Skip to main content

Riders welcome balanced 2014 Giro d'Italia route

Image 1 of 27

2013 Giro d'Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali presents the new route

2013 Giro d'Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali presents the new route (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 2 of 27

The 2014 Giro d'Italia route

The 2014 Giro d'Italia route
Image 3 of 27

Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani - CSF)

Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani - CSF) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 4 of 27

Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard)

Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 5 of 27

Quintana, Valverde and Uran

Quintana, Valverde and Uran (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 6 of 27

Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani - CSF)

Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani - CSF) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 7 of 27

Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida)

Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 8 of 27

Cadel Evans will ride the Giro next year

Cadel Evans will ride the Giro next year (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 9 of 27

2013 Giro winner Vincenzo Nibali

2013 Giro winner Vincenzo Nibali (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 10 of 27

Nairo Quintana will target the Tour de France but was out in Milan

Nairo Quintana will target the Tour de France but was out in Milan (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 11 of 27

Michele Scarponi is without a team for 2014

Michele Scarponi is without a team for 2014 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 12 of 27

Vincenzo Nibali and Nicolas Roche

Vincenzo Nibali and Nicolas Roche (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 13 of 27

Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali watch on

Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali watch on (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 14 of 27

Alejandro Valverde and Rigoberto Uran

Alejandro Valverde and Rigoberto Uran (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 15 of 27

Vincenzo Nibali replaces the Trofeo Senza Fine.

Vincenzo Nibali replaces the Trofeo Senza Fine. (Image credit: Sirotti)
Image 16 of 27

The 2014 Giro will pay tribute to Marco Pantani

The 2014 Giro will pay tribute to Marco Pantani (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 17 of 27

Vincenzo Nibali with the route of the 2014 Giro d'Italia.

Vincenzo Nibali with the route of the 2014 Giro d'Italia. (Image credit: Sirotti)
Image 18 of 27

Gazzetta dello Sport editor Andrea Monti reveals the route of the 2014 Giro d'Italia.

Gazzetta dello Sport editor Andrea Monti reveals the route of the 2014 Giro d'Italia. (Image credit: Sirotti)
Image 19 of 27

Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi at the presentation of the route of the 2014 Giro d'Italia.

Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi at the presentation of the route of the 2014 Giro d'Italia. (Image credit: Sirotti)
Image 20 of 27

Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali, Michele Scarponi and Cadel Evans at the 2014 Giro d'Italia route presentation.

Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali, Michele Scarponi and Cadel Evans at the 2014 Giro d'Italia route presentation. (Image credit: Sirotti)
Image 21 of 27

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was crowned the 2013 Giro d'Italia winner

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was crowned the 2013 Giro d'Italia winner (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 22 of 27

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was crowned the 2013 Giro d'Italia winner

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was crowned the 2013 Giro d'Italia winner (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 23 of 27

Basso, Nibali, Scarponi and Evans

Basso, Nibali, Scarponi and Evans (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 24 of 27

Will these riders all take part in the 2014 Giro?

Will these riders all take part in the 2014 Giro? (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 25 of 27

Vincenzo Nibali looks set to compete at the Tour de France in 2014

Vincenzo Nibali looks set to compete at the Tour de France in 2014 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 26 of 27

The crowds gather for the 2014 Giro d'Italia presentation

The crowds gather for the 2014 Giro d'Italia presentation (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 27 of 27

Riders flock to the stage for the Giro d'Italia presentation in Milan

Riders flock to the stage for the Giro d'Italia presentation in Milan (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

“A more human Giro” has been the refrain at RCS Sport since Angelo Zomegnan handed over the reins of the race in 2011, and the route of the 2014 Giro d’Italia was met with early approval on that score by the riders on hand at the presentation in Milan’s Palazzo del Ghiaccio on Monday afternoon.

As ever, the Giro’s grand denouement takes place in the high mountains of the final week, with summit finishes at Oropa, Montecampione – dedicated to the memory of Marco Pantani – Val Martello, Rifugio Panarotta and Monte Zoncolan, as well as a time trial to Monte Grappa.

However, transfers are significantly reduced throughout the race – even allowing for the long haul from Dublin back to Italy ahead of stage 4 – while there is less climbing in the opening ten days compared to the 2013 Giro.

“This race leaves the major climbs until the end, and it’s also a Giro with relatively few transfers, apart from the return from Ireland, which is balanced by the exceptional permission for a third rest day,” race director Mauro Vegni said.

“We’re heading back to something like the Giro of the 1970s in terms of transfers, which are much reduced on last year. We don’t want impossible things anymore. We’ve paid a lot of attention to more human things.”

Vegni’s words were echoed by Gazzetta dello Sport editor Andrea Monti, who served as master of ceremonies for the afternoon’s proceedings in the absence of suspended RCS Sport director Michele Acquarone.

“This is a human Giro. Yes, it’s the hardest race in the world’s most beautiful place, but it doesn’t ask too much,” Monti said. “The Giro and cycling don’t need a superhero. They need men who win in a credible way.”

Nibali and Basso look to final week

Last May’s winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) may yet forgo the 2014 race in order to focus on challenging for the Tour de France, but he hailed what he agreed was a balanced Giro route. In particular, he pointed to the Barolo time trial on stage 12 and the string of mountain stages in the final week as decisive.

“I think the 46km time trial could be very important tactically. It doesn’t look very hard but it climbs at the end, and it comes just before the tough final eight days,” Nibali said. “The first stages in Ireland could be tough, too, as it looks like it’s all along the coast and it could be windy. The winner will be someone capable on all terrains, you’ll need to be complete. The final week will be the key.”

Ivan Basso (Cannondale) missed out on the 2013 Giro due to a perineal cyst but is hopeful that he can return to the race next year in search of a third title. He won in 2006 and again in 2010, following his return from suspension for his links to Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.

“It’s certainly a balanced Giro but my experience teaches me that even the early stages could be difficult with the wind and road conditions,” Basso said. “Still, the hardest climbs are in the finale. It’s easier to make the difference in the final week and it’s a Giro I like.”

Basso’s 2010 Giro victory was built around his stage victory on the Zoncolan, and the climb in Friuli features on the penultimate stage this time around, on the eve of the finale in Trieste. “The climbs where you win stay in your heart and it would be great to crown my career with a third Giro win there. Nothing is impossible.”

Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) has yet to sign a contract for next year – “I’ll see the route first and then decide if it’s worth riding next year,” he quipped before the presentation – but he knows how he would approach the 2014 Giro.

“As the race goes on, it gets harder. The first part seems easier but nothing is a given. I’d hope not to lose time early on and save as much energy as possible for the finale,” said Scarponi, who is also looking forward to the Zoncolan. “It’s one of the hardest climbs I’ve ever done and it’s always decisive. The winner there usually goes on to finish on the podium or win overall.”

The foreign contenders

Cadel Evans (BMC) has already thrown his hat into the ring for the 2014 Giro, buoyed by his third place finish in 2013 after limited preparation. The veteran Australian almost won his debut Giro in 2002 only to suffer hunger knock on the road to Folgaria and hand victory to Paolo Savoldelli.

“I started off in grand tours with Mapei in 2002, when I lost the pink jersey at the end,” Evans said. “I have an appetite for the Giro since that hunger crisis and I want to finish it well.

“The first week seems easy, but like always you have to stay attentive to avoid problems. In the final week, you have to manage your strength and be ready for the big mountains.”

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) seems likely to build his 2014 season around toppling Chris Froome at the Tour de France, but he was admiring in his assessment of the Giro route.

“I think the route is quite nice. I like the route and the third week in particular is difficult, with some tough mountain stages,” he said.

Irishman Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) has particular motivation to be on the start line in Belfast, and he said that he hopes to convince his team to send him to the Giro in 2014.

“I was too young to take part in the Tour de France in 1998 when it started in Ireland, and I’ll do everything I can to be at the Giro next May,” said Roche, whose father Stephen – Giro winner in 1987 after an internecine struggle with Roberto Visentini – was also in Milan on Monday.

“It’s a very nice route and very balanced. You need to be consistent every day and keep your eyes open, because there could be echelons in the first week,” said Stephen Roche.

Pozzato appreciates dialogue

The one discordant note of the afternoon came from Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida), who noted that while there was a liberal sprinkling of chances for pure sprinters and climbers to shine, there were very few transitional stages on the route.

“There’s a lot for sprinters and climbers but for riders like me there isn’t much,” said Pozzato. “Still, I hope I’m there. It’s my favourite race and as an Italian I want to be there, hopefully with an overall contender in my team.”

Pozzato lauded the reduced amount of post-stage transfers at next year’s Giro, and praised the efforts RCS Sport made to engage with riders and seek their feedback in the months since the 2013 Giro finished in Brescia.

“They spoke with the riders after the Giro and we asked them to reduce the transfers. RCS have shown themselves very open to dialogue with the riders in terms of safety and transfers, and I have to thank them,” Pozzato said. “And in the end, it will all make a more spectacular Giro as the riders will have more energy.”