Giro d’Italia, looking great at 103

Published on Friday, 31 July 2020

Departing on 3 October 2020 in Monreale, Sicily, arriving in Milan on 25 October with a time trial that, as was the case in 2017, could well decide the final outcome of the competition. Following the postponement caused by the Covid-19 emergency, the definitive route of the 103rd edition of the Giro d’Italia was revealed on the race’s social media profile on Giro Day, an online event on 30 July. Compared with the original itinerary, presented in Milan on 24 October last year, the three stages in Hungary have been eliminated, and new stages in Southern Italy added. Otherwise, the route has remained largely unaltered.

The backdrop for the 21 days of the Giro will include a number of Italy’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites, from the Duomo in Monreale to the Prosecco hills, and from the Dolomites to Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. And for the first time in the history of the Giro, a stage will depart from the Rivolto air base in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the home of another national treasure, the Frecce Tricolori, the Italian air force aerobatic team. “The route will be challenging but balanced, with three time trials and seven summit finishes. The final week between the Dolomites and the Alps will be decisive and the return of the finale to Milan will ensure that the competition remains open until the final day”, Mauro Vegni, Director of the Giro d’Italia, explained at the presentation last year.

This verdict remains the same today, given that the new itinerary will have the same number of time trials and summit finishes. In addition to the three individual time trials, the race will have 6 low difficulty stages, 7 medium difficulty and 5 high difficulty. After the departure in Monreale, the race will continue in Sicily, including a climb up Mount Etna, to continue through Calabria and Basilicata, arriving in beautiful Vieste in Puglia. Heading along the Adriatic coast, the race will first reach Emilia-Romagna, paying homage to Marco Pantani, with a departure and finish in Cesenatico, and then head to the Veneto region, where a time trial will celebrate the Prosecco area from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene, newly added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The final week will be in Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige, with the Cima Coppi taking place at an altitude of 2,758 metres on the Stelvio Pass. This will be followed by the regions of Piedmont and Lombardy, with an individual time trial starting in Cernusco sul Naviglio, which will take the riders to Milan’s Piazza Duomo, where the winner will be crowned.

The Giro d’Italia has been bringing the country together for more than 100 years, and is much more than a sporting event because “images of the wonderful locations that it passes through along its route” are broadcast live to 198 countries around the world, offering “an important symbol of rebirth,” given current circumstances, said Paolo Bellino, General Manager and CEO of RCS Sport, speaking at Giro Day. “This is a noteworthy moment for Italy, this phase of recovery. And this all-Italian Giro will showcase the beauty of our country to the entire world.”

“We are certain”, continued Bellino, “that, thanks to the support of all our partners – be they institutions, sponsors or media – the 103rd Giro will be an unmissable event”. And for us it will be the fourth consecutive year that we will be at the side of the Maglia Rosa (Pink Jersey), the symbol of the Giro and of the values that we share with the race - the bond between the people and the area, respect for the environment, sustainability, the enthusiasm of these professionals and their ability to work as a team.

 “The Giro d’Italia is part of Italian history and culture,” Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora said during Giro Day. “This year’s edition will be special. It will mark an important moment for all of the regions and cities that the stages will pass through”. Important events happening alongside it will further enhance this year’s Giro. These include Biciscuola, an educational project involving 50,000 primary school children; Ride Green, linked to separated waste collection involving the recycling of up to 92% of waste; and Giro E, the world’s first stage race for electrically assisted pedal cycles, sponsored by Enel X.

Community, sustainability, innovation and resilience. The Giro d’Italia is 103 years old but it’s in truly excellent shape.

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