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Giro d'Italia 2021

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(Image credit: RCS Sport)

RCS Sport revealed the parcours of the 104th edition of the 2021 Giro d'Italia on February 24, laying out another Grand Tour packed with arduous mountain stages, opportunities for the sprinters and an ever increasing level of difficulty through to the final 29.4km time trial in Milan.

The route is less about time trials this year and full of opportunities for sprinters and climbers alike, with home favourites like Elia Viviani (Cofidis) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka Assos) expected to rub shoulders with the likes of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) in the sprints.

Italian GC contenders Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), Domenico Pozzovivo (Qhubeka Assos) and Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) will face down former Tour de France winner Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange), Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ).

The race opens with a pan flat 9km time trial - tailor made for World Champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) and a high probability of getting the Italian into the first maglia rosa.

The sprinters will have to work to stay within reach of the race lead on the second stage, an expected sprint after a flat run-in to Novara, and a lumpier but mostly sprint-friendly stage 3.

Climbers will have a chance to stretch their legs with the first uphill finish in Sestola on stage 4 before the third sprint stage to Cattolica on the Adriatic coast. A trio of uphill finishes punctuate the next five stages with two possible sprints, the short 140km stage 10 to Foligno finishes on the flat, but a climb 39 kilometres out might leave behind some of the fast men.

The second phase brings the general classification contenders to the fore with climbs near the finish of stages 11 and 12, although the sprinters will want to stick around for another pan-flat stage to Verona. The overall classification will have its first serious shake-out on stage 14 with a massive 205km stage finishing on the Monte Zoncolan. A transition stage the next day, only 145km in length, provides a bit of a break before the high-altitude leg breakers on stage 16: the Passos Fedaia, Pordoi and Giau all over 2000 metres scattered across 212 painful kilometres.

Another Tuesday rest day gives riders time to recuperate before the summit finish to Sega di Ala. The race organisers came under fire for trying to put a flat, 258km marathon stage in last year's third week and riders protested having to endure the stage in cold rain until they relented and slashed the distance to 124 kilometres. This year, the last week transition stage is only 228km long, taking the riders to Stradella in Lombardy before hitting two Alpine stages before the final time trial in Milan. 

Stages

  • Giro d'Italia 2021
    8 May 2021 - 30 May 2021 | Turin | WorldTour
    • Stage 1 | Turin - Turin (ITT)
      2021-05-08 9km
    • Stage 2 | Stupinigi - Novara
      2021-05-09 173km
    • Stage 3 | Biella - Canale
      2021-05-10 187km
    • Stage 4 | Piacenza - Sestola
      2021-05-11 186km
    • Stage 5 | Modena - Cattolica
      2021-05-12 171km
    • Stage 6 | Grotte di Frasassi - Ascoli Piceno
      2021-05-13 150km
    • Stage 7 | Notaresco - Termoli
      2021-05-14 178km
    • Stage 8 | Foggia - Guardia Sanframondi
      2021-05-15 173km
    • Stage 9 | Castel di Sangro - Campo Felice
      2021-05-16 160km
    • Stage 10 | l'Aquila - Foligno
      2021-05-17 140km
    • Rest Day 1
      2021-05-18
    • Stage 11 | Perugia - Montalcino
      2021-05-19 163km
    • Stage 12 | Siena - Bagno di Romagna
      2021-05-20 209kms
    • Stage 13 | Ravenna - Verona
      2021-05-21 197kms
    • Stage 14 | Cittadella - Monte Zoncolan
      2021-05-22 205kms
    • Stage 15 | Grado - Gorizia
      2021-05-23 145kms
    • Stage 16 | Sacile - Cortina d'Ampezzo
      2021-05-24 212kms
    • Rest Day 2
      2021-05-25
    • Stage 17 | Canazei - Sega di Ala
      2021-05-26 193kms
    • Stage 18 | Rovereto - Stradella
      2021-05-27 228kms
    • Stage 19 | Abbiategrasso - Alpe di Mera
      2021-05-28 178kms
    • Stage 20 | Verbania - Valle Spluga-Alpe Motta
      2021-05-29 164kms
    • Stage 21 | Senago - Milano (ITT)
      2021-05-30 29.4kms

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