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While next year’s Tour de France route is sparing with individual time trials, the 2019 Giro d’Italia route will be bookended by races against the clock. The 3,518.5-kilometer course, announced Wednesday in Milan, will also offer stages for the climbers with seven summit finishes.
The season’s first grand tour, which will run from May 11 to June 2, will begin with an 8.2km individual time trial in Bologna. Unlike most prologue TTs, this one features a tough finish climb after six flat kilometers in the city. The course ends atop the San Luca climb, which is 2.1km at a 9.7 percent average gradient with stretches at 10-12 percent, and peaking at 16 percent with around 1km to go.
As the race winds through the Apennines and Abruzzo, there will be a few hilly, difficult stages, but the first nine days will not feature any outright mountains. Sprinters will have a few chances, such as stages 3 and 5. Four stages will also be 200 kilometers or longer: stages 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8.
All of this builds up to the Giro’s traditional wine-themed time trial, this year held in the Sangiovese region on stage 9. Similar to the opening time trial, this individual 34.7km test features some tough climbing at the end, gaining 750 meters total.
Following the first rest day, the Giro will have two more days for the sprinters. While stages 10 and 11 are pancake-flat, stages 12 through 15 will pummel the peloton with difficult climbs in Italy’s northwestern corner.
Stage 14 is particularly intriguing, just 131km long with 4,000 meters of climbing. While the Giro has been slow to adopt short, explosive, mountainous stages like those seen in the Vuelta a España, this day is in keeping with modern trends. The route features five KOMs: The Verrayes, Verrogne, Truc d’Arbe (Combes), and Colle San Carlo climbs come before the summit finish at Courmayeur on the shoulders of Mont Blanc.
After the final rest day, the Giro will ride from Lovere to Ponte di Legno. This queen stage will be 226 kilometers with 5,700m of climbing. It runs over the Presolana, the Croce di Salven, the Gavia Pass (Cima Coppi), and the Mortirolo (Montagna Pantani) from the hardest side of Mazzo di Valtellina.
Apart from one long sprinters’ day on stage 18, the final week is packed with mountains. Stages 17, 19, and 20 will have summit finishes.
Stage 20 looks especially cruel at 193 kilometers with 5,200 meters of climbing. The route takes on the Cima Campo, Manghen Pass, and Rolle Pass, and it finishes atop Croce d’Aune-Monte Avena.
Finally, the Giro ends in Verona with a 15.6km time trial. Again, this won’t be a simple, flat route for pure power riders. Stage 21 includes the Torricelle climb, which is about 4.5km long and averages a five percent gradient.
2019 Giro d’Italia route
- Stage 1
- Bologne – San Luca (individual time trial, 8.2km)
- Stage 2
- Bologne – Fucecchio (200km)
- Stage 3
- Vinci – Orbetello (219km)
- Stage 4
- Orbetello – Frascati (228km)
- Stage 5
- Frascati – Terracina (140km)
- Stage 6
- Cassino – San Giovanni Rotondo (233km)
- Stage 7
- Vasto – L’Aquila (180km)
- Stage 8
- Tortoreto Lido – Pesaro (235km)
- Stage 9
- Riccione – San Marino (individual time trial, 34.7km)
- Stage 10
- Ravenna – Modena (147km)
- Stage 11
- Carrpi – Novi Ligure (206km)
- Stage 12
- Cuneo – Pinerolo (146km)
- Stage 13
- Pinerolo – Ceresole Reale (188km)
- Stage 14
- Saint-Vincent – Courmayeur (131km)
- Stage 15
- Ivrea – Como (237km)
- Stage 16
- Lovere – Ponte Di Legno (226km)
- Stage 17
- Commezzadura – Anterselva/Antholz (180km)
- Stage 18
- Valdaora/Olang – Santa Maria di Sala (220km)
- Stage 19
- Treviso – San Martino di Castrozza (151km)
- Stage 20
- Feltre – Croce d’Aune – Monte Avena (193km)
- Stage 21
- Verona – Verona (individual time trial, 15.6km)