When the route for the 2023 Giro d’Italia was unveiled, the most striking thing about it was the drastic increase in time trialling.
Overall, there will be three time trials, with a flat 18.4km opening stage in Abruzzo, an 18.6km mountain time trial in Friuli-Venezia Giulia on the penultimate stage, and a lengthy 33.6km ITT in Emilia Romagna at the end of the first week. Added all together, that makes for a total of 70.6 time trialling kilometres — the most of any Giro since the 2013 edition, and almost three times as many as at last year’s.
The trend in recent seasons has been for less time trialling to be included in Grand Tours, so this significant reversal will give an entirely different crop of riders the chance to fight for the maglia rosa.
While even the toughest mountain top finishes often see the top GC contenders separated by a matter of seconds, those who also specialise against the clock have the opportunity to make gains in these time trial stages that could be decisive in determining the fate of the pink jersey.
Giro d’Italia 2023 map and route
Of course, this being the Giro d’Italia, there’s still plenty of climbing to account for. Summit finishes in the Apennines, the Alps and the Dolomites provide plenty of opportunities for climbers to attack, and those who aren’t confident with their time trialling will be keen to use every opportunity to make gains where the terrain suits them. The final week, in particular, looks like it’ll provide us with fireworks.
Prior to that, the riders will make their way gradually up north through the country following the Grande Partenza in Abruzzo. There will be plenty of stages for the sprinters along the way, but perhaps not as many as it might seem at first glance — many of the days with flat finales feature a substantial amount of climbing earlier on, which could play into the hands of breakaways.
And for the first time since 2018, the Giro will finish in the nation’s capital of Rome, having alternated between Milan and Verona in recent years.
Giro d’Italia 2023 – stage one: Fossacesia > Ortona, 18.4km
The first maglia rosa of the 2023 edition will be worn by whichever time triallist can complete this mostly flat (apart from an uphill final kilometre) 18km course along the Abruzzo coastline the quickest.
Giro d’Italia 2023 – stage two: Teramo > San Salvo, 204km
A few small hills during the opening half of the first road stage of the Giro are unlikely to be…
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