Giro d’Italia 2023 route revealed: three time trials, cruel climbs, and an eye-watering finale
RCS Sport revealed the course that will dictate who wins the pink jersey in 2023. Here's what you need to know.
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The 2023 Giro d’Italia will be oldschool as ever, with big stages, big mountains and a big amount of TT time on tap for the 106th edition between Ortona and Roma.
RCS Sport unleashed the parcours for next year’s Italian tour on Monday, and it stuck to the tried-and-tested Giro script.
The 2023 maglia rosa will be awarded to whoever emerges top after seventy kilometers against the clock, six stages exceeding 200km, three days of 5,000m climbing, and a typically knee-trembling third week.
A course packing 52 flat time trial kilometers over two stages before a severe mountain TT will make for a mouth-watering prospect for big-engined classification contenders like Remco Evenepoel, Geraint Thomas and Primož Roglič.
It remains unknown at this point whether defending champion Jay Hindley will be back to claim his number one bib.
Giro d’Italia 2023 route: Need to know numbers
- Ortona-Roma, May 6-28
- Total of 3,449km and 51,300m ascent
- Three time trial stages totaling 71km
- Up to eight possible sprinter stages
- Three stages with more than 5,000m gain
- Six stages longer than 200km
Week One: GC-shaping time trials and a mountaintop finish
The Giro’s “Grande Partenza” returns to home shores for 2023 after a trip to Hungary this year.
The Abruzzo region hosts the first two stages of next year’s race, with a flat opening 18km time trial tracking north along the Adriatic coast set to shuffle the GC deck and settle the nerves for the first road stage.
From there, the Giro rumbles south and west as it tracks to the opposite coast.
Sprinters will get their first chances to score on stages 2 and 3 before two more flat finishes arrive on stages 5 and 6. The sprinters will have to work hard for their chances through the opening week however, with every flat finish except stage 2 bringing categorized climbs at some point in the kilometers before.
Now don’t go thinking week one is a write-off of snooze-button sprint finishes.
A total of 52km of specialist time trialing across stages 1 and 9 and the Giro’s first summit finish on stage 7 could cause considerable cracks in the classification and end some rosa dreams.
Stage 7 sees the Giro return to the Apennine Gran Sasso d’Italia for the first time since 2018 in what will be the first true climbing test of the race.
The grinding 27-kilometer ascent to the 2,100m national park starts easy but ends hard for a day that will be telling but not decisive.
Week two: From Emilia-Romagna to Switzerland via the Cima Coppi
A rest day transfer from stage 9’s Cesena TT will land the race into the heart of Emilia-Romagna for the beginning of week two.
The recently-freshened breakaway artists will vie with the sprinter teams to be best in the tricky start to stage 10 before a more straightforward fast-finish arrives the next day.
The breakaway bunch should see another chance on day 12 as the GC contenders brace for the carnage to come with the race pointing toward the high mountains.
Stage 13 will see the peloton packing their passports for a trip deep into the Alps and over to Switzerland. At 208km long and with more than 5,000m elevation, the thirteenth stage to Crans Montana will be unlucky for some.
Three rated climbs – the hulking grind up to the 2,500m Col du Grand Saint-Bernard, the near-nine percent horrors of the Croix de Coeur, and the 13km summit finish – stud the stage for one of the hardest days of the race.
The towering Saint-Bernard is the race’s Cima Coppi [highest point] and the second of six trips to the 2,000m altitude “danger zone.”
The Giro returns to Italy via a sprint stage on stage 14 before the race’s second week wraps up with an intriguing stage into Il Lombardia country.
Stage 15 into the Tour of Lombardy’s host city Bergamo makes for a “race of the falling leaves” gone big.
Three tough low-level climbs, including the leg-snapper pitches of the final Valpiana climb, make way for a flat finish that could put a sting in the week’s tail for any GC racers.
Week three: Old favorites and an eye-watering twist
Week three starts as it means to go on: Hard.
After a 60km warm-up, stage 16 into Trentino stacks five categorized mountains into the space of 140km of climbing. Some racers talk of losing their legs on the rest day as the body boots into recovery mode. Any aspiring pink jersey will be taking a turbo trainer into their rest day hotel ahead of this crucial classification stage.
Stage 17 gives all but the sprinters the chance to draw breath during what is a near-billiard table shape stage.
The climbers will need every bit of rest they can get, because stages 18 and 19 amass more than 9,000m of uphill in two days through Belluno’s Alpine and Dolomitic mountains.
The double-climb final of stage 18, with the 19 percent Coi climb coming before a short kick to the finish line atop Palafevera, will be a must-watch ahead of the race’s “Queen Stage.”
Heading deep into the spectacular limestone cliffs of the dolomites, stage 19 sees the bunch go higher than 2,000m three times as it gasps its way over some of the race’s most historic ascents.
The Valparola, Giau and Tre Cime di Lavaredo make for the Italian equivalent of the Croix-de-Fer, Galibier and Alpe D’Huez in a triple-whammy rich in repute, and the Tre Cime’s 18 percent pitches will put the pink jersey deep into the darkest red zone.
Vincenzo Nibali scored the stage while wearing maglia rosa on his way to winning the Giro in 2013. “The shark” won’t be there in 2023, but could the race see another pink winner on the Tre Cime next year?
The Giro’s racing will come to a mouthwatering close with the stage 20 mountain TT to Monte Lussari, where 11 kilometers of flat make way for a 7km wall of pain.
Averaging 12 percent over 7km, the Lussari climb makes the Planche des Belles Filles look like child’s play and could see even more drama than the unforgettable day when Tadej Pogačar pulled the 2020 Tour de France away from Primož Roglič in a stage of MTT shock.
The Trofeo Senza Fine will be awarded after a processional sprint stage around Roma.
The journey from Monte Lussari to the Italian capital requires a 700+ km transfer that all-but obliterates any environmental creds RCS may have gained by bypassing an overseas start to the race.
Giro d’Italia 2023 stage by stage guide:
- S1: May 6: Fossacesia Marina – Ortona – Costa Dei Trabocchi (ITT): 18km
- S2: May 7: Teramo – San Salvo: 204km
- S3: May 8: Vasto – Melfi: 210km
- S4: May 9: Venosa – Lago Laceno: 184km
- S5: May 10: Atripalda – Salerno: 172km
- S6: May 11: Napoli – Napoli: 156km
- S7: May 12: Capua – Gran Sasso D’Italia (Campo Imperatore): 218km
- S8: May 13: Terni – Fossombrone: 207km
- S9: May 14: Savignano Sul Rubicone – Cesena (ITT): 34km
- May 15: Rest Day
- S10: May 16: Scandiano – Viareggio: 190km
- S11: May 17: Camaiore – Tortona: 218km
- S12: May 18: Bra – Rivoli: 179km
- S13: May 19: Borgofranco D’ivrea – Crans Montana: 208km
- S14: May 20: Sierre – Cassano Magnago: 194km
- S15: May 21: Seregno – Bergamo: 191km
- May 22: Rest Day
- S16: May 23: Sabbio Chiese – Monte Bondone: 198km
- S17: May 24: Pergine Valsugana – Caorle: 192km
- S18: May 25: Oderzo – Val Di Zoldo: 160km
- S19: May 26: Longarone – Tre Cime Di Lavaredo: 182km
- S20: May 27: Tarvisio – Monte Lussari (ITT): 19km
- S21: May 28: Roma – Roma: 115km