Giro d’Italia 2018 route: Two time trials and Monte Zoncolan summit finish for 2018 race
Details of 2018 route emerge two weeks ahead of official launch
The Giro d’Italia 2018 route will be unveiled soon, but some details about the 2018 edition are already circulating, showing the famous climbs of Etna, Zoncolan and Finestre, and something Chris Froome would like, a 34.5-kilometre time trial.
The 2018 Giro d’Italia route will begin in Jerusalem on May 4, with the race ending three weeks later in Rome on May 27. Cycling Weekly discovered the race’s direction south to north in the famous Italian boot from various insiders and local newspaper articles, ahead of the official unveiling by organiser RCS Sport on Wednesday, November 29, in Milan.
The time trial in the third week travels through the Vallagarina vineyards near Lake Garda. The first part, starting from Trento, is completely flat in the valley and the second half rolling to reach Rovereto.
Only the Rovereto time trial could change between now and November 29. If the organisers needs extra ammunition to convince Froome to attend, RCS Sport could add more kilometres. The rest of the 101st edition has been finalised by cycling director Mauro Vegni and his RCS crew.
The 2018 Giro d’Italia will be the first of the Grand Tours to begin outside of Europe when it starts in Jerusalem on May 4 with a 10.1-kilometre time trial. It continues with flat stages to Tel Aviv and Eilat in the south near Jordan and Egypt.
The race will return to its homeland in Italy after three Israeli stages. It lands in Catania for a rest day on May 7, the first of three, and restarts with three Sicilian stages, including the first summit finish up Mount Etna. The mountain featured in 2017, but for 2018 the organisers use a road never before covered by the Giro.
The active volcano, which last erupted this summer, is the first of eight summit finishes in the 2018 Giro d’Italia route. They unite the south and north, stringing from Etna to Cervinia in Valle d’Aosta on the penultimate day.
The eventual 2018 winner will make his first steps towards the spiral trophy with the summit finishes of Mount Etna, Montevergine di Mercogliano, on May 12 near Naples, and Gran Sasso on May 13 in the Abruzzo region.
In designing the route, Vegni was free of the weight of the 100th edition from 2017, which meant he was oblige to reach out to most of Italy’s regions. In 2018 he was able to design a course that tempts the attendance of star riders – perhaps Chris Froome, Mikel Landa and Fabio Aru – and that rivals the other Grand Tours in France and Spain.
To rival its counterparts, the Giro quickly reaches the north and the famous climbs tucked in the Alps. The Monte Zoncolan, likely to be one stage 14, comes at the tail end of stage with 4000 metres of climbign. The race will cover four passes before reaching Ovaro and facing the 22% pitches that made Zoncolan famous in its relatively short existence in professional cycling.
The Rovereto time trial will take place among the towering peaks, although run on a flat and rolling course. The 34.5-kilometre test could balance, and ultimately decide the Giro, in the way the Montefalco and Milan time trials did for Tom Dumoulin in 2017.
Purer climbers such as Landa and Aru will need to recover lost time on the summit finishes to Prato Nevoso, Jafferau and Cervinia in the third week.
However the race could come down to a final explosive chapter with a Val di Susa stage that climbs the gravel road over the Colle Finestre, the Colle Sestriere, and for the finish, the road from Bardonecchia to Jafferau. The 200-kilometre stage climbs 3500 metres. Stage 20 heads towards Valle d’Aosta and the Breuil-Cervinia ski resort.
Much like the Tour de France, the winner will celebrate on a transfer flight to the capital. Instead of drinking Champagne en route to Paris, the eventual victor will toast with Prosecco before landing in Rome ahead of what is to be a parade stage.
Giro d’Italia 2018 route: Stage-by-stage
Stage one: Jerusalem to Jerusalem, 10.1km (ITT)
The 2018 Giro big start will based around the holy city with a 10.1km time trial to kick off the race on May 5, before two sprint stages finish off the race’s time in Israel.
