MILAN: Next year the Giro d’Italia will take place almost entirely on the Italian mainland.
The 2023 Grand Tour of Italy route was unveiled at a ceremony in Milan on Monday. It will start in Abruzzo, as announced last month, and end in Rome.
The Giro will not pass through either of the Italian islands of Sardinia or Sicily, but will briefly visit Switzerland on stage 13, with an uphill finish in Crans Montana. Runners will also climb the Croix de Coeur that day and the Colle del Gran San Bernardo, which at 2,469 meters (8,100 ft) will represent the highest point of the race – traditionally known as “Cima Coppi” (peak of Coppi).
The route features eight sprinter-friendly stages, three time trials, seven mountain stages – most of which are packed into what is expected to be a dramatic final week – and as many uphill finishes.
“The whole race looks interesting. It’s a fantastic course so it will be an interesting race,” said Australian cyclist Jai Hindley, who has yet to decide with his team whether he will try to defend his title next year.
Runners will climb a total of 51,300 meters (168,000 feet) in vertical drop, over a distance of 3,449 kilometers (2,143 miles) from May 6-28.
“It would be pretty cool to start the Giro with number 1 behind, for sure,” added Hindley. “It’s still early October and the season has just ended and I haven’t thought too much about what next year has in store for us.
“But, you know, I think it also depends on the nature of the Tour de France route. But the course that came out tonight is also quite interesting and it’s definitely going to be a really, really tough race.
Here are some aspects of the 2023 race:
TIME IS EVERYTHING
The 2023 Giro is the first edition since 2013 to have more than 70 kilometers (43 miles) of time trials.
There will be three individual time trials: the opening day, stage 9 from Savignano sul Rubicone to Cesena, and the penultimate stage – a demanding climb up Monte Lussari, with an altitude of over 1,000 meters and gradients of up to 22%.
Time trials hold bad memories for Hindley, who lost the 2020 Giro by 39 seconds after the final time trial. He started the final stage wearing the pink jersey to finish second behind Tao Geoghegan Hart.
“There are three more than I would like,” Hindley said with a laugh. “But I’m not the one organizing the race, so I’m taking it as it comes. But there were three TTs in 2020 and I was still second, and I think I’ve also been a bit better in the time trial since then.
“So I’m going to keep working on that and try to make it more of a strength. Of course, it’s not really ideal for me, but you can’t always get what you want.
The race will likely be played out in the Dolomites range in what promises to be an action-packed and demanding final week.
Three of the last six stages received the maximum difficulty rating of five stars, including the penultimate day’s time trial, and the week kicks off with stage Sabbio Chiese to Monte Bondone, with more than 5 000 meters of elevation.
Stage 19 has no flat sections and has five classified climbs, including Passo Giau, Passo Tre Croci and the finish of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, with gradients of up to 18%.
“I think stage 19 looks the toughest, followed by the time trial, finishing the climb there I think will be really tough,” Hindley said. “If you run out of legs on that last TT, it could cost you the race. These two stages over three weeks, I think will be quite crucial.
“Like every year in the Giro it’s always the last stages where the guys can get unstuck and I think it won’t be any different. It’s a race of attrition and either you have it or you don’t. haven’t lately.
The Giro will end in Rome for the fifth time in the race’s 106-year history.
There will be 10 laps of an 11.5 kilometer (7 mile) circuit through the streets of the capital, passing many of its historical sites.
The route will pass by places such as the Altare della Patria, the Capitoline Hill, the Circus Maximus and will end at the Imperial Forums, in the shadow of the Colosseum.