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Viewers’ Guide to the Giro d’Italia: Nine Reasons To Celebrate the Corsa Rosa

Viewers’ Guide to the Giro d’Italia: Nine Reasons To Celebrate the Corsa Rosa

With two stages in the books, and about a week spent trying to think of something original to say in my (checks watch) 18th Giro d’Italia preview, I would say it all comes down to this: there is always a good reason to celebrate the Corsa Rosa. Sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper.

Look, I am not saying that true happiness can be found in watching professional cycling (although I’m not saying it can’t either). I am simply saying that if true happiness could be found from watching professional cycling, the folks at the Giro d’Italia would be first in line to help people realize this precious goal. Nobody wants you to love their race more than our Italian friends. By comparison, I think the Tour de France (understandably) wouldn’t mind if people found a little less happiness at their race sometimes, and that’s even before we apply any generalizations about French attitudes toward visitors. The Vuelta organizers probably would love to be the source of greater joy, but the race starts in August in Spain, at which point half the country is overrun with tourists, and the other half is enduring weather that makes it borderline hostile to human habitation. So instead they just throw in a million climbs and sit back while the race turns incredible. You make do with what you can.

[I’m not sure what the Flanders Classics folks want in terms of worldwide embrace; probably they find their broader appreciation amusing for a moment, and then go back to what they were doing.]

Anyway, as I was saying, this year’s Giro will be a joyful event, and the best possible evidence I can offer you to support this is the fact that EVERYONE thinks the race is going to suck. They think that even more so now, after 48 hours and the incredibly predictable accelerations of Tadej Pogačar. I’m not denying thinking this myself, especially since the crash that put Wout Van Aert out of the race.

But that is not how cycling works. Just when you think the race is going to be the ultimate showdown, something goes awry and the battle fails to materialize. And similarly, just when you have given up on a good race materializing, well now… that’s when cycling has you just where they want you. And before you can start to unpack the (ahem) logic that may or may not be involved in this assessment, here is a cool graphic of the 2024 Giro stages to divert your attention:

Look at all those stages!

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