Stage two: Haifa to Tel Aviv, 167km
Stage two will see the riders move from the north of the country southwards with a 167km route from Haifa to Tel Aviv that looks destined to end in a sprint.
Stage three: Be’er Sheva to Eilat, 226km
The sprinters will likely have their fun again on stage three with a longer 226km stage from Be’er Sheva to Eilat, with a long descent from Mitzpe Ramon to the finish. The race will then fly out of Eilat and back to Italy, with the rest of the stages to be revealed in November.
Stages of the 2018 Giro d’Italia route
Unconfirmed stages in italics
Giro d’Italia 2017 route
The 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia will run from Friday May 5 to Sunday May 28. Below is a brief overview of the stages, scroll down for the full list of stages and profiles.
Giro d’Italia 2017 stage overview
Giro organiser RCS Sport set out with the deliberate aim of taking this historic edition of the race to as many Italian provinces as possible, with the route taking in the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, as well as a whistlestop tour of the mainland before ending in Milan.
The country’s business capital hosted the start and finish of the first edition in 1909 and is home to RCS Sport.
A 28-kilometre time trial will end the race. That combined with a 39.2-kilometre time trial through Umbria’s Sagrantino wine region would put the Giro ahead of the Tour de France in terms of time trial kilometres for 2017. The Tour offers 36 kilometres in stages one and 20 next year.
The Giro d’Italia island hops to Sicily before heading to the mainland. After the first travel/rest day, it features its first summit finish up the iconic Mount Etna on the island. The next day, the race finishes ends in Nibali’s home town of Messina.
Cycling Director Mauro Vegni wanted to visit every one of the 21 regions, but logically it is impossible. Around four will be left out. Also, the race will not visit all nine of the original host cities of the first edition, Rome being the obvious miss.
The first week will climax with a 14-kilometre climb to Blockhaus, at 1674 metres. After a rest day, it will restart with a time trial through the Sagrantino zone. It follows time trials in Italy’s other famous wine regions over the last three years: Barolo, Prosecco and the Chianti stage that Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) won last May.
The Giro starts in Ponte a Ema and Castellania, birthplaces of Italian cycling greats Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi, respectively. The Castellania stage ends with the third summit finish to the Oropa Sanctuary.
In total, five (six if you count stage 20) summit finishes dot the 2017 Giro.
Two big ‘tappone’ mark the 2017 ‘Corsa Rosa’ if the leaks are to be believed. After the third rest day in Bergamo, the race heads north to Bormio via the Mortirolo pass and the Stelvio, from both sides.
Instead of finishing at 2,758 metres, RCS Sport spices up the race with a long descent to Bormio ski village that should suit Nibali or Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale).
The Dolomites to the east host the other big stage or ‘tappone’ on the final Thursday. According to the leak, the stage will climb five passes – the Pordoi, Valparola, Gardena, Pinei, and the final kick to Ortisei.
It appears the organiser then takes it relatively easy on the riders heading towards Milan, with a smaller summit finish to Piancavallo and a rolling Prosecco stage via Monte Grappa to Asiago.
The Giro finished at Milan’s Arena Civica stadium in 1909, when Luigi Ganna won the overall. This time, the time trial will take the riders to the front of the famous Duomo and decide the 100th edition.
Giro d’Italia 2017 stages
GPM – Gran Premio della Montagna – categorised climb for King of the Mountains
TV – Traguardo Volante – Intermediate Sprint
R = Rifornimento – Feed Zone
Stage one, May 5: Alghero – Olbia, 206km – race report here
The opening stage of the 2017 Giro d’Italia will take place on a Friday, to allow for the three rest days later in the race.
Taking place on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, the first stage looks set to end in a bunch sprint, although a late kick could see a late attack go away to the finish.
Stage two, May 6: Olbia – Tortolì, 221km – race report here
The second stage, and the middle of a trio on Sardinia, is more rolling than the day before. Assuming that the sprinters make it over long climb in the final quarter of the route, the stage should ultimately come down to a bunch finish.
