The route of the 2014 Giro d’Italia will pay tribute to Marco Pantani with three climbs in his honour, according to a report in Tuttosport on Tuesday. Ten years on from his tragic death, the Giro is set to visit Pantani’s favourite training climb, Monte Carpegna, and will also feature summit finishes at the sites of two of his most memorable victories – Oropa and Montecampione.
Some details of the 2014 Giro have already been announced by RCS Sport, and the entire route will be officially unveiled in Milan next Monday, but as per tradition, the Turin-based Tuttosport newspaper has already pieced together what it understands to be the percorso of next year’s race.
As was confirmed last week, the Giro will have three rest days in 2014 in order to facilitate the transfer from the start in Ireland back to Italy. The race gets underway in Belfast on Friday, May 9th with a team time trial, with a road stage starting and finishing in the city the following day. Stage 3 is from Armagh to Dublin.
After the early rest day, the Giro resumes on Italian soil on Tuesday, May 13th, with a stage from Bari to Taranto. According to Tuttosport, the first hilltop finish comes at Viggiano on stage 5, while the next day, the Giro will visit Montecassino, 70 years on from its lengthy bombardment during World War II.
Stage 8 will see the Giro’s first tribute to Marco Pantani, with his personal testing ground of Monte Carpegna featuring just before the finish at Montecopiolo. After the Giro’s second rest day in Modena on May 19th, the race travels westwards via Salsomaggiore and Savona, before the first individual time trial, a 46km test through the vineyards from Barbaresco to Barolo.
Oropa and Montecampione
According to Tuttosport, the third weekend of the race will feature back-to-back summit finishes that recall two of Pantani’s most famous exploits. Stage 14 is set to finish at Oropa, where Pantani claimed stage victory in 1999 by passing 49 riders after slipping his chain at the foot of the climb. Pantani was later excluded from that Giro while leading the race on the penultimate day after he recorded a haematocrit level in excess of 50% in a UCI blood test.
As previously reported by Il Giornale di Brescia, Stage 15 will finish atop Montecampione, where Pantani duelled with Pavel Tonkov on the final summit finish of his victorious 1998 Giro. The 20km-long climb first featured in the 1982 Giro, when Bernard Hinault claimed victory.
A mountainous finale
The Giro resumes after the third rest day with a stage from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello on May 27th, which follows the very route of the stage that was cancelled entirely from this year’s race due to heavy snowfall. The tappone features the climbs of the Gavia and the Stelvio before the summit finish at Val Martello.
The final Friday of the Giro sees a mountain time trial from Bassano to Monte Grappa, before another difficult mountain stage on the penultimate day of racing. RCS Sport has already confirmed that stage 20 will see the peloton cross the Passo del Pura and the Sella di Razzo before tackling the mighty Zoncolan from the Ovaro side, while the Giro concludes on June 1st with a road stage from Gemona to Trieste.
The route of the 2014 Giro will be formally revealed in Milan on Monday, the day after the Tour of Lombardy.
Reported 2014 Giro d'Italia route:
May 9, stage 1: Belfast-Belfast, team time trial
May 10, stage 2: Belfast-Belfast
May 11, stage 3: Armagh-Dublin
May 12: Rest day and transfer
May 13, stage 4: Bari-Taranto
May 14, stage 5: Taranto-Viggiano
May 15, stage 6: Sassano-Montecassino
May 16, stage 7: Frosinone-Foligno
May 17, stage 8: Foligno-Montecopiolo
May 18, stage 9: Lugo-Sestola
May 19: Rest day, Modena
May 20, stage 10: Modena-Salsomaggiore
May 21, stage 11: Correggio-Savona
May 22, stage 12: Barbaresco-Barolo, individual time trial – 46km
May 23, stage 13: Fossano-Rivarolo
May 24, stage 14: Agliè-Oropa
May 25, stage 15: Valdengo-Montecampione
May 26: Rest day, Ponte di Legno
May 27, stage 16: Ponte di Legno-Val Martello
May 28, stage 17: Sarnonico-Vittorio Veneto
May 29, stage 18: Belluno-Malga Panarotta
May 30, stage 19: Bassano-Monte Grappa, individual time trial.
May 31, stage 20: Maniago-Monte Zoncolan – 167km.
June 1, stage 21: Gemona-Trieste