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Giro d'Italia

Inside Cycling – Four TTs in tougher 2010 Giro?

Just as word leaked out beforehand about the route of the 2010 Tour de France, so several sources in Italy have published reports on the likely stages for the 2010 Giro d’Italia — which will be formally unveiled this Saturday in Milan. Race organizer RCS and its daily newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport have announced only the first three stages, which will all start in the Dutch city of Amsterdam next May 8, 9 and 10; but rival papers Tuttosport, La Stampa and La Repubblica have all carried stories on the likely route.

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By John Wilcockson

Sure, you might know the way up the Gavia, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Sure, you might know the way up the Gavia, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Photo: Graham Watson – file photo

Just as word leaked out beforehand about the route of the 2010 Tour de France, so several sources in Italy have published reports on the likely stages for the 2010 Giro d’Italia — which will be formally unveiled this Saturday in Milan.

Race organizer RCS and its daily newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport have announced only the first three stages, which will all start in the Dutch city of Amsterdam next May 8, 9 and 10; but rival papers Tuttosport, La Stampa and La Repubblica have all carried stories on the likely route.

Some of the details in those reports are conflicting, but the (very unofficial) route we discuss here is probably close to the one that race director Angelo Zomegnan will reveal on Saturday.

In contrast to the Tour, which has reduced the time-trial content to a prologue and a single individual time trial on the final weekend, the 93rd Giro looks like having four races against the clock: an opening TT in the streets of Amsterdam, a team time trial on the first day back in Italy, a repeat of the “crazy” hill climb on the dirt road to Plan de Corones, and a flat final day TT on May 30 into the finish at the Roman amphitheatre in Verona.

Besides the time trials — which would favor Denis Menchov should he defend his title — the 2010 Giro shows progressively difficult stages through the three weeks. After a long sweep south down the west coast and a first rest day on the Adriatic, next year’s peloton will probably tackle a first mountaintop finish on Monte Terminillo in the Abruzzese Apennines of central Italy.

The second week looks like ending in the Dolomites with a second summit finish, this time on the ultra-steep slopes of Monte Zoncolan. After a second rest day and the Plan de Corones TT, the final days should include two more uphill finishes — at Pejo Terme and Passo del Tonale — but the decisive climbs would appear to be the infamous Mortirolo, on a stage finishing at Aprica, and the Gavia, on the penultimate stage to Passo del Tonale.

All of these climbs have been included in previous editions of the Giro, but familiarity won’t make them any less difficult.

Predicted 2010 Giro d’Italia

(Unofficial)

Date Stage Route Distance
May 8 Stage 1 Amsterdam TT 10km
May 9 Stage 2 Amsterdam—Utrecht 150
May 10 Stage 3 Amsterdam—Middelburg 160
May 11 Stage 4 Cuneo TTT 30
May 12 Stage 5 Novara—Novi Ligure 185
May 13 Stage 6 Marina di Carrara—Siena 185
May 14 Stage 7 Grosseto—Lido di Ostia 180
May 15 Stage 8 Anagni—Cava de’ Tirreni 225
May 16 Stage 9 Avellino—Bitonto 205
May 17 Rest day
May 18 Stage 10 Campomarino—L’Aquila 210
May 19 Stage 11 L’Aquila—Monte Terminillo 165
May 20 Stage 12 Rieti—Porto Recanati 180
May 21 Stage 13 Porto Recanati—Cesenatico 170
May 22 Stage 14 Ferrara—Asolo/Monte Grappa 190
May 23 Stage 15 Mestre—Monte Zoncolan 165
May 24 Rest day
May 25 Stage 16 San Vigilio—Plan de Corones TT 13
May 26 Stage 17 Brunico—Pejo Terme 170
May 27 Stage 18 Levico Terme—Brescia 165
May 28 Stage 19 Brescia—Aprica 185
May 29 Stage 20 Bormio—Passo del Tonale 155
May 30 Stage 21 Soave—Verona TT 25

Approximate distance: 3,150km

You can follow John on www.twitter.com/johnwilcockson.