Stage three, May 7: Tortolì – Cagliari, 148km – race report here
An almost flat stage, with a likely bunch sprint, is what awaits the riders before the first rest/travel day.
Rest/travel day, May 8
Stage four, May 9: Cefalù – Etna (Rifugio Sapienza), 181km (summit finish) – race report here
Stage four starts back on mainland Italy and gives the riders their first summit finish on the slopes of Mount Etna. Anyone with overall ambitions will need to be to the fore on this stage as time gaps could soon become insurmountable.
Stage five, May 10: Pedara – Messina, 159km – race report here
Another one for any sprinters who turned up for three gruelling weeks in Italy. The early lumps and bumps should see a breakaway form but the pretty flat last third will likely see it all come back together before the end.
Stage six, May 11: Reggio Calabria – Terme Luigiane, 217km – race report here
One for the puncheurs perhaps, or even a GC man with good legs. That kick to the finish line should be a launch pad for a stage winning move but don’t expect to see too much of a change in the GC.
Stage seven, May 12: Castrovillari – Alberobello, 224km – race report here
What should be a simple stage for the overall contenders and perhaps a chance for a breakaway to become a stayaway.
At this point in the race there should be enough riders far enough down on the lead to be allowed to go all the way to the end, but if a punchier sprinter decides to get their team to ride, it could be all together by the end.
Stage eight, May 13: Molfetta – Peschici, 189km – race report here
If stage seven of the 2017 Giro d’Italia wasn’t won by the break, then there’s a strong chance that stage eight could be.Lumpy in the middle and with a climb-descent-kick combination in the last 13km to the finish line there’s plenty of options for someone wanting to push on for the win.
Stage nine, May 14: Montenero di Bisaccia – Blockhaus, 149km (summit finish) – race report here
A summit finish into a rest day, a third of the way through the race: fireworks on the climb to Blackhaus are surely on the cards. This is the kind of stage where someone could tighten their grip on the pink jersey and then spend the next two weeks simply defending and consolidating.
Rest day, May 15
Stage 10, May 16: Foligno – Montefalco, 39.8km (ITT) – race report here
Rest days affect different riders in different ways, and an individual time trial straight after will really expose anyone who’s suffering.
This stage could also see a change in the overall lead if a pure climber reached the summit of Blackhaus first but couldn’t put enough time into a stronger time triallist.
Stage 11, May 17: Florence (Ponte a Ema) – Bagno di Romagna, 161km – race report here
The general classification contenders will have been the focus of attention on the previous two stages, and will the pink jersey competition (hopefully) shaken up, this could be a stage for the smaller teams and breakaway specialists to have a go.
Stage 12, May 18: Forlì – Reggio Emilia, 229km – race report here
Any sprinters still in attendance? Well here’s their chance to make the last few days count with a flat run-in to Reggio Emilia. The early climbs should be far enough from the finish for everyone to get back on and cross the line en masse.
Stage 13, May 19: Reggio Emilia – Tortona, 167km – race report here
Stage 13 of the 2017 Giro d’Italia looks like it will be a very formulaic affair: the breakaway goes, the bunch monitors, the bunch speeds up, the breakaway riders attack and/or look at each other, the break gets caught, the stage finishes in a sprint, the GC men are glad of an active rest day.
Stage 14, May 20: Castellania – Santuario di Oropa, 131km (summit finish) – race report here
A short stage ending in a summit finish, the kind of organised excitement we’ve come to happily expect from the Giro. Fingers crossed for attacking racing and a battle for the pink jersey on the closing slopes of stage 14.
Stage 15, May 21: Valdengo – Bergamo, 199km – race report here
Ahead of a rest day this could be the time for an expert bike handler like 2016 winner Vincenzo Nibali to go for a long ranger and push on to the finish line.
