On Wednesday, race organizers released the full route details for the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile— the “Giro Rosa”.
The nine-day, 975.8-kilometer stage race will be held in central and southern Italy, September 11 – 19. The race, which was rescheduled from its original June 26 start date, will coincide with the final stages of the Tour de France. It does not overlap with any other women’s races.
Wednesday’s announcement came as good news for the women’s peloton, which continues to see its already compact race calendar dwindle. With the recent cancelation of the Tour of Guangxi and the location of world championship’s in question, the Giro Rosa is now one of 12 races left on the Women’s WorldTour calendar. In the official announcement, race organizer Giuseppe Rivolta admitted that bringing it to fruition was never a guarantee.
“Sport in general and cycling, in particular, have always been synonymous with self-denial, dedication to a cause, commitment, suffering and love,” Rivolta said. “The difficult period that our society is going through is also being faced thanks to these values. This is why we did not want to abandon the Giro Rosa, we did not want to give up, we fought and made sacrifices so that the magic of the peloton on the roads can be repeated again this year, albeit with a different place on the calendar.”
Despite the difficulty that the year 2020 has delivered to the world, this year’s edition of Giro Rosa will not make things easy for riders. The climbing-centric race will unfold on the roads of central and southern Italy, through the regions of Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio, Campania, and Puglia.
The 2020 Giro Rosa begins with a team time trial in Grossetto, Tuscany on a flat, 16km course. From there, the next few days feature courses characterized by numerous sharp, steep climbs. Stage four is the longest stage of this Giro Rosa, covering a distance 10km longer than the UCI maximum for Women’s WorldTour stages. At 170 kilometers, it will be the longest stage ever in a women’s stage race. The shortest route comes on the eighth day and includes two punishing climbs, one to the finish line at San Marco la Catola. Then, the final day of the Giro Rosa presents an opportunity for everything to change. The organizers have designed a circuit race focused on the Volturno ascent. The peloton will race four laps of 27.5 kilometers; mountain points will be awarded on the third lap before the uphill finish in Motta Montecorvino.
Although the Giro Rosa is only four weeks away, the dearth of racing in 2020 makes it challenging to predict the outcome. Obviously, world champion Annemiek van Vleuten has the most impressive palmares of the season, and her overall wins at the last two editions of the Giro Rosa make her an obvious favorite.
Riders from 24 UCI women’s teams are slated to attend the race in Italy in mid-September, yet the ongoing uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep the entire cycling world on its toes. If it happens as planned, the Giro Rosa will be the eighth race to occur for women since racing resumed in late July, the significance of which is not lost on the organizers.
“We want the 31st edition of the Giro Rosa to become a symbol of the restart of a country,” Rivolta said. “A chance to get out of the greyness that this year does not seem to want to abandon. The whole world and with it Italy have gone through a dramatic period: now there are the conditions to start again. We will do it in complete safety but we will do it. For the respect we owe to the girls, the teams, those who have always believed in us, the sponsors, and the public.”
Stage schedule: Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile
9/11 – Stage 1: Grosseto – Grosseto (TTT, 16.8 km)
19/12 – Stage 2: Civitella Paganico – Arcidosso (124.8 km)
9/13 – Stage 3: Santa Fiora – Assisi (142.2 km)
9/14 – Stage 4: Assisi – Tivoli (170.3 km)
9/15 – Stage 5: Terracina – Terracina (110.3 km)
9/16 – Stage 6: Torre del Greco – Nola (97.5 km)
9/17 – Stage 7: Nola – Maddaloni (112.57 km)
9/18 – Stage 8: Castelnuovo della Daunia – San Marco la Catola (91.49 km )
9/19 – Stage 9: Motta Montecorvino – Motta Montecorvino (109.88 km)