In progress (Image credit: RCS Sport)

The 105th Giro d’Italia will start on 6 May 2022: from Budapest to Verona until 26 May, for 3 weeks the contenders will fight hard to conquest la ‘Maglia Rosa” won last here by Egan Bernal. There will be 7 stages for sprinters, 6 medium-mountain stages, 6 high-mountain stages (4 with uphill finish) and 2 time trial stages (26 km in total), for a total of 3410 km to cover. This will be the 14th departure from abroad for the “Corsa Rosa” with a departure from the Hungarian capital and the end in Verona that hosted the final in four occasions, 1981, 1984, 2010 and 2019, all with an individual time trial.

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3 Dec 21 – The possible startlist for the Giro d’Italia 2022 is slowly beginning to be defined. Richard Carapaz, Vincenzo Nibali, Miguel Angel Lopez, Simon Yates and now Emanuel Buchmann. The German of Bora-Hansgrohe, already fourth at the 2019 Tour, had tried to make the podium of the general classification (GC) at the Corsa Rosa this season, but a bad crash cut him out of the game while he was sixth in the GC less than 40 seconds from the podium. The 29-year-old from Ravensburg spoke to the German website radsport-news, stating that he would be really willing to return to the Giro d’Italia, supported by a strong team that would also see Matteo Fabbro and Giovanni Aleotti at the start. Miguel Angel Lopez will be the leader of the Astana team at the start of the 2022 Giro d’Italia. In an interview given to on the occasion of the team presentation, the Kazakh team confirmed that the Colombian climber will participate in the Giro, while Alexey Lutsenko should focus on the Tour de France.

Mauro Vegni (Giro D’italia race Director) – “We thought of this Giro d’Italia wanting to give from day one important opportunities to battle and excite the public. The pink jersey could change very often on such a demanding route, perhaps one of the toughest in recent years with almost 51,000 metres of elevation gain“…..”The Santa Cristina will be the Pantani mountain, but there will also be the Mortirolo, the Pordoi as the Cima Coppi and again the Fedaia and Aprica. These are all climbs that have made the history of the pink race”….”The two time trials will be important: the first one will assign a new pink jersey, while the second one could change the destiny of the Giro 2022 as happened two years ago between Hindley and Geoghegan Hart. The kilometres are few at the suggestion of the riders”…”It would be great if someone tried the Giro-Tour double, a feat that has been missing since 1998 and that still bears the name of Marco Pantani”.

Joao Almeida (UAE) – “If I had to choose a race to win in my career it would certainly be the Giro, I have a history to finish there! …The mountain stages will certainly be decisive, because the time trial kilometres are few. There will be a time trial at the start in Hungary, nine kilometres long, and then on the last day, another one of just 17 kilometres. That’s why the climbs will count more. For me it won’t be very advantageous to have only these two time trials, I’d have preferred more kilometres against the clock”.

Stage 1: Budapest-Visegrad (195 Km) **

Stage through the plains north of the capital to the Slovakian border marked by the Danube. After 193.3 km without any significative difficulty, once in the centre of Visegrad, the route climbs about 5 km at 5.5% to the imposing citadel ( the royal castle) where the first Maglia Rosa will be awarded. An average gradient of nearly 6% will blow out the chances of the sprinters and give a puncher an early chance to wear pink.

Stage 2: Budapest-Budapest (9,2 Km) – Time Trail **

Back in Budapest, the 9.2km time trial will go through the Hungarian capital from Pest to the historic centre of Buda. Departure from Heroes’ Square to head straight for the Danube, which separates the two souls of the city. Leaving the river, after a technical route, the riders will face a 1.3km climb to the finish line, with peaks of 14% in the first part and an average gradient is 5% which, partly on cobblestones, leads to the square where the finish line is located.

Stage 3: Kaposvàr-Balatonfured (201 Km) *

Stage to Lake Balaton, the sea of Hungary. The landscape is called the Provence of Hungary and features the last 50km along the coast with only the briefest of bumps at Tihany Abbey. The stage will be the joint longest in the race at 201km and should be the first real chance for sprinters.The finish is almost without corners for the first sprint by a compact group.

Rest Day

Stage 4: Avola-Etna (166 Km) ****

Stage in the Sicilian hinterland with uphill finish. The final climb, which ends at the rifugio Sapienza as on other occasions, tackles an unusual route in its own way. The climb is approached from Ragalna (as in 2018), to move onto the classic Nicolosi side (as in 2011) for the final 14km.

