GIRO D’ITALIA’19: The PEZ Corsa PREVIEW
Giro’19 Course Preview: In recent years the Italian Grand Tour has usurped its French cousin for excitement, and the 2019 edition has stuck with the torrid final week formula. After the controversial 2018 start in Israel, this year is a home based Giro that has everything for the well-rounded rider – The PEZ Giro d’Italia route preview.
The 2019 route was presented by RSC Sport at the end of October in the Rai TV studios in Milan. The Corsa Rosa’19 will be raced totally on Italian soil with a time trial stage finish in the Republic of San Marino the only ‘foreign’ excursion. Talking of individual time trials there are three of them. There are six stages suitable for sprinters, seven tough stages and five mountain days plus seven summit finishes, including two of the individual time trials.
Giro trophy with Viviani and Froome
The start is in Bologna on the 11th of May and finishes in Verona on the 2nd of June, both with time trials. The total distance covered will be 3,518.5 kilometers with 46,500 meters of climbing.
Chris Froome had this to say: “I like this edition of the Giro very much, it can be won only by a complete rider. It’s a balanced course in between mountains and time trials. A very organized team will be needed too. The stage with Gavia and Mortirolo is a beast! It comes after a rest day and that day the true champions will stand out from the bunch.” Shame he won’t be riding the Giro in 2019.
And the PEZ himself tapped us into his favorite restaurant just steps from the start in his 4 Great Negroni Bars article here.
The Giro’19 corsa looks perfect for 2017 winner, Tom Dumoulin. The climbing will suit many of the top anti-gravity experts, but the three time trials are right up the big Dutchman’s street. Vuelta winner Simon Yates seems to have learnt from his first attempt at the Giro and should keep his powder dry for the final week. Of the home grown possibles – Vincenzo Nibali could pull it off. The rider preview will be up on PEZ on Wednesday. Anyway, let’s look at the route.
What a great place Italy is
The 2019 Giro d’Italia Route:
Stage 1: Bologna – San Luca (8.2km ITT):
Stage one on Saturday, May the 11th is a short and tough 8.2 kilometer time trial. This is no prologue, but a hard fight against the clock. Flat to begin with, but after the first 6 kilometers the road ramps up with an average of 9.7% for the final 2 kilometers to the finish in San Luca. The winner and the first overall leader will have to be a good time trialist that can climb, plus gauge his effort to save something for the finalé, Tom Dumoulin comes to mind.
Stage 1 TT
Stage 2: Bologna – Fucecchio (200km):
Stage two is also hard going with a rolling profile for 200 kilometers through the Apennines from Bologna to Fucecchio. The early climb of La Serra shouldn’t be a problem, but there are a couple of little ‘lumps’ in the last 50, but the final 20 kilometers are undulating. It could be a good day for a big break and a new pink jersey wearer. Gino Bartali will be celebrated during the second stage, from Bologna to Fucecchio. The route will run mostly in Tuscany, his homeland, brushing by Florence in the final part.
Tuscany – Gino Bartali country
Stage 3: Vinci – Orbetello (219km):
Stage three and the Giro heads to the coast – 219km from Vinci to Orbetello and should be for the fast finishers. There are two small climbs in the first 100K, but the peloton shouldn’t notice. The final 30 kilometers are flat and perfect for the sprinter’s teams to get line-outs ready for the finish in Orbetello. One for Elia Viviani?
We should see more Giro stage wins from ‘Il Veggente’
Stage 4: Orbetello – Frascati (228km):
Stage four takes the race round Rome to finish in Frascati. The course is up and down all day and could see the end of the Giro for anyone not feeling 100%. The finish in Terracina has a steep ramp to the line for the last 5 kilometers. A day for an Ardennes style rider.
Stage 5: Frascati – Terracina (140km):
Stage five is another for the sprinters, but with a tough start. The first climb is from the start line with a sharp descent before the Rocca di Papa summit at 25.8 kilometers. Midway through the stage there is the climb of Sezze at 88.3 kilometers, but from there to the finish in Terracina is pan flat. Eddy Merckx won here in 1969.
Stage 6: Cassino – San Giovanni Rotondo (233km):
Stage six is another tough day in the hills, crossing from Cassino in the West to San Giovanni Rotondo in the East of Italy Rotondo. With just under 30 kilometers to go the race hits the start of the 16 kilometer climb of the Coppa Casarinelle (678 meters). From the summit there are 13 mostly downhill kilometers to the finish. It could be a decisive day with a late attack.
