Giro Donne announces nine stages for 2012 race
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Giro Donne announces nine stages for 2012 race

by Ben Atkins at 4:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
1000km between Napoli and Bergamo for the only women’s Grand Tour

mara abbottWith the men’s Giro d’Italia coming to its climax this week, the organisers of the Giro d’Italia Femminile - the Giro Donne - have announced the route of the 2012 edition of the women’s race. The 23rd edition, of what is now the only Grand Tour equivalent for the women’s peloton, will start in the southern city of Napoli on Friday, June 29th and finish in Bergamo, Lombardy, nine stages and 1000km later, on Saturday, July 7th.

“Despite the critical current economic situation, and the non-payment of one of last year’s jersey sponsors, that caused us a lot of problems, we are proud to announce that the Giro Donne will take place as normal this year,” said Sara Brambilla, head of the race organising committee. “A heartfelt thank you goes out to our historical sponsors, and the new ones who believe in our project. I’m sure that also this year women’s cycling will give us great emotions.”

Stage one will begin in the port city of Napoli, covering a 139km course to Terracina, further up the coast, while the second stage will - unusually - be a prologue-length 8km time trial in the Italian capital Rome.

Stage three will be a 99km Tuscan circuit, starting and finishing in the historic spa town of Montecatini, while stage four will continue the journey north with 126km from Vernio, into the Emilia-Romagna town of Castiglione dei Pepoli.

Stage five sees the route change direction with another 126km route between the Veneto town of Polesella, back down to Emilia-Romagna and the town of Molinella. The sixth stage will start in the city of Modena, where stage five of the men’s Giro began, and head east to another spa town, Salsomaggiore.

Salice Terme in Lombardy will play host to the start of stage seven, which will take a 120km journey east into Piemonte and finish in Castagnole delle Lanze. The penultimate stage will take place in the Varese region of Lombardy, between Crugnola di Mornago and Lonate Pozzolo, before the final stage between Sarnico and Bergamo.

There are currently no further details about the route of each stage, or which climbs will feature in this year’s race. The 2010 edition featured a stage finish on the Passo dello Stelvio, while in 2011 it crossed the Mortirolo, but it appears unlikely that this year’s race will scale any of the legendary climbs.

The USA’s Mara Abbott (pictured) won the 2010 edition, largely thanks to her domination in the mountains, including victory on the Stelvio. The 2011 race was won by Marianne Vos, in a cannibalistic demonstration that saw the Dutch champion take five of the ten stages, and wear the Maglia Rosa for all but one day.

More information on the 2012 route is expected to be released in the coming days.

Giro d’Italia Femminile, June 29th - July 7th (2.1)

Stages
29 June: Napoli - Terracina (LT) 139km
30 June: Roma - Roma ITT 8km
1 July: Montecatini (PT) - Montecatini (PT) 99km
2 July: Vernio (PO) - Castiglione dei Pepoli (BO) 126km
3 July: Polesella (RO) - Molinella (BO) 126km
4 July: Modena - Salsomaggiore (PR) 124km
5 July: Salice Terme (PV) - Castagnole delle Lanze (AT) 120km
6 July: Crugnola di Mornago (VA) - Lonate Pozzolo (VA) 117km
7 July: Sarnico (BG) - Bergamo 108km

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