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Giro d’Italia 2018 route: full details revealed including eight summit finishes and two time trials

Cycling Weekly

Full details of the Giro d'Italia 2018 route (May 4 to 27)


Cycling Weekly

The​ ​Giro​ ​d’Italia 2018 route (May 4-27)​ ​looks set to give the general classification contenders a​ ​serious​ ​challenge​ ​with eight​ ​summit​ ​finishes​,​ ​including​ ​two​ ​major mountain​ ​days​ ​over​ ​Monte​ ​Zoncolan​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Colle​ ​delle​ ​Finestre.

In​ ​typical​ ​fashion​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Italian​ ​Grand​ ​Tour​ ​–​ ​or​ ​a​ ​good​ ​crime thriller​ ​–​ ​the​ ​suspense​ ​builds​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​final​ ​chapters.

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Monte​ ​Zoncolan​ ​with​ ​its​ ​22 per cent​ ​pitches​ ​conclude​ ​what​ ​the​ ​Italians call​ ​a​ ​tappone,​ ​a​ ​mammoth​ ​stage​ ​that​, ​in​ ​this​ ​instance, comes​ ​on​ ​the weekend​ ​before​ ​the​ ​final​ ​rest​ ​day,​ ​includes​ ​4000​ ​metres​ ​of climbing.

The​ ​Colle​ ​delle​ ​Finestre​ ​strikes​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​chord​ ​in​ ​cycling​ ​with​ ​its unique​ ​gravel​ ​road​ ​snaking​ ​upwards​ ​to​ ​2178​ ​meters.​ ​From​ ​the pass,​ ​the​ ​Giro​ ​organiser​ ​usually​ ​finishes ​with​ ​the smaller​ ​climb​ ​to​ ​Sestriere,​ ​but​ ​for​ ​2018​ ​they​ ​continue​ ​further​ ​to Bardonecchia​ ​and​ ​the​ ​7.25km​ ​climb​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Jafferau​ ​ski station.​ ​

This​ ​tappone​ ​includes​ ​3500​ ​climbing​ ​metres,​ ​and​ ​given it’s​ ​deep​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Susa​ ​Valley,​ ​cyclists​ ​could​ ​see​ ​anything​ ​from Italian​ ​sun​ ​beams​ ​to​ ​driving​ ​snow.

>>> Chris Froome to race the Giro d’Italia in 2018, say sources

Both​ ​the Zoncolan​ ​and​ ​Finestre​ are ​relatively​ recent additions ​to​ ​the​ ​Giro, which​ ​was contested for the 100th time​ ​in​ ​2017.​ ​The​ ​former​ ​premiered​ ​in 2003​ ​and​ ​the​ ​second​ ​in​ ​2005.​ ​Team​ ​Sky’s​ ​star,​ ​Chris Froome,​ has ​already​ ​ridden both in the last six months.

As expected, race​ ​organiser​ ​RCS​ ​Sport​ ​saves the most spectacular stages for last​ ​–​ ​the​ final ​week​ containing ​three​ ​consecutive​ ​summit finishes​ ​ahead​ ​of​ ​the​ ​final​ ​stage​ ​in​ ​Rome.​ ​

After​ ​its​ ​start​ ​in​ ​Israel,​ ​the​ ​first​ ​Grand​ ​Tour​ to start ​outside​ ​of​ ​Europe​ ​with a​ ​9.7-km ​time​ ​trial​ ​and​ ​two​ ​flat​ ​stages,​ ​it​ ​continues steadily​ ​northwards​ ​from​ ​Sicily​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Italian​ ​boot.​

Cycling Weekly

​The​ ​race​ ​will keep​ ​the​ fans’​ ​attention​ ​with​ ​early​ ​summit​ ​finishes​ ​up​ ​a never​ ​before​ ​used​ ​Mount​ ​Etna​ ascent ​(on stage​ ​six),​ ​and​ ​at​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of the​ ​first​ ​week,​ ​Montevergine​ ​di​ ​Mercogliano​ ​near​ ​Naples​ ​and Gran​ ​Sasso​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Abruzzo​ ​region​ ​(on stages​ ​eight ​and​ ​nine).

The​ ​second​ ​week,​ ​which​ ​could​ ​seem​ ​like​ ​the​ ​third​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Giro’s first​ ​phase​ ​in​ ​Israel​ ​and​ ​the​ ​second​ ​spanning​ ​Southern​ ​Italy, passes​ ​the​ ​Po​ ​Valley​ ​and​ ​enters​ ​the​ ​Alps​ ​along​ ​the​ ​border​ ​with Austria.​

​The​ ​dreamy​ ​landscapes​ ​provide​ ​the​ ​perfect​ ​scene​ ​for those​ ​classification​ ​cyclists​ ​with​ ​eyes​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Giro’s​ ​famous​ ​spiral trophy,​ ​now​ ​etched​ ​with​ ​100​ ​victors.​ ​

Osmio​ ​counts​ ​as​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the eight​ ​summit​ ​finishes,​ ​but​ ​its​ ​short​ ​and​ ​steep​ ​finish​ ​near​ ​the hometown​ ​of​ ​Michele​ ​Scarponi,​ ​who​ ​died​ ​in a training crash​ ​April​ ​training,​ ​is better​ ​suited​ ​for​ ​your​ ​Diego​ ​Ulissis​ ​than​ ​your​ ​Chris​ ​Froomes​ ​or Tom​ ​Dumoulins.

