RCS Sport presents a balanced Giro d’Italia route for 2013
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Sunday, September 30, 2012

RCS Sport presents a balanced Giro d’Italia route for 2013

by Ben Atkins at 11:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Seven mountaintop finishes but 92.4km of mixed time trialling for next edition of the Corsa Rosa

giro dThe route of the 2013 Giro d’Italia was presented by RCS Sport in Milan today, with the three-week race designed to leave the winner uncertain until the final stages. Seven mountaintop finishes make the race one for the climbers as usual, but an unusually long time trial at the end of the first week offers the all-rounders some hope.

The race will start with a flat, 156km circuit race in the southern city of Naples, based on a 16.5km loop, while stage two sees RCS Sport continue to indulge its taste for the spectacular with a 17.4km team time trial on the tiny volcanic island of Ischia. Time gaps should be small on the gently undulating course, although its coastal course could see some teams struggle against any wind coming off the sea.

Returning to the mainland, the race will see its first hills as early as stage three as the 212km stage between the resort city of Sorrento crosses two medium mountains in the Campanian coastal hinterland before descending back to sea level to the finish in Marina di Ascea. The following day’s fourth stage will have a similar profile, as it follows the coast road south from Policastro Bussentino to Serra San Bruno in the Calabrian toe of Italy’s boot. At 244km this will be longest stage of the race, and provide its first altitude finish; although the actual finish line will come after almost six kilometres of gentle decent from the top of the Croce Ferrata climb.

Stage five could be a day for the sprinters as the course begins its journey north with a flat 199km between Cosenza and Matera. The short sharp climb to Montescaglioso with just over 20km to go will provide opportunities for breakaways however, as will the unclassified rise to the finish in the final ten kilometres. Another flat stage, between Mola di Bari and Margherita di Savoia on the Adriatic coast, will follow with virtually nothing in the closing kilometres to prevent a bunch finish.

The seventh stage, between San Salvo and Pescara starts and finishes on the coast once more, but its saw-toothed profile spends most of its time in the inland hills of Abruzzo, making it an ideal day for the escape artists. The overall contenders will want a quiet day, since the ninth stage will be the first individual time trial of the race between Gabicce Mare and Saltara; at 55.5km the stage will be long by modern standards, while its rise to the finish at the science museum at Villa del Balì will provide a tough finish to an otherwise flat course.

Stage nine will be arguably the toughest to date, with four classified medium mountains coming in the 181km between San Sepolcro and the Tuscan Renaissance city of Florence, before the first of the race’s two rest days.

Part two sees the real mountains begin with a very powerful sting in the race’s tail

The Giro will come out of the rest day with the first of the race’s big days in the mountains with a tough 167km trek between Cordenons and Altopiano del Montasio. The race will not dwell in the high mountains for long however, with the next day’s medium mountain stage between Tarvisio (Cave del Predil) - Vajont (Erto e Casso) providing another - somewhat smaller - uphill finish.

The sprinters will get a rare treat in the race on stage 12, with only two relatively small classified climbs - and a very flat finish - between Longarone and the city of Treviso. The following day’s 242km profile however, between Busseto and Cherasco, has a jagged final 50km that will make things less than simple for the peloton’s fast finishers.

The following day sees the race head into two consecutive high mountain stages, with stage 14 passing through the sometime mountaintop stage finish town of Sestriere on the way to the summit of the Jafferau, above Bardonecchia.

Stage 15 will see the Giro leave Italy for the 150km tribute to the late Marco Pantani between Cesana Torinese and the Col du Galibier.

A second rest day - spent in France - will be followed by a medium mountain stage from Valloire, via the Col du Mont Cenis, back into Italy to finish in Ivrea.

The 17th stage will be another flat one, between Caravaggio and the city of Vicenza, where it will pay tribute to the late Tullio Campagnolo, who died 30 years before. The finish will be an ideal one for the sprinters, but the short, sharp climb to Crosara with just over 15km to go might spoil things for them again. Certainly, the teams equipped with Campagnolo components will be extra keen to win this one.

Stage 18 will be the race’s second individual time trial but, consisting of the 19.4km climb from Mori to the summit finish of Polsa, it couldn’t be more different to the first one, and should see an entirely different type of rider take the spoils. This stage will serve as a prologue for the next two to come, as once again the Giro saves the toughest days until last.

The 19th stage between Ponte di Legno and Val Martello/Martelltal will cross both the Passo Gavia and Passo dello Stelvio - which, as the highest point of the race, will see the Cima Coppi prize awarded, on the way to its summit finish.

The next day will arguably be even tougher however, as the peloton will climb the Passo Costalunga, Passo di San Pellegrino, Passo Giau, and Passo Tre Croci on the way to the mythical summit at the Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

Those sprinters that have survived the mountains will be treated to a traditional circuit finish to the final stage of the race, after five years of closing day time trials. The race finish will be in the city of Brescia however, with a rare trip away from Milan, and the lumpy nature of the final lap - based on the small climb to Brescia’s Castello - will make things tough, but not impossible for the sprinters.

Something for everybody on a mountainous but mixed race

As usual, the route of the Giro d’Italia is one that suits the climbers but, with the presence of the long time trial at the end of the first week, the all-rounders are offered an opportunity. The trip to the very southernmost part of the mainland - as well as the day two trip to Ischia - mean that the first half of the race features some long transfers, which will make it a tiring race for all involved.

As it did in 2012, the race saves its very toughest stages for the final week, with back to back summit finishes in the mountains of the north handing the initiative to the climbers. Unlike this year however, the absence of a final day time trial, does not take it away again.

Giro d’Italia 2013 (WT)

May 4th - Stage 1: Napoli - Napoli, 156km
May 5th - Stage 2: Ischia - Forio, 17.4km TTT
May 6th - Stage 3: Sorrento - Marina di Ascea, 212km
May 7th - Stage 4: Policastro Bussentino - Serra San Bruno, 244km
May 8th - Stage 5: Cosenza - Matera, 199km
May 9th - Stage 6: Mola di Bari - Margherita di Savoia, 154km
May 10th - Stage 7: San Salvo - Pescara, 162km
May 11th - Stage 8: Gabicce Mare - Saltara (Villa del Balì), 55.5km ITT
May 12th - Stage 9: San Sepolcro - Firenze, 181km
May 13th - Rest Day
May 14th - Stage 10: Cordenons - Altopiano del Montasio, 167km
May 15th - Stage 11: Tarvisio (Cave del Predil) - Vajont (Erto e Casso), 184km
May 16th - Stage 12: Longarone - Treviso, 127km
May 17th - Stage 13: Busseto - Cherasco, 242km
May 18th - Stage 14: Cervere - Bardonecchia, 156km
May 19th - Stage 15: Cesana Torinese - Col du Galibier (Valloire), 150km
May 20th - Rest Day
May 21st - Stage 16: Valloire - Ivrea, 237km
May 22nd - Stage 17: Caravaggio - Vicenza, 203km
May 23rd - Stage 18: Mori - Polsa, 19.4km ITT
May 24th - Stage 19: Ponte di Legno - Val Martello/Martelltal, 138km
May 25th - Stage 20: Silando/Schlanders - Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 202km
May 26th - Riese Pio X - Brescia, 199km


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