RCS Sport reveals the route for the 2017 Giro d'Italia, the 100th edition of the race
The 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia will run from Friday May 5 to Sunday May 28, scroll down for the full list of stages and profiles.
Giro organiser RCS Sport, which recently ran the Abu Dhabi Tour, presented the 100th edition on Tuesday (October 25) in Milan, but the route was leaked ahead of the presentation. Reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) will be among the stars present.
The race will start in Sardinia with three stages that the organiser had already unveiled in September. From there, local newspapers have reported most of the other stages and a leak revealed the 21 stage profiles (below). RCS Sport has now confirmed the information.
With the race being the 100th edition, the Giro will finish in Milan. The country’s business capital hosted the start and finish of the first edition in 1909 and is home to RCS Sport.
A 28-kilometre time trial will end the race. That combined with a 39.2-kilometre time trial through Umbria’s Sagrantino wine region would put the Giro ahead of the Tour de France in terms of time trial kilometres for 2017. The Tour offers 36 kilometres in stages one and 20 next year.
The Giro d’Italia island hops to Sicily before heading to the mainland. After the first travel/rest day, it features its first summit finish up the iconic Mount Etna on the island. The next day, the race finishes ends in Nibali’s home town of Messina.
Cycling Director Mauro Vegni wanted to visit every one of the 21 regions, but logically it is impossible. Around four will be left out. Also, the race will not visit all nine of the original host cities of the first edition, Rome being the obvious miss.
The first week will climax with a 14-kilometre climb to Blockhaus, at 1674 metres. After a rest day, it will restart with a time trial through the Sagrantino zone. It follows time trials in Italy’s other famous wine regions over the last three years: Barolo, Prosecco and the Chianti stage that Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) won in May.
The Giro starts in Ponte a Ema and Castellania, birthplaces of Italian cycling greats Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi, respectively. The Castellania stage ends with the third summit finish to the Oropa Sanctuary.
In total, five (six if you count stage 20) summit finishes dot the 2017 Giro.
Two big ‘tappone’ mark the 2017 ‘Corsa Rosa’ if the leaks are to be believed. After the third rest day in Bergamo, the race heads north to Bormio via the Mortirolo pass and the Stelvio, from both sides.
Instead of finishing at 2,758 metres, RCS Sport spices up the race with a long descent to Bormio ski village that should suit Nibali or Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale).
The Dolomites to the east host the other big stage or ‘tappone’ on the final Thursday. According to the leak, the stage will climb five passes – the Pordoi, Valparola, Gardena, Pinei, and the final kick to Ortisei.
It appears the organiser then takes it relatively easy on the riders heading towards Milan, with a smaller summit finish to Piancavallo and a rolling Prosecco stage via Monte Grappa to Asiago.
The Giro finished at Milan’s Arena Civica stadium in 1909, when Luigi Ganna won the overall. This time, the time trial will take the riders to the front of the famous Duomo and decide the 100th edition.
Giro d’Italia 2017 stages
Stage one, May 5: Alghero – Olbia, 203km
The opening stage of the 2017 Giro d’Italia will take place on a Friday, to allow for the three rest days later in the race.
Taking place on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, the first stage looks set to end in a bunch sprint, although a late kick could see a late attack go away to the finish.
Stage two, May 6: Olbia – Tortolì, 208km
The second stage, and the middle of a trio on Sardinia is more rolling than the day before but the long descent and flat run to the line shouldn’t see much in the way of movement in the overall general classification.
Stage three, May 7: Tortolì – Cagliari, 148km
An almost flat stage, with a likely bunch sprint is what awaits the riders before the first rest/travel day.
The 2017 Giro route does not look like one for the big name sprinters, so a less well known fast man or an upcoming rider could take a stage like this to propel themselves into the mainstream.
Rest/travel day, May 8
Stage four, May 9: Cefalù – Etna (Rifugio Sapienza), 180km (summit finish)
Stage four starts back on mainland Italy and gives the riders their first summit finish on the slopes of Mount Etna.
Anyone with overall ambitions will need to be to the fore on this stage as time gaps could soon become insurmountable.
Stage five, May 10: Pedara – Messina, 157km
Another one for any sprinters who turned up for three gruelling weeks in Italy. The early lumps and bumps should see a breakaway form but the pretty flat last third will likely see it all come back together before the end.
Stage six, May 11: Reggio Calabria – Terme Luigiane, 207km
One for the puncheurs perhaps, or even a GC man with good legs. That kick to the finish line should be a launch pad for a stage winning move but don’t expect to see too much of a change in the GC.
Stage seven, May 12: Castrovillari – Alberobello, 220km
What should be a simple stage for the overall contenders and perhaps a chance for a breakaway to become a stayaway.
