pack faces a short, 9.2km individual time trial on stage 2 in Budapest.
The third stage closes out the Hungarian adventure with a 201km route, from Kaposvár to Balatonfüred.
The 105th Giro will be the first time a major grand tour has visited Hungary.
“This year, one of the most exciting things happened to me – I wore the maglia rosa. It’s a feeling you cannot compare to anything else,” Valter said. “Next May, all my fellow Hungarians will be able to feel some of this excitement and get much closer to cycling. In my eyes, it’s the most important sports event ever in my country.”
Rather than have a big gala, race organizers instead are trickling out route details for the 2022 edition. Route information about flat, sprinters’ stages will be announced Monday.
Route details about hilly stages will be revealed Tuesday, before the mountain stages are announced Wednesday.
The remainder of the 2022 Giro route details will be made available Thursday.
Reports indicate that the race may travel through Umbria after the first rest day. The route then is reported to head east and north towards Valtellina after the second rest day. An ascent of the Colle delle Finestre — where Chris Froome soloed into the 2018 race lead — may also make a return to the Giro route.
The 2022 Giro d’Italia will conclude on Sunday, May 29.
This is the 14th time that the Giro will start abroad. In 2018, the Italian grand tour started from the ancient city of Jerusalem.