On Friday 4 May, a 9.7km ITT in Jerusalem West will decide the first
Maglia Rosa. A highly technical route, with numerous bends and small
ascents and descents, this will be the Tappa Bartali, commemorating the
Italian cyclist who was awarded the honour of ‘Righteous Among the
Nations’ and whose name is engraved on the Wall of Honor in the Garden
of the Righteous in the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem.
From Haifa to Tel Aviv, with the finish on the straight seafront after
167km, the second stage is set to suit the sprinters and will pass
through Jaffa, an ancient city just outside of Tel Aviv.
The last stage in Israel from Be’er Sheva to Eilat on the Red Sea
includes a designated Mountains competition climb on the Ramon Crater
(at 40km wide, the largest crater in the world), and also features a
finish suitable for sprinters. Eilat will be the southernmost point
touched by the Giro d’Italia in its history.
The first rest day for the Giro caravan on Monday 7 May sees a transfer
to Sicily, which will host the next three stages. Stage four, from
Catania to Caltagirone (191km), finishes at the top of the city after
many undulations including a short uphill finale.
From Agrigento to Santa Ninfa (Valle del Belice), the 152km fifth stage
presents another finale suited to the finisseurs. In its first part, the
stage touches the Valle dei Templi and the Scala dei Turchi (Valley of
the Temples and the Scale of the Turks) and passes close to Selinunte.
In 2018, it will be 50 years after the earthquake that struck those
areas on 14 January 1968. The first summit finish of the 2018 Giro will
be on Mount Etna. The 163km stage from Caltanissetta features an
undulating first section until Paternò, where it starts a 25km climb
with an increasing gradient. Then comes the unprecedented climb to the
Etna; from Ragalna, on a narrow road, through the parks and solidified
lava flows, to reach the Astrophysical Observatory.
Sprinters will have new opportunities on the 7th stage from Pizzo to Praia a Mare, entirely along the Tyrrhenian coast.
On Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 May two uphill finishes make for a
challenging weekend: Montevergine di Mercogliano and the Gran Sasso
d’Italia (Campo Imperatore). The first, at 208km, starts from Praia a
Mare, crosses the Cilento, passing by the beaches of Salerno, then
climbs until the finish line in front of the Sanctuary. On the following
day, a very long stage at 224km, will bring the riders from Pesco
Sannita to Gran Sasso d’Italia, the Mountagne Pantani of this 101st
edition. A seemingly endless climb of 45km, leading to the finish line,
is punctuated only by a central section with a more gentle slope.
After the second rest day, in Abruzzo, the race restarts from Penne and
heads north to Umbria, finishing at Gualdo Tadino. At 239km it’s the
longest stage of the 2018 Giro, and features an undulating finale. A few
kilometers after the stage start, the race will pass next to the
remains of Hotel Rigopiano where on 18 January 2017 a major avalanche
resulted in 29 fatalities and many more injuries.
Stage 11 from Assisi to Osimo is dedicated to the memory of Michele
Scarponi. It’s characterised by medium to long climbs at the beginning
and the famous ‘walls’ (Muri) of the Marche inland at the end, including
the Filottrano Wall (Muro di Filottrano) with slopes up to 14% and
finale in the medieval historic center of Osimo.
On Thursday 17 May, the sprinters should be the protagonists – although
the circuit of the Tre Monti before the arrival could change the odds.
It is a fairly flat stage that will start from Osimo and end in Imola
with a finish in the motorsport race circuit.
Stage 13 will start from Ferrara and finish at Nervesa della Battaglia
after 180km with the short climb of the Montello in the finale. 100
years after the hostilities ceased, the Giro’s route passes some
significant sites of World War I.
Saturday 19 May witnesses a stage entirely in Friuli Venezia Giulia with
finish on the “Monster” Zoncolan. It starts from San Vito al
Tagliamento and, across 181km, presents no fewer than five Mountain
Classification sections throughout its 4,400m of vertical elevation: the
Monte di Ragogna with its steep slopes, the Avaglio ascent and then, in
the last 45km, without a single meter of flat, Passo Duron, Sella
Valcalda and Monte Zoncolan – from the toughest side, Ovaro.
Next, on Sunday 20, the Dolomites stage from Tolmezzo to Sappada with
four Mountain Classification sections. The route presents opportunities,
especially after Auronzo di Cadore where there will be placed two
unprecedented climbs in the Comelico area, both with gradients above
10%. The finale at Sappada features a slight ascent.
Following the last rest day in Trento (Monday 21 May), is a 34.5km
Individual Time Trial, ending in the city of Rovereto, home of the
Campana dei Caduti (“Bell of the Fallen”, cast using the bronze from the
cannons of the 19 nations that fought in World War I. This almost flat
route for ITT specialists has expected average speeds of around 50kph.
The Wine Stage has become an unmissable appointment on recent editions
of the Giro d’Italia. This year it will be an in-line stage in the
territory of Franciacorta, starting from Riva del Garda and finishing in
Iseo. It’s the last chance for the sprinters, before the final stage in
What follows are the three days with the last mountain stages that will
probably decide the Giro… On Thursday 24, the stage from Abbiategrasso
starts with a long and flat route until the final climb that leads to
The following day’s stage on the Alpi Occidentali (Western Alps) hosts
the Cima Coppi. It starts in Venaria Reale and features four long and
challenging climbs including the Colle di Lys, the Colle delle Finestre –
with a 9km gravel sector – and the arrival at Bardonecchia (Jaffreu)
after a 7km climb with average gradient of 9%.
On Saturday 25 the last mountain stage packs 4,500 meters vertical
elevation into just three climbs. Riders will move from Susa on a stage
that’s flat in its first part but then faces the unprecedented Col
Tsecore before a finale with the ascent of St Pantaléon and the last
summit finish in Cervinia.
We transfer to the capital for the finale of this 101st edition of the Giro. The 11.8km circuit in the center of Rome is to be repeated 10 times. It takes in many historic sites along Via Nazionale, Via Sistina, Piazza del Popolo, Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus), and the Terme di Caracalla (Baths of Caracalla) before arriving at finish line at the Fori Imperiali (Imperial Fora) under the Colosseum.