The Giro d’Italia in 2015 contains six top finishes and six stages for the sprinters. The route totals 3,481 kilometres.
It all begins on Saturday, May 9th, with a team time trial of 17.6 kilometres from San Lorenzo al Mare to San Remo. Beautiful images are assured, as the ride takes us over a bike path along the Mediterranean coast. The Liguria region also offers the beautiful scenery for the following Giro-stages.
Don’t be surprised if the complete sprint elite shows up in Italy. Last year Kittel was relentless before he fell ill and never made it to mainland Italy, but then Nacer Bouhanni took over. And yes, Mark Cavendish has repeatedly said that he loves the Giro…
Ample opportunities for the fast men in the 2015 edition, beginning with the 2nd stage taking the riders from Albenga to Genoa for a final spin on a two laps circuit. The arrivals in Castiglione della Pescaia (stage 6), Forli (stage 10), Jesolo (stage 13), Lugano (stage 17) and Milano (stage 21) are also fabricated from the stuff sprinter’s dreams are made of. The stages to Fiugi (stage 7) and Imola (stage 11) are more tricky, but especially the last one should appeal to all speed monsters. The ride ends with three 16.9 kilometres laps on the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
Six mountain top finishes
The first top-finish is in stage 5, arriving in the ski resort of Abetone in Tuscany, located in the central Apennines. Three stages later stage 8 finishes atop in Campitello Matese, not too far from Naples. But the real fireworks are set to detonate on May 24th and onwards…
Cresting La Fricca and Passo Daone (8.4 kilometres, average grade of 9.2%) stage 15 takes the riders from Marostica to Madonna di Campiglio. The ski-resort in the Dolomites is not the end of the route, since the stage continues for three more kilometres uphill to Rifugio Patascoss (1,715 meters), making up the steepest part of the climb with an average grade of 6.9% and has a steepest section of 12%. The ascent totals 15.5 kilometres at 5.9% on average.
After the rest day, riders leave from Pinzolo. Stage 16 takes them over Passo del Tonale (15.2 kilometres at 6%) and the feared Mortirolo (12.8 kilometres at 10.1%) to Aprica. The last climb is not the toughest in the world (13.9 kilometres at 3.4%), but it is to be taken twice, once before and once after the Mortirolo.
Stage 18 offers no uphill finish, still it’s a race to look forward to since it treats us with a downhill finish. After cresting Monte Ologno (10.4 kilometres at 9%) the riders are off on a blistering descent taking them in 14 kilometres to Lago Maggiore to finish in Verbania.
Next day, May 29th, it’s the combination of the distance of 236 kilometres and a tough final making stage 19 a killer. Riders are to crest Saint-Barthélémy (20.1 kilometres at 5.6%) and Saint-Pantaleon (16.5 kilometres at 7.2%) and then the final 19.2 kilometres climb to Cervinia lays waiting at an average grade of 5%.
The penultimate stage takes the riders in a little under 200 kilometres to Sestriere (elevation 2,035 meters). The climb itself is 9.2 kilometres at 5.4%, so quite doable, if not the Colle delle Finestre were on the program earlier. That ascent is 18.4 kilometres at 9.2%, but the real threat is an 7.8 kilometres unpaved sector. Furthermore, at 2,178 metres the Colle delle Finestre is the highest peak in the 2015 Giro giving it the predicate Cima Coppi.
The Giro 2015 totals 76.8 trial kilometres – the team time trial to San Remo plus in stage 14 an individual race against the clock leading from Treviso to Valdobbiadene. That one is no less than 59.2 kilometres and without a doubt the hilly second part will do some damage to the GC ambitions of some.
The Giro closes on May 31th with stage 21 in the Po Valley, leading from Turin to Milan, a flat ride likely to end in an bunch sprint.
Giro 2015: Route, profiles and more
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