2020 Giro d'Italia

Every Key Stage Of The 2020 Giro d'Italia

Every Key Stage Of The 2020 Giro d'Italia

Three time trials, long stages and major mountains await the peloton in Italy.

Sep 29, 2020 by Michael Sheehan
Courses And Contenders For The Giro d'Italia

The 2020 Giro d’Italia was originally intended to be an appealing parcours for riders who were targeting the Tokyo Olympics at the end of the season. A lot changed since the route was originally penned out, but the stages have remained largely the same.

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The Giro had to abandon its plans for a grande partenza in Budapest. Though the global pandemic force the event to trade Hungary for the Mediterranean island of Sicily, the 21 days of racing will maintain a similar structure.

Here are the key stages in this year’s Giro.

Three Time Trials

Time trials may not be the most compelling television, but in a game where every second matters they are crucially important for anyone with general classification ambitions.

This year’s Giro is bookended by two short, flat time trials, both around 15 kilometers in length. The stage 1 time trial will indicate who has form early on in the race, and the stage 21 time trial into Milan will keep the pressure on the contenders until the very last moments of the Giro.

An additional 34-kilometer long time trial will be welcomed by powerhouse contenders such as Geraint Thomas on stage 14.

Stage 3 - Enna > Mount Etna

Mountain battles will take place early in this year’s Giro d’Italia. Stage three takes riders up the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna, a category-1 summit finish that averages 6.7% over 18.6 kilometers.

Mount Etna most recently hosted the impressive Mitchelton-Scott one-two of Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates. Simon Yates went on to lead the Giro until crumbling in the final week.

Stage 9 - San Salvo > Roccaraso

The first week of racing will end with a bang as the peloton covers 208 kilometers to the category-1 summit finish of Roccaraso. The climb itself is only 4.4% over 9.6 kilometers, but it is preceded by three other categorized climbs and relentlessly rolling terrain. It is an up and down day that will keep the GC riders on alert from start to finish.

Stage 15 - Base Aerea Rivolto > Piancavallo

The second week of racing should provide opportunities for riders like Elia Viviani, Michael Matthews and Peter Sagan to animate the maglia ciclamino competition, but the week comes to a close with another major mountain test.

After three category-2 climbs in quick succession, the peloton will tackle the 14.3 kilometer long category-1 summit finish of Piancavallo. Expect a show of force on the roads and in the sky in stage 15, as the race begins at the air base of Italy’s famous Frecce Tricolori.

Stage 17 - Bassano del Grappa > Madonna di Campiglio

The 6.7%, 11.9-kilometer long summit finish of the Madonna di Campiglio looks gentle compared to the two category-1 climbs stage 17 kicks off with. Throw in a category-3 climb for good measure and this stage has all the ingredients of a very consequential day in the mountains.

The only thing that might hold riders back on stage 17 is the even more daunting stage they will be faced with the next day.

Stage 18 - Pinzolo > Laghi di Cancano

The queen stage arrives in the middle of a reliably epic third week of the Giro. The race is uphill from the gun. After tackling the two opening climbs, the racers face a 60-kilometer long false-flat grind to the base of the iconic Stelvio.

Race organizers will cross their fingers that the weather behaves as the peloton makes its way up Italy’s highest paved road. The rider’s jobs will not be over at the top of the Stelvio however. The riders still in contention will drop off the other side of the alpine giant en route to yet another category-1 summit finish.

Stage 20 Alba > Sestriere

Stage 20 is the final opportunity for the mountain specialists to climb their way up the general classification before the closing time trial in Milan. Expect explosive racing with a tinge of desperation across the two category-1 climbs, a category-2 ascent, and culminating with one final category-1 summit finish. 

With only 16 kilometers of individual time trialing between Sestriere and the Giro’s finish in Milan, expect quite the showdown on the penultimate day of the Corsa Rosa.