Rest day, May 22
Stage 16, May 23: Rovetta – Bormio, 222km – race report here
Fighting with stage 18 for the title of Queen Stage, perhaps only losing out because of the descent at the end, this brute will surely whittle the pink jersey group down on the slopes of the three climbs.
The race first goes over the Mortirolo, then tackles the Stelvio before a quick jaunt into neighbouring Switzerland takes the riders over the Umbrail Pass – which meets the Stelvio from the other side.
The first time up the Stelvio is this year’s Cima Coppi, so a great time for an attack. If anyone gets over the third peak with a gap and some steely nerves they could put the pink jersey in trouble on the descent to Bormio.
Stage 17, May 24: Tirano – Canazei, 219km – race report here
After the (expected) excitement of the day before, stage 17 sees the riders climbing almost straight away. The highest point of the day comes after just 60.2km and then it’s up and down, with a very long drag to the finish line.
Stage 18, May 25: Moena – Ortisei/St. Ulrich, 137km (summit finish) – Race report here
Stage 18 of the 2017 Giro d’Italia is a monster of a day for the riders. Five testing climbs, including the summit finish.If a climber with worries about their time trialling wants to finish the race in pink, gaining time on stages 18, 19 and 20 is essential.
Stage 19, May 26: Innichen/San Candido – Piancavallo, 191km (summit finish) – Race report here
Another summit finish, but an easier day than the one before. If the overall lead changed hands this late in the race it would make for very exciting viewing on the final two stages.
Stage 20, May 27: Pordenone – Asiago, 190km – Race report here
Anyone wanting the pink jersey and not confident they can overturn a time deficit on the flat 28km TT the next day really needs to give it everything on the climb to Foza.Summit that first and hold on to an advantage for the last 15km and the stage and a time cushion is the potential reward.
Stage 21, May 28: Monza (Autodromo) – Milan, 29.3km (ITT) – Race report here
Ryder Hesjedal beat Joaquim Rodriguez thanks to a final stage time trial in 2012. Arguably, Rodgriguez could have put his Canadian rival out of sight with more attacking racing in the mountains, so hopefully other riders have learnt that lesson and gone for the win long before Milan.
Giro d’Italia 2016 route
The 2016 Giro d’Italia route contains seven sprint stages, three time trials and nine summit finishes, though 2015 champion Alberto Contador will not be back to defend his title next year.The big four Alpine stages include Corvara (Alta Badia), Alpe di Siusi, Risoul and Sant’Anna di Vinadio.
RCS Sport announced earlier this year that its grand tour will start in The Netherlands and include a time trial in the Chianti zone. One mountainous stage, through the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, was unveiled previously.
The other 16 stages it revealed in a glitzy presentation at the EXPO 2015 in Milan. Information leaked prior to the official presentation showed that the route, when back in Italy, travels north from the boot’s toe, includes an early small uphill finish in Roccaraso, a 10.8km uphill time trial in the Dolomites, plenty of mountains with a detour into France, and a finale in Turin.
RCS can take heart because the same mistake happened to cycling’s biggest race organiser, ASO. In 2011, it mistakenly unveiled its 2012 Tour de France route on its website. The leaked parcours later proved to be correct.Much of the 2016 Giro already had come into focus thanks to local press reports and RCS Sport’s early stage presentations. However, the cycling division, including boss Mauro Vegni, would have liked to have been the first ones to present the route to the public in Monday’s ceremony.The 2016 Giro takes place between May 6 and May 29.Giro d’Italia 2016 stages
Stage 16, 24 May: Bressanone-Andalo (Rolling) 132km>>> Full stage 16 preview | Stage 16 report
Stage 19, 27 May: Pinerolo-Risoul (Mountains) 161km>>> Full stage 19 preview
Stage 20, 28 May: Guillestre-Sant’Anna di Vinadio (Mountains) 134km>>> Full stage 20 preview
Stage 21, 29 May: Cuneo-Torino (Sprinters) 163km>>> Full stage 21 preview
Giro d’Italia 2015 route
The 2015 Giro d’Italia, May 9 to 31, starts off in San Lorenzo Al Mare and includes six high mountain finishes and a long 59.2-kilometre individual time trial before finishing in Milan.