Stage 5: Catania-Messina (172 Km) **

From Catania to Messina, starting on the east coast and leading via the long Cat.2 GPM of Portella Mandrazzi to the north coast. This ascent comes early enough for everything to regroup from possible early attach and in time for sprinters to reorganise for a presumable bunch sprint in Messina, Vincenzo Nibali home town.

Stage 6: Palmi-Scalea (192 Km) *

A slightly undulating stage which will probably end in a sprint. After a slightly bumpy first part the race follows the Tirrena coast of Calabria with its short ups and downs. The final is expected to be very fast for the compact group.

Stage 7: Diamante-Potenza (198 Km) ****

Stage seven, the second on the Peninsula, is a very demanding stage through the Calabrian-Lucanian mountains with 198 kilometres and 4,500 metres of elevation gain worthy of a Dolomite stage, although the maximum altitude is ‘only’ of 1,405 metres. After 37km from Maratea the sequence of more or less demanding climbs is uninterrupted. After the climbs of Passo Colla and Monte Sirino, the route will reach the hardest climb of this stage, Monte Scuro. After 123km, the climbs of Viaggiano followed by a short descent will lead the very demanding Cat 2 Monte Scuro with 6 kilometres at 10%. The following climb brings to Calvello, no marked as a Gpm but with several stretches of 10-12%. The last climb, La Sellata, is the most rideable but long enough to create more problems to the riders. With six km to go a final bump in Potenza scale may offer a further opportunity to the brave raider that wants to conquest a solo win.

Stage 8: Napoli-Napoli (149 Km)

Short and intense stage. From Naples the race heads to Bacoli and begins a demanding circuit of around 19km between Bacoli and Monte di Procida to be covered five times. At the end of the last lap, the race returns to Naples where a smaller group is likely to appear for the final sprint on the seafront in Via Caracciolo, where the finish will be awarded.

Stage 9: Isernia-Blockhaus (187 Km) ****

High mountainous stage of the Apennines and one of the hardest of this Giro with around 5000m of elevation gain in 187km. From the first kilometres from Isernia to Rionero Sannitico, the route heads upwards to reach the first summit at Roccaraso. Then the final 50km, with the double climb to Blockhaus. From Pretoro we reach Passo Lanciano, a cat.1 GPM, 13.6km ascent with an average gradient of 8.4% and sections of 14%. From the top a long descent to Lettomanoppello and then climbing to the finish from Roccamorice as in 2017. This is the hardest of the three roads up to the Blockhaus with the last 13 km really hard with several sectors featuring double-digit gradients and the final 10km boasts an average gradient of 9.4%. The Blockhaus was first featured in 1967, when a young Eddy Merckx was the stage winner, the Belgian five years later faced one of the rare crises of his career and distanced by José Manuel Fuente on a split stage of just 48km.

Rest Day

Stage 10: Pescara-Jesi (194 Km) ***

Mixed stage with the first part flat and coastal and the second undulating along the Walls of the Jesi area. After Civitanova Marche there are no obvious stretches of rest. All challenging climbs, with some very steep sections, which will bring a select group to Jesi for the final sprint.

Stage 11: Santarcangelo-Reggio Emilia (201 Km) *

Completely flat stage which together with the third is the longest of the Giro. From the start to Bologna, the route follows the Via Consolare Emilia almost always straight through the Emilia plain.

Stage 12: Parma-Genova (186 Km) ***

Another tricky, medium mountain stage from Parma to Genoa for breakaways. The first part of the stage is a constant climb to enter Liguria through the Passo del Bocco. A quick descent to Chiavari, where Wouter Weylandt tragically lost his life on the 2011 Giro, and once on the coast, the biggest difficulties begin. The route takes in the Cat 3 Ruta-Chiesa Vecchia and then the new Cat 2 ascent of Monte Becca, which connects to Monte Fasce, before the final descent to the finish in Genoa.

Stage 13: Sanremo-Cuneo (157 Km) **

A relatively short stage of medium difficulty. It runs in the opposite direction to what was the summer Sanremo of 2020. From Sanremo you pass through Imperia to climb up to Colle di Nava and once in Ceva turn towards Cuneo. A fast finish along the Cuneo plain to reach the final sprint.

