The 94th Giro d’Italia pays homage to 150 years of a united Italy, but more than anything, it will serve up a climber’s delight with a daring course featuring a return to the dirt roads of Finestre and an ascent up Mount Etna.
Giro director Angelo Zomegnan has delivered another exciting route for the season’s first grand tour, replete with historical touches and an imaginative course to live up to the standards of the most recent editions of the corsa rosa.
The Giro, set for May 7-29, opens with a team time trial in Torino and concludes with an individual time trial in Milano, where the race returns following a two-year absence as the Giro finale.
In all, the Giro features 21 stages with 3,494km and a lot of transfers as the winds down the entire length of Italy’s boot before a trip to Sicily and the assault of Etna before winding back north for a foray into Austria before pushing west back to Sestiere and finally ending in Milano.
Packed in between are plenty of Zomegnan’s touches, including a return to the strade bianche (white roads) across Tuscany to be featured in the first week.
There are no fewer than seven mountain-top finishes – and that’s not counting some of the smaller, hilltop towns in the first half — including Mount Etna (stage 9), Glossglockner in Austria (stage 13), Zoncolan (stage 14), Garceccia/Val di Fassa (stage 15), a climbing time trial at Nevegal (stage 16), Macugnaga (stage 19) and Sestriere (stage 20).
The route will also tip its hat to the historical legacy of Italy’s unification, with three stages celebrating the route taken by Italian hero Giuseppe Garibaldi and his Red Shirt freedom fighters.
The fourth stage begins in the Quarto district of Genoa from where Garibaldi and his men departed for Sicily on the beginning of their historic adventure. The seventh stage passes by Teano (now Vairano Patenora) where Garibaldi met with the future first king of Italy Victor Emmanuel II and the 11th stage climaxes at Castelfidardo the site of the Red Shirts’ decisive victory over the Papal troops.
2011 Giro d’Italia
May 7 ─ 1st stage, Team Time-Trial Turin 21.5km
May 8 ─ 2nd stage, Alba – Parma 242 km
May 9 ─ 3rd stage, Reggio-Emilia – Rapallo 178 km
May 10 ─ 4th stage, Quarto – Livorno 208 km
May 11 ─ 5th stage, Piombino – Orvieto 201 km
May 12 ─ 6th stage, Orvieto – Fiuggi 195 km
May 13 ─ 7th stage, Maddaloni – Montevergine di Mercogliano 100 km
May 14 ─ 8th stage, Sapri – Tropea 214 km
May 15 ─ 9th stage, Messina – Etna 159 km
May 16 ─ Rest Day
May 17 ─ 10th stage, Termoli – Teramo 156 km
May 18 ─ 11th stage, Tortoreto Lido – Castelfidardo 160 km
May 19 ─ 12th stage, Castelfidardo – Ravenna 171 km
May 20 ─ 13th stage, Spilimbergo – Grossglockner (Austria) 159 km
May 21 ─ 14th stage, Linz (Austria) – Monte Zoncolan 210 km
May 22 ─ 15th stage, Conegliano – Gardeccia Val di Fassa 230 km
May 23 ─ Rest Day
May 24 ─ 16th stage, Belluno – Nevegal, Individual Time-Trial 12.7 km
May 25 ─ 17th stage, Feltre – Sondrio 246 km
May 26 ─ 18th stage, Morbegno – San Pellegrino Terme 147 km
May 27 ─ 19th stage, Bergamo – Macugnaga 211 km
May 28 ─ 20th stage, Verbania – Sestriere 242 km
May 29 ─ 21st stage, individual time-trial in Milan 32.8km