Although Mitchelton Scott’s Matt White has pointed to the final week of the 2020 Giro d’Italia, and described it as brutal, the sports directeur has also predicted that GC riders will have to arrive at the race in top form owing to key stages in the opening few days.
The 2020 Giro d’Italia route was unveiled in Milan on Thursday with the 103rd edition of the corsa rosa starting in Budapest on May 9 and concluding in Milan on May 31. The race includes 58.8km of individual time trialing but the final seven days also include five mountain stages, with three of those containing 5,000 metres of climbing.
The Queen stage from Pinzolo to Laghi di Cancano includes the Campo Carlo Magno and Passo Castrin climb and then tackles the Passo dello Stelvio before a descent and the final climb up to Laghi di Cancano.
"It’s a filthy Giro, that last week has five mountain stages and three of them are over 200 kilometres, plus the TT," White said in a statement released by Mitchelton Scott.
"That’s not a soft landing. The only easier part of the race is stages 8, nine and 11, the second week is the easiest part for sure but the last week is brutal."
"The thing that initially stands out for me is the length of the stages, there’s 10 stages over 200 kilometres, that’s long. I think there’s only one stage at the Tour de France that goes over 200 and at the Giro there’s 10. I think the average kilometres per day works out to be around 170 per day and that’s with three short time trials."
The opening week kicks off with an 8.6km time trial but a tricky stage 4 to Argigento is followed by a summit finish at the top of Mount Enta. It means that riders targeting the maglia rosa will not be able to ride themselves into form over the first week of the race.
"You’re going to have to be ready to rock and roll straight away because you don’t want to be giving away time on stage one, then straight away on stage four and five in Sicily you have a four kilometre hilltop finish and then a climb up Etna, and that’s in the first five days, so there will be no riding into the race."
White gave no indication as to which of his GC candidates would target the Giro d’Italia but with Simon and Adam Yates, and former Giro podium finisher Esteban Chaves in the mix, the Australian team director has time to mull over his options. The next few months will determine Mitchelton Scott’s game plan for the race with the team set to recon a flurry of stages.
"Besides Hungary, that we’re not going to recon, we’re going to have to go and look at 12 stages. There’s a lot of new stuff there that we haven’t used before, there’s a lot of tricky finals that are definitely worth checking out. So, over the next four or five months between the sports directors we're going to check a big chunk of the Giro out."
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