The Giro d'Italia will be the first Grand Tour of the season and it will be an edition largely favorable to the climbers. Taking place from the 6th to the 29th of May, the 21 stages will dictate the winner of what is one of the most disputed races in the calendar.
The Grande Partenza takes place in Hungary this year after last year's start was postponed. The three opening stages will see three different types of riders battle for the win, as the opening day will see a 5.5 kilometer long climb at 4.2% closing the stage. The he second is a 9.2-kilometer time-trial with a hilltop finish, whilst the third should see a bunch sprint.
As the peloton flies into Italy, the race moves on in Sicily with the classic summit finish at Mount Etna for stage four, with a 22.9-kilometer ascent at 6% average gradient which should be the first crucial day for the overall classification. Stages five and six are designed for the sprinters, whilst stage seven is another important day for the GC riders as they tackle 4700 meters of climbing in a very rugged day in the Appennines.
Stage eight sees an urban circuit around Napoli which should be interesting between the sprinters and attackers, whilst the final day of the first week sees a brutal summit finish at Blockhaus in what can be considered the first queen stage of the race. Stage ten to Jesi has a very rugged finale which should suit the puncheurs, whilst stage 11 will be a transition day through the plains of Emilia-Romagna.
Profiles Giro d'Italia 2022
Stages 12 and 13 have very interesting profiles, where sprints can be expected however in both there are traps which can get in the way. Genova and Cuneo will host these stages, as the race heads closer to the Alps. Before they do so though, they will have a day in Torino which will see a very hard circuit full of steep and punchy ascents that can cause some serious damage, away from the steady racing that the riders will find in the mountains.
Stage 15 will be the first in the Alps, as the peloton will head to the Aosta valley for a treble of long ascents to wrap off the second week of racing. Into the third week, stage 16 is immediately a shock to the system, with over 5000 meters of climbing including the Passo dello Mortirolo in a route that should see the main attacks on the final ascent to the Valico Santa Catarina (12.7Km at 8.1%) before the descent into Aprica. Stage 17 is equally as hard, with a double-ascent near the finale which will pose a massive obstacle to all riders. The final ascent to Monterovere is 8 kilometers long at 9.6%, and antecedes a flat finale in Lavarone.
Final startlist Giro d'Italia with Van der Poel, Carapaz, Cavendish, Ewan, López and Valverde
Stage 18 provides the sprinters with one final opportunity, albeit in a day that features a sharp and steep climb which can cause issues to some. Stage 19 sees the peloton head into Slovenia for another high-mountain day, with the Kolovrat ascent (10.3Km at 9.1%) before descending back into Italy for a small summit finish in Friuli. Stage 20 is the final day in the mountains, with a hattrick of passes in the Dolomites - San Pellegrino, Pordoi and Fedaia - to wrap off the competition in the hardest way possible. The final day will see a time-trial into Verona to conclude the race.
**** Richard Carapaz, João Almeida
*** Simon Yates, Miguel Ángel López, Pello Bilbao
** Romain Bardet, Mikel Landa, Tom Dumoulin, Giulio Ciccone
* Alejandro Valverde, Guillaume Martin, Thymen Arensman, Richie Porte, Jai Hindley
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