The Giro will include summit finishes at Abetone, Aprica, Cervinia and Sestriere, in addition to Madonna di Campiglio. The mountains sit well with the long time trial from Treviso to Valdobbiadene.The 2014 Corsa Rosa included seven high mountain finishes and a mountain time trial that favoured the climbers. Light-weight, 126-pound Nairo Quintana (Movistar) won the race over Colombian Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma).
Italian Fabio Aru (Astana) placed third overall.
“Once again it is a nice, tough Giro,” said Uran of the 2015 route.
“Probably the two key points are the long time trial, and of course the last week of the Giro. The final week is always the most important part. You can be strong in the first two weeks and then, if you’re not consistent, your Giro can fall apart in the last week. It can be complicated, “Quintana said that he will not return in 2015 and instead focus on the Tour de France.
Spain’s Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), who won the 2014 Vuelta a España, will line up for the 2015 edition before trying to win the Tour de France in July for a third time. Team Sky will be led by in-form Richie Porte, who has already won the 2015 editions of Paris-Nice, Giro del Trentino and Volta a Catalunya.
Giro d’Italia 2015 stagesClick on the links below for our comprehensive stage-by-stage guide to the 2015 Giro d’Italia.Stage 1, Sat May 9, San Lorenzo al Mare San Remo (TTT) 17.6km
>>> Stage one full preview
Stage 2, Sun May 10, Albenga – Genova 173km
>>> Stage two full preview
Stage 3, Mon May 11, Rapallo – Sestri Levante 136km
>>> Stage three full preview
Stage 4, Tue May 12, Chiavari – La Spezia 150km
>>> Stage four full preview
Stage 5, Wed May 13, La Spezia – Abetone 152km
>>> Stage five full preview
Stage 6, Thu May 14, Montecatini Terme – Castiglione della Pescaia 181km
>>> Stage six full preview
Stage 7, Fri May 15, Grosseto – Fiuggi 263km
>>> Stage seven full preview
Stage 8, Sat May 16, Fiuggi – Campitello Matese 188km
>>> Stage eight full preview
Stage 9, Sun May 17, Benevento – San Giorgio del Sannio 212km
>>> Stage nine full preview
Rest day, Mon May 18
Stage 10, Tue May 19, Civitanova Marche – Forlì 195km
>>> Stage 10 full preview
Stage 11, Wed May 20, Forlì – Imola 147km
>>> Stage 11 full preview
Stage 12, Thu May 21, Imola – Vicenza (Monte Berico) 190km
>>> Stage 12 full preview
Stage 13, Fri May 22, Montecchio Maggiore – Lido di Jesolo 153km
>>> Stage 13 full preview
Stage 14, Sat May 23, Treviso – Valdobbiadene (ITT) 59.2km
>>> Stage 14 full preview
Stage 15, Sun May 24, Marostica – Madonna di Campiglio 165km
>>> Stage 15 full preview
Rest day, Mon May 25
Stage 16, Tue May 26, Pinzolo – Aprica 175km
>>> Stage 16 full preview
Stage 17, Wed May 27, Tirano – Lugano 136km
>>> Stage 17 full preview
Stage 18, Thu May 28, Melide – Verbania 172km
>>> Stage 18 full preview
Stage 19, Fri May 29, Gravellona Toce – Cervinia 236km
>>> Stage 19 full preview
Stage 20, Sat May 30, Saint Vincent – Sestriere 196km
>>> Stage 20 full preview
Stage 21, Sun May 31, Torino – Milano 185km
>>> Stage 21 full previewGiro d’Italia 2014 route
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 PugliaRace 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: StagesStage 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