Stage 7: Vasto – L’Aquila (180km):
Stage seven heads inland from Vasto on the coast to L’Aquila. The second climb of the day, Le Svolte di Popoli (746m), comes 40 kilometers from the finish with a hard run-in with an uphill finish. In 2010, the last time a stage of the Giro d’Italia finished in L’Aquila, Russia’s Evgeni Petrov won and Richie Porte took the leaders pink jersey.
A wet win for Petrov in 2010
Stage 8: Tortoreto Lido – Pesaro (235km):
Stage eight is a long day in the saddle, 235 kilometers with a torrid final 75k with three climbs. The first 150 kilometers are flat as the race heads North up the coast towards Pesaro. This is the fifth time that the Giro has finished in the coastal town. In 1979, the late Alan Van Heerden was the first rider from South Africa to win a stage of a Grand Tour. Van Heerden was racing while South Africa sportsmen were banned due to the apartheid policies of the country. The ban ran from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics until 1992.
Alan Van Heerden win in 1979
Stage 9: Riccione – San Marino (34.7km ITT):
Stage nine and the 2019 Giro leaves Italy (sort of) to finish in the Republic of San Marino. The course of the second individual time trial of 34.7 kilometers can be split into two halves. To the second time check after 22.2 kilometers, the road rises 156 meters from Riccione on the coast, from there to the finish in San Marino, the stage climbs a further 500 meters in 12.5 kilometers. Much like stage 1 the TT will be for a specialist that can climb and have something left in the tank for the final.
Stage 9 TT profile
Rest Day: Monday, May 20.
Every hairpin is…
Stage 10: Ravenna – Modena (147km):
After the first rest day the racing resumes with two flat sprinters stages. The first, stage 10, passes through the Po Valley, remembering the area that was affected by an earthquake in 2012.
Flat stages 10 and 11
Stage 11: Carpi – Novi Ligure (206km):
Stage 11 is also flat and will be one for the fast-finishers. The finish in Novi Ligure, is near the home of the Campionissimo Fausto Coppi, where he lived with Giulia Occhini who died in a car crash in 1993.
Fausto Coppi and Giulia Occhini
Stage 12: Cuneo – Pinerolo (146km):
In another stage dedicated to Coppi; stage 12 remembers his 1949 solo attack. In 2019 the Giro climbs the Montoso – the first Cat 1 climb of this years Giro – 32 kilometers before the finish in Pinerolo.
Fausto on the attack
Stage 13: Pinerolo – Ceresole Real (Lago Serrù) (188km):
Stage 13 is the first big day of climbing and should see the overall top men at the head of the results. Three major climbs on the road from Pinerolo to Ceresole Reale: The Colle del Lys and the Pian del Lupo come before the finish at the Lago Serru at 2,2247 meters altitude.
Stage 14: Saint-Vincent – Courmayeur (Skyway Monte Bianco) (131km):
The short 131 kilometer stage 14 has five categorized climbs and 3,000 meters of climbing. The climbs of Verrayes (1,017m), Verrogne (1,582m), Truc d’Arbe (1,256) and the enormous Colle San Carlo (1,951m) all come before the finishes in Courmayeur at the Skyway Monte Bianco (1,293m). Charly Gaul took the stage win in Courmayeur on his way to the overall victory in 1959.
Stage 15: Ivrea – Como (237km):
Stage 15 is the longest stage of the 2019 Giro d’Italia at 237km from Ivrea to Como. The course takes in much of the finalé of Il Lombardia. The Madonna del Ghisallo, Colma di Sormano, Civiglio and San Fermo are all from the end of season Classic. A day to suit Vincenzo Nibali, if he’s there.
Nibali on San Fermo
Rest Day: Monday, May 27.
Discover all the numbers of Giro d’Italia 2019:
Stage 16: Lovere – Ponte di Legno (226km):
With the final rest day behind the riders, the racing returns on stage 19 with possibly the hardest day of the race from Lovere to Ponte di Legno. A day in the Alps with 5,700 meters of climbing and all as hard as they come. The Passo della Presolana (1,297m), Croce di Salven (1,105m), the Gavia Pass (2,618m) – the highest point of the race and the Cima Coppi – and the Passo del Mortirolo (1,854m) before the finish in Ponte del Legno (1,254m).
