Giro d'Italia 2014 route leaked
2013 Giro winner Vincenzo Nibali
The 2014 Giro d'Italia route, which organiser RCS Sport will officially unveil on Monday in Milan, is nearly finalised. It includes a start in Belfast, three rest days, a mountain stage to Zoncolan and three time trials.
Tutto Sport newspaper, a rival to RCS Sport's La Gazzetta dello Sport, printed the entire 'percorso' this morning. Most of the details were already known, like the start in Northern Ireland on May 9 and the finish in Trieste on June 1. RCS Sport confirmed those plus a rare Friday start, three rest days, the Barolo time trial and Zoncolan's return. Tutto Sport filled in the gaps.
The Giro could start with a team time trial in Belfast and feature a mountain version up Monte Grappa. RCS Sport, according to Tutto Sport, considered Plan de Corones but went with Monte Grappa instead. In 2010, Vincenzo Nibali attacked and rode solo down Monte Grappa to win in Asolo. These time trials will be in addition to the 46.4-kilometre individual run from Barbaresco to Barolo at the end of the second week in Piedmont.
With Monte Grappa at 1675 metres, the summit finishes dominate the final week. On Saturday, the weekend before the finish, the Giro climbs Santuario di Oropa (1174m) where Marzio Bruseghin last won in 2007. The next day, it visits Montecampione (1744m) north of Bergamo. Val Martello (2059m) returns after snow forced its cancellation last year with the Gavia and Stelvio passes also in the stage.
The 'Corsa Rosa' visits Panarotta (1780m) in Trentino for the first time and returns to one of cycling's steepest climbs, Monte Zoncolan. The 1730-metre elevation means little compared to Zoncolan's gradients of 22% and an average of 11.9% over 10.1 kilometres. The next day, the remaining riders finish in Trieste.
Tutto Sport, even with all of cycling's doping scandals, calls it "una corsa bellissima nel nome del Pirata" or A Race in Marco Pantani's Name. The Giro is due to visit Oropa and Montecampione, where Il Pirata won, and Montecopiolo, his training grounds. It remains to be seen whether RCS Sport also embraces Pantani, who was kicked out of the 1999 race and died of a drug overdose in 2004.
The Giro is due to remember Gino Bartali, who was born 100 years ago in 1914. However, according to the Tutto Sport, the Giro will not visit his birthplace of Ponte a Ema or even host a stage in Tuscany. Instead, it will name a day or a climb to honour, perhaps Monte Grappa, where he won in 1934.
Giro d'Italia 2014: reported stages
May 9 Belfast-Belfast TTT
May 10 Belfast-Belfast
May 11 Armagh-Dublin
May 12 transfer, rest day
May 13 Bari-Taranto
May 14 Taranto-Viggiano
May 15 Sassano-Montecassino
May 16 Frosinone-Foligno
May 17 Foligno-Montecopiolo
May 18 Lugo-Sestola
May 19 Modena, rest day
May 20 Modena-Salsomaggiore
May 21 Correggio-Savona
May 22 Barbaresco-Barolo TT
May 23 Fossano-Rivarolo
May 24 Agliè-Oropa
May 25 Valdengo-Montecampione
May 26 Pontedilegno, rest day
May 27 Pontedilegno-Val Martello
May 28 Sarnonico-Vittorio Veneto
May 29 Belluno-Malga Panarotta
May 30 Bassano-Monte Grappa TT
May 31 Maniago-Monte Zoncolan
June 1 Gemona-Trieste