SHARE
COPY LINK

SPORT

Giro d’Italia 2020: The toughest stages of Italy’s legendary cycling race

Organizers on Thursday unveiled the route of the next Giro d'Italia. From volcanos to gruelling mountain ascents, here are the stages to watch out for.

Giro d'Italia 2020: The toughest stages of Italy's legendary cycling race
Riders approach Piancavallo in the Dolomites, which will also feature in the 2020 Giro d'Italia. Photo: Luk Benies/AFP

With seven uphill finishes and three individual time-trials, the 2020 Giro d'Italia will get underway in Budapest on May 9th with the riders finishing in front of Milan's iconic Duomo on May 31st.

READ ALSO: Ten awe-inspiring routes for cycling through Italy

After three stages in Hungary, the 3,579km race heads for Sicily, before crossing to the mainland and moving across the foot of Italy, up along the Adriatic coast, before hitting the Dolomites and the Alps in the gruelling final week.

Here's a look at five key stages out of 21 that could decide the pink jersey winner of the 103rd edition of the three-week race.

Stage 5: Enna – Mount Etna
Date: May 13th
Distance: 150 km
Difficulty: ****


Riding towards Etna in 2011. Photo: Luk Benies/AFP

The final day of three in Sicily sees the riders head from inland Enna east to the foot of the Mount Etna volcano, with a first-ever climb from Linguaglossa to Piano Provenzana over 18 km with average gradients of 7 percent, peaking at 10 percent in the finale.

Stage 15: Rivolto Air Base – Piancavallo
Date: May 24th
Distance: 183 km
Difficulty: ****

This mountain stage in the north-east gets underway in an Italian military Air Base near Udine, home to the Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team. It starts gently with 40 km of flat before a succession of climbs and descents to the foot of the final climb of Piancavallo in the Dolomites, with peaks of 14 percent.


Approaching Piancavallo in 2017. Photo: Luk Benies/AFP

Stage 17: Bassano Del Grappa – Madonna Di Campiglio
Date: May 27th
Distance:  202 km
Difficulty: *****

The pink jersey contenders will start to flex their muscles with three summit finishes in the final five days. This unrelenting mountain stage has a succession of four climbs, including Forcella Valbona and Monte Bondone with gradients over 10 percent in the second part of the ascent. After clearing the Passo Durone, the peloton will eventually tackle the closing climb to the Alpine resort of Madonna di Campiglio.

Stage 18: Pinzolo – Laghi Di Cancano
Date: May 28th
Distance: 209 km
Difficulty: *****


Climbing the Stelvio in 2017. Photo: Luk Benies/AFP

A colossal Alpine stage with 5,400 m vertical altitude in total over four climbs. The route starts uphill on Passo Campo Carlo Magno. The highest point of this year's Giro is reached on the Stelvio in the Alps with riders facing a gruelling 2,758m climb.

Stage 20: Alba – Sestriere
Date: May 30th
Distance: 200 km
Difficulty: *****

The last chance for the title contenders comes on the penultimate day in an Alpine stage crossing over to France. Riders will pass Colle dell'Agnello, Col d'Izoard and Monginevro, before the final climb up to Sestriere.


The complete route for the 2020 Giro d'Italia. Image: Giro d'Italia/Twitter

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

SPORT

PHOTOS: Italy’s most memorable medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The Tokyo Olympics were Italy's best Games yet, with Italian athletes taking home more medals than ever before. Here are the highlights.

PHOTOS: Italy’s most memorable medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs and Gianmarco Tamberi celebrate after winning golds in the 100m sprint and high jump. Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

With ten golds, ten silvers and 20 bronzes, the Azzurri representing Italy in Tokyo were tenth on the medal table overall and top in Italian sporting history.

Previously the most medals Italy had ever won at a single Olympics was 36, which the country hadn’t equalled since the Rome Games in 1960.

READ ALSO: ‘Do Italy just win everything now?’: Celebrations after Italian athletes take Olympic gold

As well as a ceremony at the presidential palace in September, Italy’s Olympic champions will be welcomed back with prize money from the Italian National Olympic Committee: gold medalists are awarded €180,000 each, while silver medallists get €90,000 and bronze medallists get €60,000.

And then there’s the glory: after an exceptionally successful summer of Italian sport and music, Italy’s Olympic team dubbed their athletes “stupor mundi” – Latin for ‘the wonder of the world’. 

Italy’s gold medals at the 2020 Olympics

  • Men’s high jump: Gianmarco Tamberi

Italian high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi couldn’t have been happier to share the gold with his fellow competitor Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, in what was hailed as one of the most touching moments of the Games. 

Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP
  • Men’s 100m: Lamont Marcell Jacobs

Relatively unknown long jumper-turned-sprinter Lamont Marcell Jacobs was in the form of his life when he outran the favourites and hurtled to first place in the biggest race in men’s athletics. He’s the first Italian ever to qualify for the Olympic final of the event, let alone win it.

Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP
  • Men’s 4 x 100m relay 

Lorenzo Patta, Lamont Marcell Jacobs, Eseosa Desalu and Filippo Tortu pulled off an astonishing victory by the smallest of margins, with Tortu flinging himself over the finish line to snatch gold from the favourites, Great Britain, by just a hundredth of a second. It was another historic first for Italy: the country has never before won the event, and the last time an Italian team got onto the podium was at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin (silver). 

Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP
  • Men’s 20km race walk: Massimo Stano
  • Women’s 20km race walk: Antonella Palmisano

Antonella Palmisano cemented Italy’s domination of the walking competition when she followed up her teammate Massimo Stano’s gold with her own victory a day later. She actually performed slightly faster at the Rio Olympics in 2016, but that time only earned her fourth last time round.

Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP
  • Track cycling, men’s team pursuit

Italy’s four-man team set a new track cycling world record by completing 16 laps (4km) in just 3:42.032. While Great Britain had long dominated the event and Denmark were reigning World Champions, no Italian team had won it since the Rome Olympics of 1960.

Photo by Greg Baker / AFP
  • Karate, men’s kumite -75kg: Luigi Busa
  • Rowing, lightweight women’s double sculls 
Valentina Rodini (L) and Federica Cesarini (R) celebrate their win in the lightweight women’s double sculls final. Photo by Luis ACOSTA / AFP
  • Sailing, mixed multihull – Nacra 17 foiling
  • Taekwondo, Men’s -58kg: Vito Dell’Aquila

Vito Dell’Aquila won Italy its first gold of the Games, at the age of just 20. It was his first Olympics but at this rate, it won’t be his last.

Photo by Javier SORIANO / AFP

Italy’s silver medals at the 2020 Olympics

  • Artistic gymnastics, women’s floor exercise: Vanessa Ferrari

Arguably Italy’s greatest competing gymnast, 30-year-old Vanessa Ferrari proved the value of experience when she became the first Italian to win an individual Olympic medal for women’s artistic gymnastics.

Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP
  • Men’s individual archery: Mauro Nespoli
  • Men’s kayak single 200m: Manfredi Rizza
  • Fencing, men’s foil individual: Daniele Garrozo
  • Fencing, men’s sabre individual: Luigi Samele
  • Fencing, men’s sabre team

Fencing has long been one of Italy’s strongest sports, and these Games were no exception. Altogether Italian fencers took three silvers and two bronzes in both team and individual events. 

Italy’s Luca Curatoli (L) competes against South Korea’s Gu Bongil in the men’s sabre team gold medal bout. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
  • Women’s skeet shooting: Diana Bacosi
  • Swimming, men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay
  • Swimming, men’s 800m freestyle: Gregorio Paltrinieri 
  • Weightlifting, women’s 64kg: Giorgia Bordignon
    Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

    Italy’s bronze medals at the 2020 Olympics

    • Women’s individual archery: Lucilla Boari
    • Women’s featherweight boxing: Irma Testa

    Irma “Butterfly” Testa made history as the first Italian woman to win an Olympic medal for boxing, a victory she dedicated to all of Italy’s female boxers.

    Photo by Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP
    • Women’s cycling road race: Elisa Longo Borghini 
    • Track cycling, men’s omnium: Elia Viviani 
    • Men’s 10km marathon swimming: Gregorio Paltrinieri 

    Gregorio Paltrinieri is one of the best long-distance swimmers there is, holding the men’s world record for the 1500m freestyle. He comes home from Tokyo with two medals: silver in the 800m freestyle, and bronze in the gruelling 10km swim.

    Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP
    • Swimming, men’s 100m breaststroke: Nicolo Martinenghi
    • Swimming, men’s 100m butterfly: Federico Burdisso
    • Swimming, men’s 4 x 100m medley relay
    • Swimming, women’s 800m freestyle: Simona Quadarella 
    • Judo, women’s -52kg: Odette Giuffrida
    Photo by Franck FIFE / AFP
    • Judo, women’s -63kg: Maria Centracchio
    • Fencing, women’s épée team
    • Fencing, women’s foil team 
    • Karate, women’s kata: Viviana Bottaro

    Accomplished karateka Viviana Bottaro won Italy its first Olympic medal in karate, which made its debut at the Tokyo Games. 

    Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP
    • Rowing, lightweight men’s double sculls
    • Rowing, men’s four
    • Rhythmic gymnastics, group all-around

    Nicknamed le Farfalle (‘the Butterflies’), Italy’s five-woman rhythmic gymnastic team provided one of Italy’s last medal-winning performances on the final day of the Games, and one of the most spectacular.

    Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP
    • Weightlifting, men’s 67kg: Mirko Zanni 
    • Weightlifting, men’s 81kg: Antonino Pizzolato
    • Wrestling, men’s freestyle 97kg: Abraham de Jesus Conyedo Ruano 
    SHOW COMMENTS