The route of the 2014 Giro d’Italia, from May 9 to June 1, is official. Organiser RCS Sport presented the route this afternoon in Milan’s Palazzo del Ghiaccio. It starts in Belfast, races from the south to north of Italy, includes a 46.4-kilometre time trial in Barolo and climbs the Zoncolan before finishing in Trieste.
RCS Sport unveiled the 21 stages, and three rest days, in a sleek, all-white former ice rink – the ice palace. It gets rolling from Northern Ireland with a team time trial. It heats up in the south of Italy and on the mountain passes in the Alps.
After the 46.4-kilometre time trial from Barbaresco to Barolo, Piedmont’s wine famous regions, summit finishes dot the menu. In the nine days of racing from Barolo to Trieste, six end on a high note.
The weekend before the races finishes, the Giro climbs to Santuario di Oropa (1174m) in Piedmont and Montecampione (1744m) north of Bergamo. It rests the next day – the unusual third of three – and continues to Val Martello (2059m), Panarotta (1780m) and Zoncolan (1730) in Italy’s north east.
Zoncolan’s altitude hardly matters when compared to its 22% gradients or average 11.9% over 10.1 kilometres. The climb, which proved popular with the grappa-drinking fans in the past four visits, provides the prefect end 24 hours before the parade into Trieste.
In the hammering snow up Tre Cime di Lavaredo this May, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) maintained his number one spot and Rigoberto Urán (Sky) overthrew Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) for second place. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) finished off the party with a stage win, his fifth in this year’s race, in Brescia the next day. The 2014 route appears to have around eight finishes that could end in bunch gallops.
RCS Sport received approval to start the race on Friday instead of Saturday and include an extra rest day, on the fourth day, for travel back to Italy. The Corsa Rosa faces a long haul of around 2800 kilometres before restarting in Puglia
Race director Michele Acquarone was not in the Palazzo del Ghiaccio to explain the stages. As part of an audit into €13m missing funds, he was suspended as a precautionary measure. RCS Mediagroup is trying to get a handle on its sporting subsidiary.
After an initial internal audit, CEO Giacomo Catano shifted departments, and Administrative Director Laura Bertinotti and Chairman Flavio Biondi resigned. During the presentation across town in Milan, RCS Sport was able to forget about its problems at least for a few hours and look ahead to 2014.
Giro d’Italia 2014: Stages
Stage one – May 9, Belfast-Belfast TTT, 21.7km
Stage two – May 10, Belfast-Belfast, 218km
Stage three – May 11, Armagh-Dublin, 187km
REST DAY – May 12, transfer
Stage four – May 13, Giovinazzo-Sari, 121km
Stage five – May 14, Taranto-Viggiano, 200km
Stage six – May 15, Sassano-Montecassino, 247km
Stage seven – May 16, Frosinone-Foligno, 214km
Stage eight – May 17, Foligno-Montecopiolo, 174km
Stage nine – May 18, Lugo-Sestola, 174km
REST DAY – May 19, Modena
Stage 10 – May 20, Modena-Salsomaggiore Terme, 184km
Stage 11 – May 21, Collecchio-Savona, 249km
Stage 12 – May 22, Barbaresco-Barolo ITT, 46.4km
Stage 13 – May 23, Fossano-Rivarolo Canavese, 158km
Stage 14 – May 24, Agliè-Oropa, 162km
Stage 15 – May 25, Valdengo-Montecampione, 217km
REST DAY – May 26, Ponte di Legno
Stage 16 – May 27, Ponte di Legno-Val Martello, 139km
Stage 17 – May 28, Sarnonico-Vittorio Veneto, 204km
Stage 18 – May 29, Belluno-Rif. Panarotta, 171km
Stage 19 – May 30, Bassano del Grappa-Cima Grappa ITT, 26.8km
Stage 20 – May 31, Maniago-Monte Zoncolan, 167km
Stage 21 – June 1, Gemona del Friulli-Trieste, 169km
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Giro d’Italia 2014: Official route video
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Giro d’Italia 2014 route leaked