Giro d’Italia 2013: Stage 1
When: Saturday, May 4
For the first time in 10 years, the race gets rolling with a road stage instead of a time trial. This means all riders will have their chance for the pink jersey in Naples, with the sprinters favoured.
The first edition, in 1909, concluded its third stage in Naples. The only other time the city hosted the start was in 1963, when it waved off eventual overall winner Franco Balmamion. In 1968, it saw the race’s conclusion: Eddy Merckx winning his first Grand Tour.
This year, the stage parades out of Piazza Plebiscito towards the official start along the seafront. The riders then complete four laps of 16.3km circuit featuring the fourth category Via Francesco Petrarca climb to sort out the early recipient of the KoM jersey. Then it’s on to eight loops of a flat 8km circuit which will give the sprinters a chance to catch their breath before the finale.
Naples hosts the Giro to help symbolise its rebirth. It will also welcome the America’s Cup a month beforehand. The city, known for having a litter problem in recent years, is cleaning up and moving forward. It recently pedestrianised its seafront, so that now the waves and chatter from the cafes are the only sound.