On Saturday, May 6th 178 riders will open the 2023 Giro d’Italia with a spectacular 18.4 km time trial on a bike path along the Abruzzo coast and end with a circuit stage in historic Rome, with a total of 70.6km of time trialling, seven summit finishes, and a tough final week through the Dolomites and Julian Alps.
In April, organisers finalised the Giro d'Italia 2023 route details, highlighting the demanding mountaintop stage finishes at Crans Montana, Monte Bondone, Val di Zoldo and Tre Cime di Lavaredo and an uphill finish of the penultimate stage time trial to Monte Lussari.
There are a few opportunities for the sprinters, as usual. The opening week features a flat stage 2 to San Salvo and a flattish finale to Melfi on stage 3, before the first finale for the climbers on stage 4 finishing on a plateau at Lago Laceno just after the category 2 Colle Mollela.
Sponsored Links Silence Tinnitus by Doing This Once Daily - It's GeniusHealthy Guru The climbs come early on stage 5 with a potential regrouping before the flat finish in Salerno, and again on stage 6 around Naples.
The Gran Sasso d'Italia is the first summit finish on stage 7 with a two-phase ascent. First comes the category 1 climb to Calascio followed by a long, steady climb before the final kick up to 2,130 metres.
Stage 8 has a kicker before the finish in Fossombrone where the lighter sprinters will want to distance their more powerful rivals. The next day is the stage 9 35 kilometre time trial from Savignano sul Rubicone to Cesena and the second major GC shakeup.
The second week starts off tame, with three stages with some climbing but flat finishes preceding the brutal Crans Montana stage that features this year's Cima Coppi, the Col du Grand Saint-Bernard at 2,459 metres. The Croix de Coeur comes just after the descent climbing from 712 metres back to 2,174 before plunging back to the valley. Those two climbs dwarf the Crans Montana, but a third climb to 1,456 metres is a real sting in the tail.
Stages 14 and 15 give the GC men a break and favour opportunists. Heading into Switzerland and over the Simplonpass in the first half of stage 14 will give the attackers a solid lead but a flat 100km for the sprinters to chase them down. The next day's stage to Bergamo is a mini-Il Lombardia with the Valpiana coming inside 30km to go.
After the second rest day, the gloves come off with the Monte Bondone stage, one day for the sprinters before the Val di Zoldo and Tre Cime di Lavaredo stages, and the final decider in the hideous Monte Lussari time trial. The surviving riders will definitely be tired enough to sleep through the 750km transfer to Rome for the final sprint stage.
Links To Giro d'Italia 2023 Stage Profiles: