The 2022 Giro d’Italia will feature seven opportunities for sprinters, RCS Sport announced on Monday, with the flat stages spread out across the three weeks of racing in May.
In lieu of a traditional route presentation, the Italian organiser has decided to release the details of the 2022 race in instalments this week.
On Monday, RCS Sport outlined five more stages that lend themselves to the sprinters, although the organisation will not confirm precisely when those stages will take place until the route is outlined in full on Thursday.
The Hungarian Grande Partenza was already confirmed at a press conference in Budapest last week, and the 2022 Giro will get underway on Friday, May 6 with a 195km leg from Budapest to Visegrád.
The finale features a gentle, 5km climb towards the line, although RCS Sport has described it as a sprint stage. Or, as Elia Viviani pointed out: “Perhaps the arrival of the first stage is more favorable for a finisseur or a sprinter who can climb well.”
After a 9.2km time trial in Budapest on stage 2, the fast finishers will have another, more straightforward opportunity on the flat 201km run from Kaposvár tot Balatonfüred, before the Giro breaks for its first rest day to make the long transfer to Sicily.
It is expected that the Giro will take in two stages in Sicily after the Hungarian start, with another summit finish at Mount Etna heavily rumoured.
That remains to be seen, but it is certain that the 2022 Giro d'Italia will feature a 172km stage from Catania to Messina immediately before it crosses the strait to the Italian mainland. The stage will take in the category 2 ascent of Portella Mandrazzi, which might provide a springboard for attackers but a bunch finish seems inevitable in Messina.
The Giro’s first stage on the mainland – most likely stage 6 – will also suit the sprinters, with RCS Sport confirming a 192km stage in Calabria that runs northwards along the Tyrrhenian coast from Palmi to Scalea. There is one category 4 ascent when the route runs inland at Vibo Valentia, but the run-in on the seafront is flat and very fast.
From Calabria, the Giro route will begin to wind its way northwards through some hilly terrain and the next opportunity for the sprinters will not come until the race reaches Emilia-Romagna late in the second week.
RCS Sport has confirmed that the joint-longest stage of the 2022 Giro will be the 201km leg from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia, which passes through some of the towns affected by the 2012 earthquake, including San Giovanni in Persiceto, Crevalcore, Camposanto, Carpi, and Correggio.
The final part of the Giro will feature two further prospects of a bunch sprint. RCS Sport has described the 164km stage from San Remo to Cuneo as “a short stage of medium difficulty.”
The course is effectively the reverse of the novel, 2020 edition of Milan-San Remo, with the gruppo travelling to Imperia and then climbing the category 3 Colle di Nava before descending into Piedmont and passing through Sanctuario di Vicoforte and Mondovì ahead of the finish in Cuneo.
With the 2022 Giro expected to conclude with an individual time trial to Verona, the final bunch sprint of the race will come earlier in the third week with the short and fast stage from Borgo Valsugana to Treviso. Just 146km in length, the stage runs through the gentle undulations of the Prosecco country between Valdobbiadene and Refrontolo. The sharp climb of the Muro di Ca’ del Poggio comes with 48km remaining ahead of a flat run-in to Treviso.
“I would like to be able to fight to win the maglia ciclamino again and try to win some stages like the Treviso stage, which is close to where most of my fans are, or that of Reggio Emilia,” said Viviani, who has re-joined Ineos from Cofidis for next season. “There is certainly the opportunity to repeat my performance at the 2018 Giro: that would be a dream.”
RCS Sport will unveil the 2022 Giro's hilly stages on Tuesday and the high-mountain stages on Wednesday before confirming the finale and the details of the entire route on Thursday. The 2022 Giro will take place from May 6 to May 29.
2022 Giro d'Italia - confirmed stages
Stage 1: Budapest – Visegrád, 195km
Stage 2: Budapest, 9.2km (ITT)
Stage 3: Kaposvár – Balatonfüred, 201km
Stage 5: Catania – Messina, 172km
Stage 6: Palmi – Scalea, 192km
Santarcangelo di Romagna – Reggio Emilia, 201km
San Remo-Cuneo, 164km
Borgo Valsugana – Treviso, 146km
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