The Passo Gavia will be the highest peak of the Giro d’Italia for the seventh time in 2019. It was first designated Cima Coppi in 1989, the year after the legendary and historic Bormio stage, but the climb was cancelled because of the bad weather. The winner of the stage featuring the Cima Coppi will be awarded the Trofeo Torriani. The Passo del Mortirolo will be the ‘Montagna Pantani’ of the 2019 Giro d’Italia, recalling Marco Pantani’s outstanding achievement during the 15th stage of the Giro. On 4 June 1994, the day after he came into the public spotlight, he attacked repeatedly, storming to a stunning solo win in Aprica, he finished 2nd overall that year.
Pantani on the Mortirolo in 1994
Stage 17: Commezzadura (Val di Sole) – Anterserlva/Antholz 180km):
Anyone on their last legs after stage 16’s huge climbs will not be happy waiting for the flag to drop at the start in Commezzadura for stage 17. 180 kilometers with three climbs on the way to the summit finish in Anterselva/Antholz’ Biathlon Stadium. Just another hard day in the final week of the Giro.
Stage 17 profile
Stage 18: Valdaora/Olang – Santa Maria di Sala (220km):
If there are any sprinters left in the race, stage 18 is their last chance for a win. 220 kilometers of flat or downhill roads, apart from the short climb of the Pieve d’Alpago, to Santa Maria di Sala.
Stage 19: Treviso – San Martino di Castrozza (151km):
A short stage at 151 kilometers and with a summit finish in San Martino di Castrozza that is not too difficult, stage 19 is no walk in the park. The Profile is still on the jagged side.
Stage 20: Feltre – Croce d’Aune-Monte Avena (193km):
The final stage of the 2019 Giro d’Italia is the last chance for the climbers who can’t time trial to take time before the final stage against the clock in Verona. 5,000 meters of Dolomite climbing taking in the Cima Camp (1,245m), Passo Manghen (2,047m), Passo Rolle (1,980m) and a final summit finish on the Croce d’Aune-Monte Avena (1,225m) should sort out the final overall winner… But you never know!
Tom Dumoulin took the 2017 Giro in the final TT
Stage 21: Verona – Verona (15.6km ITT):
The final stage 21 time trial is 15.6 kilometers long and could decide the 102nd Giro d’Italia. Remember how Tom Dumoulin won in 2017, the Dutchman turned round a 53 second deficit to Nairo Quintana into a winning margin of 31 seconds. The time trial to Milan that year was longer at nearly 30 kilometers, but it was flat. The Verona time trial climbs 214 meters to the summit of the Torricelli at 9.2 kilometers. The course then drops 6.4 kilometers to the finish in Verona arena.
To the victor the spoils
# Keep it PEZ for everything Giro’19. Live action at SteephilTV. #
2019 Giro d’Italia Stage List:
Stage 1: Saturday, May 11 Bologna – San Luca 8.2km ITT
Stage 2: Sunday, May 12 Bologna – Fucecchio 200km
Stage 3: Monday, May 13 Vinci – Orbetello 219km
Stage 4: Tuesday, May 14 Orbetello – Frascati 228km
Stage 5: Wednesday, May 15 Frascati – Terracina 140km
Stage 6: Thursday, May 16 Cassino – San Giovanni Rotondo 233km
Stage 7: Friday, May 17 Vasto – L’Aquila 180km
Stage 8: Saturday, May 18 Tortoreto Lido – Pesaro 235km
Stage 9: Sunday May 19 Riccione – San Marino 34.7km ITT
Rest Day: Monday, May 20
Stage 10: Tuesday, May 21 Ravenna – Modena 147km
Stage 11: Wednesday, May 22 Carpi – Novi Ligure 206km
Stage 12: Thursday, May 23 Cuneo – Pinerolo 146km
Stage 13: Friday, May 24 Pinerolo – Ceresole Real (Lago Serrù) 188km
Stage 14: Saturday, May 25 Saint-Vincent – Courmayeur (Skyway Monte Bianco) 131km
Stage 15: Sunday, May 26 Ivrea – Como 237km
Rest Day: Monday, May 27
Stage 16: Tuesday, May 28 Lovere – Ponte di Legno 226km
Stage 17: Wednesday, May 29 Commezzadura (Val di Sole) – Anterserlva/Antholz 180km
Stage 18: Thursday, May 30 Valdaora/Olang – Santa Maria di Sala 220km
Stage 19: Friday, May 31 Treviso – San Martino di Castrozza 151km
Stage 20: Saturday, June 1 Feltre – Croce d’Aune-Monte Avena 193km
Stage 21: Sunday, June 2 Verona – Verona 15.6km ITT.