The first stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia is San Lorenzo al Mare to Sanremo, and so it’s only fitting that Sanremo should be the first featured city for our ‘Snapshot of a city’ mini series.
With just a handful of days to go until it all kicks off, let’s get familiarised with the location, the stage format, and everything else in-between.
A snapshot of Sanremo.
Renowned Italian author Italo Calvino spent his early years in Sanremo, often returning later in life to pen the magical realism he was most famous for. Lying in the North-West of Italy, the city is famous for it’s culture, sports, gambling and cuisine – although cycling fans will mostly associate it with the Milan – San Remo classic.
Sanremo plays host to a section of the European Poker Tour, holding an annual poker tournament. In fact, that’s not all Sanremo is famous for in terms of gambling and casinos; it is often named as the birthplace of telesina, an early form of stud poker.
Harbours, gambling, cycling classics and a Mediterranean climate really does sound like paradise, and it’s ability to attract musicians, composers, writers, sultans and inventors over the years, proves that Sanremo’s got substance as well as style.
The stage format.
No time to relax for the peloton however, the Giro opener is a 17.6 km team time trial, a great format for the first stage of any big tour, providing a clear introduction to teams, riders associated with those teams and a good individual profile of riders’ abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Think lots of close-ups, detailed commentary and good analysis opportunities from the comfort of your own sofa.
The route itself is a coastal journey, with mainly rolling terrain, and so it promises to be a picturesque opening to the giro.
Remember it with the Santini Stage 1 Jersey
This year, Santini have brought out a special range of cycling jerseys to commemorate specific stages, and for the first stage, you can get your hands on the S. Lorenzo Al Mare – Sanremo Short Sleeve Jersey, pictured below.