Everything you need to know about Giro d'Italia 2019

The Giro d'Italia, together with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, it is the most important stage bike race on the calendar. Created in 1909 on the idea of the Romagna journalist Tullo Morgagni, it has always been run annually and played in May, with the exception of interruptions during the first and second world wars. The start changes with each edition, while the arrival of the last stage is usually located in Milan, where there is the Gazzetta dello Sport, the sports newspaper that has always organised this event. We remember, however, editions of the Giro completed in other cities, such as Turin, Florence, Rome or Naples.

This year, for example, it will end in Verona. The most victorious cyclists in the history of this event were three, all with five victories each: Alfredo Binda, Eddie Mercx and Fausto Coppi. The sprinter Mario Cipollini, on the other hand, deserves the credit for the largest number of stages concluded on the highest step of the podium: 42, all in a sprint.

Giro d'Italia 2019: emotions and entertainments guaranteed

The 102nd edition of the Giro d'Italia, will start from Bologna Saturday, May 11, will have 21 stages, three of which will cross the Emilia-Romagna. The arrival is scheduled for Sunday, June 2. There will be many champions at the start, many of whom will fight to wear the iconic pink jersey. We remember, in particular, champions such as Vincenzo Nibali, Alejandro Valverde, Egan Bernal, Tom Domoulin and Simon Yates.

Three weeks of great shows are expected. The professionals are ready to face a particularly challenging route and will undoubtedly give the fans an intense experience full of emotion.

One of the best ways to prepare for the appointment is to take a look at the route: almost 3580 kilometres in total, with five uphill arrivals and three individual time trials.

The first week does not include any noteworthy altitude difficulties, but we should not underestimate the challenging endings in Orbetello - third stage, San Giovanni Rotondo - sixth stage and L'Aquila - seventh stage. They will be serious from the tenth stage, the Cuneo-Pinerolo. This day will follow the mythical one that, in 1949, crowned Fausto Coppi: even the climb of Montoso - 9 km with an average gradient of 9.4% - could not be enough to make the difference since the finish line is located more than 30km from the top.
The final of the second week will also be particularly intense. On Saturday 25 May, from Sant-Vincent to Courmayeur, five Mountain Grand Prix races will be held - including Colle San Carlo, Verrogne and Truc d'Arbe. The Lovere-Ponte di Legno, the queen stage, will be run on 28 May: 226 kilometres with 5700 metres of difference in altitude, passing through Presolana, Passo Gavia and Mortirolo. Not to be missed are the Treviso-San Martino di Castrozza and the Feltre-Croce d'Aune with an altitude difference of 5000 metres, which will precede the time trial final with the finish in Verona.

The characteristics and difficulties of the various stages in Giro d'Italia 2019

First stage (Saturday 11 May): Bologna-Bologna, 8 km (time trial)
The inaugural race will immediately ignite the most anticipated men with a time trial on the streets of the capital of Emilia. The stage will be divided into two parts: the first 6 km, completely flat, will benefit the specialists, while the last 2 km will lead to the Sanctuary of San Luca with a very demanding climb.

Second stage (Sunday 12 May): Bologna-Fucecchio, 205 km
The track will challenge the Apennines of Emilia whose climbs of Montalbano and San Baronto, located in the final part, could put in difficulty the specialists of the sprints, favoring instead the climbers in the race to the finish line.

Third stage (Monday 13 May): Vinci-Orbetello, 220 km
The third day, a tribute to the exact five hundredth anniversary of Leonardo's death, will start from the city of Vinci and will have a lively but mainly flat route.

Fourth stage (Tuesday, May 14): Orbetello-Frascati, 223 km
In this fourth stage with a slightly uphill finish near Rome, the result will remain undecided until the last minute and could be a surprise.

Stage five (Wednesday 15 May): Frascati-Terracina, 140 km
Despite two reliefs at the start - Rocca Priora and Rocca di Papa - and a Grand Prix of the Mountain in the central part of Sezze, the fifth stage is the first real opportunity for sprinters, with the last forty kilometres all on the flat.

Sixth stage (Thursday 16 May): Cassino-San Giovanni Rotondo, 238 km
A day not to be underestimated for two factors: the length and the final. The Coppa Casarinelle climb - with gradients of around 6% - will take the group up to the Gargano and will end with 15 kilometres to go, although the road will continue to climb up to 6 kilometres to go.

