30 September 2012

Giro d'Italia route announced for 2013

Today the Giro d'Italia route for 2013 has been announced.

It starts in Naples on 4 May with a ten lap circuit making up a 156km opening stage. Before catching a ferry into the bay for a Time Time Trial at Ischia.

It is not really a Giro for sprinters in the mold of Mark Cavendish with only the finishes into Margherita de Savoia and Treviso as two out and out sprinters stages. Most of the rest involve uphill finishes or a big climb in the final stages.

In total there are 7 Mountain Top finishes the first being as early as stage 3. But there are three distinct sets of these in the Fruili region in the North West, before heading west to take on the Col du Galibier more famous for Le Tour, before the final stages in the Dolomites.

The penultimate stage comes the day after the highest peak is climbed the 2758m of Passo dello Stelvio coming on stage 19. But that penultimate stage which will determine the podium includes many mountains and three big peaks the Costalunga, San Pellegrino, Giau and Tre Croci before the climb to the finish at Tre Cime di Lavaredo after 202 tough kilometres through the Dolomites.

There is also a tough individual time trial of 55.5 km on stage 8 and stage 18 is 19.4km mountain individual time trial. The longer time trial from Gabicce Mare to Saltara isn't really a specialist time trial with the twists and turns through the Monte San Bartolo park before it climbs to the finish at Saltara.

All in all it is possibly the sort of Giro that might interest Bradley Wiggins depending on how tough the Tour de France parcours is when it is announced. There is no rule that says that the defending champion has to come back to defend his Grand Tour and an attempt at the Giro Vuelta double may be something that Wiggo would like to attempt at some point.

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