Just four days after the route of the 2011 Tour de France was unveiled at the 1970s-built Palais des Congres in Paris, Giro d’Italia Director Angelo Zomegnan used the Barouque splendour of Turin’s Teatro Carignano to set out his race’s route next year.
In Paris on Tuesday, Zomegnan told road.cc that the goal in drawing up the Giro d’Italia route “is always to provide a different race to the Tour de France next year’s race, and we usually manage that,” adding that he thought that aim would be achieved too in next year’s race, which coincides with the 150th anniversary of unification of Italy.
More so than the Tour de France or the Vuelta, the Giro reflects the history of the country to which it belongs – Italy was not yet five decades old when the race was first held, and it played a key role in reuniting the country following the divisions caused by the Fascist era and World War II, providing the backdrop as Italy headed into the years of La Dolce Vita and the Miracolo Economico.
Zomegnan had promised us “a Giro that celebrates 150 years since Italian unification, underlining all the specific things that are important for our country, not just sporting but also cultural, social, political, geographical, artistic, agricultural and gastronomic,” and certainly the route doesn’t disappoint, with plenty of nods to Il Bel Paese’s heritage as the race passes through 17 out of Italy’s 20 regions.
Those references include a stage that starts in Reggio Emilia, birthplace of the tricolore flag, while one of the great set pieces of next year’s race is likely to be a double ascent of Mount Etna on a stage that starts in Vuelta winner Vincenzo Nibali’s home city of Messina.
The three-week race starts and finishes with races against the clock, the first a team time trial from the Royal Palace of Venaria Reale into the heart of the Piemontese City, with the final day seeing an individual time trial in Milan.
2011 Giro d'Italia Route
Stage 1 Saturday 7 May Venaria to Torino, TTT Stage 2 Sunday 8 May Alba to Parma Stage 3 Monday 9 May Reggio Emilia to Rapallo Stage 4 Tuesday 10 May Quarto to Livorno Stage 5 Wednesday 11 May Piombino to Orvieto Stage 6 Thursday 12 May Orvieto to Fiuggi Terme Stage 7 Friday 13 May Maddaloni to Montevergine Stage 8 Saturday 14 May Scapri to Tropea Stage 9 Sunday 15 May Messina to Etna Monday 16 May Rest day (transfer) Stage 10 Tuesday 17 May Termoli to Teramo Stage 11 Wednesday 18 May Tortoleto Lido to Castelfidardo Stage 12 Thursday 19 May Castelfidardo to Ravenna Stage 13 Friday 20 May Splinbergo to Grossglokner (Austria) Stage 14 Saturday 21 May Lienz to Zoncolan Stage 15 Sunday 22 May Conegliano to Gardeccia Stage 16 Monday 23 May Belluno to Nevegal Stage 17 Tuesday 24 May Feltre to Sondrio Wednesday 18 May Rest day Stage 18 Thursday 26 May Morbegno to San Pellegrino Stage 19 Friday 27 May Bergamo to Macugnaga Stage 20 Saturday 28 May Verbania to Sestriere Stage 21 Sunday 29 May Milano to Milano ITT
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.