Seventh stage (Friday 17 May): Vasto-L'Aquila, 185 km
Grand Prix of the Mountain at Le Svolte dei Popoli, a preview of the Abruzzo plateau for all runners, then the climb of via della Polveriera and the final climb - 1500 meters with slopes of around 7% and peaks at 11% - will certainly give rise to a spectacular final.

Eighth stage (Saturday 18 May): Tortoreto Lido-Pesaro, 239 km
This will be the longest stage of the Tour 2019 and will present a first flat part, followed by a second more lively one, with three Mountain Grands Prix - Monte della Mattera, Monteluro and Gabicce.

Ninth stage (Sunday 19 May): Riccione-San Marino, 34.8 km (time trial)
The track will have a stretch on a flat until 22 km, here will begin the climb to San Marino.

Tenth stage (Tuesday, May 21): Ravenna-Modena, 145 km
Short fraction where the arrival in the sprint seems to be the only possible hypothesis.

Eleventh stage (Wednesday 22 May): Carpi-Novi Ligure, 221 km
Stage very similar to the previous one with a probable second chance for the sprinters. The arrival in Novi Ligure will pay tribute to Fausto Coppi on the centenary of his birth.

Twelfth stage (Thursday 23 May): Cuneo-Pinerolo, 158 km
Here the main pitfalls will be, as anticipated, the climb of Montoso - with an average gradient of 9.4% - and the Wall of Princes Street of Acaja at 2500 meters from the arrival.

Thirteenth stage (Friday 24 May): Pinerolo-Ceresole Reale, 196 km
The day will present the first arrival at altitude: after the ascent to Colle del Lys and the climb to Pian del Lupo, the group will face the endless final climb to the top of Colle del Nicolet - with an average gradient of 5.9% and peaks at 14%.

Fourteenth stage (Saturday 25 May): Saint Vincent-Courmayeur, 131 km
A challenging hamlet with five Mountain Grands Prix and a difference in altitude of about 4000 metres. The first challenge will be the Verrayes, followed by the Truc d'Arbe, then the Colle San Carlo and finally the uphill finish in Courmayeur.

Fifteenth stage (Sunday, May 26): Ivrea-Como, 232 km
The group will face all the historical climbs of the Giro di Lombardia: from Madonna del Ghisallo to Colma di Solmano, up to Civiglio, from the top of which there will be less than 10 kilometres to the finish in Como. To be considered how much energy will be left to the contenders for the final success after the two challenging alpine stages of the previous days.

Sixteenth stage (Tuesday, May 28): Lovere-Ponte di Legno, 226 km
Here is the hardest stage of the Giro 2019: two Mountain Grands Prix with over 5000 meters of altitude difference. On the same day the group will face the Passo Gavia - Cima Coppi - and the legendary Passo del Mortirolo, with gradients of up to 18%. The final is a light but constant climb up to Ponte di Legno.

Seventeenth stage (Wednesday 29 May): Commezzadura-Anterselva, 181 km
Not an easy fraction, after a series of very demanding stages. Will the Mendola Pass be the scene of an attack from afar?

Eighteenth stage (Thursday 30 May): Valdaora- Santa Maria di Sala, 222 km
Relaxation, or almost: almost totally downhill route, ideal terrain for sprinters to make up for the time lost in the Alpine ascents.

Nineteenth stage (Friday, May 31): Treviso-San Martino di Castrozza, 151 km
Short stage, with another uphill finish. The final climb of more than thirteen kilometres will have an average gradient of 5.6% and with some sections at 10%.

20th stage (Saturday 1 June): Feltre-Croce d'Aune, 194 km
Dolomite scenario to frame the last uphill arrival. Five climbs interspersed with short flat stretches, will be the critical points to overcome: Cima Campo, Passo Manghen, Passo Rolle, Croce d'Aune - with the last 6 kilometres always over 10% - and Monte Avena - 7 kilometres with an average gradient of 7.4%. Here the final classification will be decided.

21st stage (Sunday 2 June): Verona-Verona, 17 km (time trial)
The 102nd Giro d'Italia will close with the Veronese time trial. The time trial - exactly halfway through - will see the group engaged in the climb of Torricelle and could make a difference. The final goal in the always suggestive Arena of the city Scaligera.

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