At this point in the race there should be enough riders far enough down on the lead to be allowed to go all the way to the end, but if a punchier sprinter decides to get their team to ride, it could be all together by the end.
Stage eight, May 13: Molfetta – Peschici, 189km
If stage seven of the 2017 Giro d’Italia wasn’t won by the break, then there’s a strong chance that stage eight could be.
Lumpy in the middle and with a climb-descent-kick combination in the last 13km to the finish line there’s plenty of options for someone wanting to push on for the win.
Stage nine, May 14: Montenero di Bisaccia – Blockhaus, 139km (summit finish)
A summit finish into a rest day, a third of the way through the race: fireworks on the climb to Blackhaus are surely on the cards.
This is the kind of stage where someone could tighten their grip on the pink jersey and then spend the next two weeks simply defending and consolidating.
Rest day, May 15
Stage 10, May 16: Foligno – Montefalco, 39,2km (ITT)
Rest days affect different riders in different ways, and an individual time trial straight after will really expose anyone who’s suffering.
This stage could also see a change in the overall lead if a pure climber reached the summit of Blackhaus first but couldn’t put enough time into a stronger time triallist.
Stage 11, May 17: Florence (Ponte a Ema) – Bagno di Romagna, 161km
The general classification contenders will have been the focus of attention on the previous two stages, and will the pink jersey competition (hopefully) shaken up, this could be a stage for the smaller teams and breakaway specialists to have a go.
Stage 12, May 18: Forlì – Reggio Emilia, 237km
Any sprinters still in attendance? Well here’s their chance to make the last few days count with a flat run-in to Reggio Emilia.
The early climbs should be far enough from the finish for everyone to get back on and cross the line en masse.
Stage 13, May 19: Reggio Emilia – Tortona, 162km
Stage 13 of the 2017 Giro d’Italia looks like it will be a very formulaic affair: the breakaway goes, the bunch monitors, the bunch speeds up, the breakaway riders attack and/or look at each other, the break gets caught, the stage finishes in a sprint, the GC men are glad of an active rest day.
Stage 14, May 20: Castellania – Santuario di Oropa, 131km (summit finish)
A short stage ending in a summit finish, the kind of organised excitement we’ve come to happily expect from the Giro.
Fingers crossed for attacking racing and a battle for the pink jersey on the closing slopes of stage 14.
Stage 15, May 21: Valdengo – Bergamo, 199km
Ahead of a rest day this could be the time for an expert bike handler like 2016 winner Vincenzo Nibali to go for a long ranger and push on to the finish line.
Rest day, May 22
Stage 16, May 23: Rovetta – Bormio, 227km
Fighting with stage 18 for the title of Queen Stage, perhaps only losing out because of the descent at the end, this brute will surely whittle the pink jersey group down on the slopes of the three climbs.
The race first goes over the Mortirolo, then tackles the Stelvio before a quick jaunt into neighbouring Switzerland takes the riders over the Umbrail Pass – which meets the Stelvio from the other side.
The first time up the Stelvio is this year’s Cima Coppi, so a great time for an attack. If anyone gets over the third peak with a gap and some steely nerves they could put the pink jersey in trouble on the descent to Bormio.
Stage 17, May 24: Tirano – Canazei, 219km
After the (expected) excitement of the day before, stage 17 sees the riders climbing almost straight away.
The highest point of the day comes after just 60.2km and then it’s up and down, with a very long drag to the finish line.
Stage 18, May 25: Moena – Ortisei/St. Ulrich, 137km (summit finish)
Stage 18 of the 2017 Giro d’Italia is a monster of a day for the riders. Five testing climbs, including the summit finish.
If a climber with worries about their time trialling wants to finish the race in pink, gaining time on stages 18, 19 and 20 is essential.
Stage 19, May 26: Innichen/San Candido – Piancavallo, 191km (summit finish)
Another summit finish, but an easier day than the one before. If the overall lead changed hands this late in the race it would make for very exciting viewing on the final two stages.
Stage 20, May 27: Pordenone – Asiago, 190km
Anyone wanting the pink jersey and not confident they can overturn a time deficit on the flat 28km TT the next day really needs to give it everything on the climb to Foza.
Summit that first and hold on to an advantage for the last 15km and the stage and a time cushion is the potential reward.
Stage 21, May 28: Monza (Autodromo) – Milan, 28km (ITT)
Ryder Hesjedal beat Joaquim Rodriguez thanks to a final stage time trial in 2012. Arguably, Rodgriguez could have put his Canadian rival out of sight with more attacking racing in the mountains, so hopefully other riders have learnt that lesson and gone for the win long before Milan.