The​ ​time​ ​trials​ ​will​ ​tilt​ ​the​ ​balance​ ​back​ ​from​ ​heavy​ ​mountain days.​ Time gained ​in​ ​the​ ​9.7-kilometre​ ​Jerusalem​ ​time​ ​trial​ ​and​ ​the ​34.5-kilometre​ ​time​ ​trial​ ​through​ ​the​ ​Lagarina​ ​Valley​ ​to Rovereto on stage 16​ ​will​ ​dictate​ ​how​ ​the​ ​story​ ​unfolds​ ​in​ ​the​ ​remaining week​ ​with​ ​its​ ​three​ ​consecutive​ ​summit​ ​finishes​ ​stages​ ​in​ ​Italy’s Western​ ​Alpine​ ​front.

Followers​ ​with​ ​a​ ​sharp​ ​eye​ ​will​ ​note​ ​a​ ​few​ ​items.​ ​After​ ​time​ ​trials in​ ​the​ ​vineyards​ ​of​ ​Barolo,​ ​Prosecco,​ ​Chianti​ ​and​ ​Sagrantino,​ ​this year​ ​organiser​ ​RCS​ ​Sport​ ​continues​ ​the​ ​trend​ ​instead​ ​with​ ​a​ ​road stage​ ​through​ ​Franciacorta.​ ​The​ ​sparkling​ ​white​ ​wine​ ​should​ ​go down​ ​well​ ​with​ ​the​ ​stage​ ​17​ ​sprint​ ​winner​ ​at​ ​Lago​ ​D’Iseo​ ​on​ ​May 23.

As announced in previous months, the​ ​Giro’s​ ​3546.2​km ​voyage​ will start in Israel, the state paying approximately​ ​€10​ ​million​ ​to​ ​RCS​ ​MediaGroup​ ​host​ ​the first​ ​three​ ​stages,​ ​but​ ​not​ ​without​ ​controversy.

Groups​ ​protested​ ​in​ ​several​ ​Italian​ ​cities​ ​and​ ​European​ ​Coordination​ ​of​ ​Committees​ ​and​ ​Associations​ ​for Palestine​ ​(ECCP),​ ​consisting​ ​of​ ​120​ ​human​ ​rights​ ​groups,​ ​sent statements​ ​urging​ ​RCS​ ​Sport​ ​to​ ​reconsider​ ​its​ ​Big​ ​Start​ ​plans.

The​ ​group​ ​said​ ​”that​ ​holding​ ​the​ ​Giro​ ​d’Italia​ ​in​ ​Israel​ ​will​ ​both cover​ ​up​ ​Israel’s​ ​military​ ​occupation​ ​and​ ​discrimination​ ​against Palestinians​ ​and​ ​increase​ ​Israel’s​ ​sense​ ​of​ ​impunity,​ ​encouraging continued​ ​denial​ ​of​ ​Palestinians’​ ​UN-stipulated​ ​rights.”​ ​And​ ​no nod​ ​was​ ​given​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​Israel’s​ ​Arabian​ ​neighbour​ ​by presenting​ ​the​ ​2018​ ​Giro​ ​route​ ​on ​November​ ​29,​ ​the​ ​day​ ​the United​ ​Nations​ ​recognises​ ​an​ ​International​ ​Day​ ​of​ ​Solidarity​ ​with the​ ​Palestinian​ ​People.

Giro d’Italia 2018 route: Stage-by-stage

Stage one: Jerusalem to Jerusalem, 9.7km (ITT)
Friday, May 4

RCS Sport

The 2018 Giro big start will based around the holy city with a 10.1km time trial to kick off the race on Friday, May 4, before two sprint stages finish off the race’s time in Israel.

Stage two: Haifa to Tel Aviv, 167km
Saturday, May 5

Cycling Weekly

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, 229km
Sunday, May 6

Cycling Weekly

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.

Stage four: Catania to Caltagirone, 191km
Tuesday, May 8

Cycling Weekly

Stage five: Agrigento to Santa Ninfa, 152km
Wednesday, May 9

Cycling Weekly

Stage six: Caltanissetta to Mount Etna, 163km
Thursday, May 10

Cycling Weekly

Stage seven: Pizzo to Praia a Mare, 159km
Friday, May 11

Cycling Weekly

Stage eight: Praia a Mare to Montevergine di Mercogliano, 208km
Saturday, May 12

Cycling Weekly

Stage nine: Pesco Sannita to Gran Sasso d’Italia, 224km
Sunday, May 13

Cycling Weekly

Stage 10: Penne to Gualdo Tadino, 239km
Tuesday, May 15

Cycling Weekly

Stage 11: Assisi to Osimo, 156km
Wednesday, May 16

Cycling Weekly

Stage 12: Osimo to Imola, 213km
Thursday, May 17

Cycling Weekly

Stage 13: Ferrara to Nervesa della Battaglia, 180km
Friday, May 18

Cycling Weekly

Stage 14: San Vito al Tagliamento to Monte Zoncolan, 181km
Saturday, May 19

Cycling Weekly

Stage 15: Tolmezzo to Sappada, 176km
Sunday, May 20

Cycling Weekly

Stage 16: Trento to Rovereto, 34.5km (ITT)
Tuesday, May 22

Cycling Weekly

Stage 17: Riva del Garda to Iseo, 155km
Wednesday, May 23

Cycling Weekly

Stage 18: Abbiategrasso to Prato Nervoso, 196km
Thursday, May 24

Cycling Weekly

Stage 19: Venaria Reale to Bardonecchia (Jafferau), 181km
Friday, May 25

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Stage 20: Susa to Cervinia, 214km
Saturday, May 26

Cycling Weekly

Stage 21: Rome to Rome, 118km
Sunday, May 27

Cycling Weekly

Stages of the 2018 Giro d’Italia route