Stage 14: Santena-Torino (153 Km) ****

Expect a very tough day, in this short but intense stage with the only flat stretch planned in the initial 10km. The stage features an up-and-down circuit, an elevation gain of 3,600 metres concentrated in just 153 kilometres. The riders will have to climb three times up the Colle della Maddalena (the highest point of the hills surrounding Turin with its 715 metres) and two times to Superga (Bric del Duca). In the final part of the race there is the Santa Brigida climb, before heading towards the finish line in front of the Gran Madre at the end of the straight stretch of Corso Moncalieri.

Stage 15: Rivarolo Canavese-Cogne (177 Km) ****

Typical stage in the Western Alps with very long climbs, although without excessive gradients. It climbs in quick succession from Pila to Les Fleurs, Verrogne and Cogne to finish in the Gran Paradiso National Park, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Over 46km of the last 80km will all be uphill.

Stage 16: Salò-Aprica (200 Km) ****

The 200km Stage 16 depart from Salò to enter the Val Sabbia and after short Bagolino climb the challenging Cat.1 Goletto di Cadino for the first time in 24 years. Going up the Val Camonica riders will climb the Mortirolo from Monno, considered the easier side but still tough and demanding, to descend to Grosio and follow the roads of the Sforzato wine climbing the short but steep climb to Teglio. Then the 13.5km of Santa Cristina where Marco Pantani attached Miguel Indurain and Evgeni Berzin on his way to securing the maglia rosa in 1998. The final six kilometres have an average gradient of over 10% and they’re followed by a fast 6km descent to the line at Aprica.

Stage 17: Ponte di Legno-Lavarone (165 Km) ****

Start upwards towards the Passo del Tonale followed by a stretch of over 70 km always substantially downhill. After crossing the Adige River we climb the Palù di Giovo climb, passing through the Valle dei Mocheni to reach Pergine Valsugana. After Pergine you climb the Passo del Vetriolo from an unseen side and the Menador climb. After the GPM of Monte Rovere a few undulating kilometres will bring a very small group to the finish.

Stage 18: Borgo Valsugana-Treviso (146 Km) *

Last compact bunch sprint of Giro 2022. The first part is slightly undulating with the historic Scale di Primolano to access the Piave valley and then cross the Prosecco production area between Valdobbiadene and Refrontolo. The last climb is the short Muro di Ca’ del Poggio to reach the Treviso plain and tackle the final circuit before the final sprint.

Stage 19: Marano Lagunare-Santuario di Castelmonte (178 Km) ***

A mid-mountain stage with pitfalls, an uphill finish and an overrun. Departure from Marano Lagunare to climb all the lowlands up to the moraine hills of Udine. After crossing Buja we reach the Julian Pre-Alps with the Villanova Caves followed by the Tanamea Pass. Entry into Slovenia through the Uccea pass that leads directly to Kobarid. This is where one of the unprecedented climbs of the Giro 2022 begins: Mount Kolovrat, 10 km at almost 10%. A long false-flat descent for the return to Italy and from Cividale del Friuli you attack the climb that leads to the Sanctuary of Castelmonte, which has dominated the Cividale area for almost 1000 years.

Stage 20: Belluno-Marmolada (167 Km) *****

Classic Dolomite stage: the last uphill finish of the Giro d’Italia 2022. Departure from Belluno with a short detour along the Piave valley. You then enter the Cordevole valley, which you climb through Agordo and Cencenighe. This is where the final triptych of climbs begins, with the San Pellegrino Pass (gradients of over 15% after Falcade) followed by the Pordoi Pass (Cima Coppi 2022) and finally the Fedaia Pass with the famous Malga Ciapela straight, which always has gradients of over 10% and reaches 18%.

Stage 21: Verona-Verona (17,1 Km) – Time Trial ***

The race’s lowest amount of time trialling in sixty years, with just 26.3km on the route. This time trial on the Circuito delle Torricelle, the one of the Verona World Championships in 1999 and 2004, with match the parcours with an anti-clockwise route. First part along straight and very wide lanes. Then a climb of around 5% with some “steps” and a slightly narrower roadway. After the GPM and the intermediate time trial at the top of the climb there is a fast 4 km descent. The last 3 km along the city streets with some challenging corners. Arrival in Piazza Bra and the Arena of Verona.

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