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Viewers’ Guide to the 2023 Giro d’Italia, Part I

Viewers’ Guide to the 2023 Giro d’Italia, Part I

Aaaand we are back! The Viewers Guide to the [insert year] [insert race] is here… for the first time in a couple of years. You may recall that this was my preferred way to dispense with a course preview, at least for the Giro and the Tour (and once upon a time, the ENECO Tour). The point is to take a big-picture view of a grand tour and try to plan around what (for most of us) is a busy life, or at least time of year, so that we can prioritize watching the stages you really don’t want to miss, either for competition or aesthetic reasons. And, of course, for each stage I try to rate the unmissability by using a new metric. Past versions explored whether or not you should show up for work, go out with your partner, pay attention to your kids, etc…. or watch that day’s stage.

This time around, I won’t use a tradeoff; rather, I will rate the hotness (and thus watch-urgency) of each stage by pairing the stage with a Hot Take. I use capitalization because Hot Take Culture is apparently all the rage, in the way that the internet really likes to analyze what’s happening on the internet, and no I am not at all pessimistic about the future of humanity, nope. Anyway, if hot takes aren’t your thing, I’ll just say that by “hot” we typically mean “outlandish,” both in the substance of the take and the uniqueness. The latter can be an attribute, if not taken too far, because nobody needs to be told right now that Tadej Pogačar is really good at cycling.

The former is a bit of a tightrope, at least if we aren’t to veer into the realm of Stupid Hot Takes, which is a version of Hot Takes strictly for the purpose of getting attention (from people who hate you or are also idiots, or both). A good Hot Take should have at least a whiff of truth to it, or make you think about whether that may be the case. It certainly doesn’t have to be right, but it does have to be worth discussing.

So that’s a goal. The hotter the take, the hotter the stage. Rated on a scale of 1-5 chilis.

This year’s Giro will not fall short on this measure. The pressure rarely gets turned down, so maybe by the time I am done writing this the hotness distinctions will have lost all meaning. Maybe you should plan on just watching all 21 stages. Probably not, and we will try to help with that, but it won’t be easy.

2023 Giro d’Italia map

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