Every year, a peloton of the best riders in road cycling embark on twenty-one stages of the grand tour of Italy in the Giro d’Italia. There are many factors and characteristics that put the ‘grand’ in a cycling tour and there are some that are unique to Italy that make the Giro d’Italia such a success and a major event to bhttps://www.probikekit.co.uk/offers/giro-d-italia.liste celebrated in the road cycling calendar. We have compiled five reasons why Italy is the perfect host for the Giro d’Italia.
Italy is the Perfect Giro d’Italia Host:
Italy is a Big Name in Cycling
The fact is that the we all know the best things are made in Italy right? The fastest cars, the finest of fashion, jewellery most people can only get jealous of, bikes that make you want to behold, whilst also being the best connoisseurs of coffee. Lest not forget either, the best cycling gear is manufactured in this flamboyant and classy country; a reason why Italy provides a prestigious head start in the world of cycling tours. Italy is evidently passionate about cycling via its ownership of countless brands and manufacturers in clothing, components, accessories…you name it. It is home to some of the big names like Santini, Castelli, Campagnolo, Nalini, Pella, and now PBK amongst many more. This passion suggests that cycling, not just its gear and garments but the sport itself, is essentially ‘Made in Italy’ and hence, this passion is what makes a cycling event such as the Giro d’Italia so much more meaningful and iconic being hosted by Italy.
The longer the tour, the more iconic it is because spectators, like ourselves, want to see the toughest test of endurance and stamina laid out on the roads of Italy – who will shine and who will crack? These highly trained athletes are put through their paces for three whole weeks and it’s the test of physical and mental strength which they have to endure over twenty stages of cycling that makes it so gripping to watch. If you thought it was a race of pure brute strength and endurance then you are mistaken. What makes the tour so interesting is that it is a race of tactics, planning, professional performance decisions and working together as a team. For a tour as long as the Giro, it gives the pros an ultimate test of these components which will see them cover parts of Italy which is made up of individual time trials, categorised climbs, mountain stages and more to ensure that there is plenty to race for.
There is much more behind the roads than at a first glance in road cycling. From surface to structure, a good Grand Tour will have all kinds of roads included in the route. Italy has so many roads that cyclists deem perfect to ride on, especially for the Giro. Having the route go into a mountainous region, the climbs and descents create some spectacular action but there are also roads suitable for some thrilling, action packed sprints and finally an inspiring and iconic grand finish at the same place each year: Turin.
Climbs are always a key indicator for a road cycling tour; they make the race a lot more interesting to watch and to ride as this is when the tactical aspect comes into play for the climbers. Italy has some tasty climbs that make it perfect for a cycling tour. As the competition gets tougher and the steep gradients bite, the climbers in the peloton have the chance to attack and make time on the other riders. The route of the Giro d’Italia takes the professional peloton across a series of mountainous regions, and and in these stages, riders race to the top to be honoured and awarded with a jersey. In the case of the Giro d’Italia, cyclists attain the ‘King of the Mountain’ leader’s jersey.
There are several climbs in the Giro that are classified as ‘category one’; Pian de Falco in stage 10 (1,352 m, 16.3 km with a 5.2% gradient), Montemaggiore in stage 13 (985 m, 8.3 km with a 9.3% gradient), and stage 14’s Passo Pordoi (2,239 m, 9.3 km with a 6.9% gradient) are to name a few so keep your eyes on these segments.
The Giro d’Italia concludes in Turin for a thrilling Grand Tour finale. The stage is a flat 163 km route from Cuneo to Turino, finishing with a loop around Turin that the riders race around for eight laps. Turin has been host of the grand finale finish for 40 years, with this year being the 41st time that the city welcomes and concludes the race for the Pink Jersey.
Watch the video below of the Giro d’Italia 2017 route:
Who knew the Tour was over 100 years old? A cycling tour with so much history has an added weight behind it. The tour becomes more than just the cycling, it becomes almost a festival, where people get in the spirit and sometimes even paint the sheep pink! Having been first organised in 1909, the Giro d’Italia is a very well established event that has developed over the years. It all began as a small race organised to increase newspaper sales in which only Italian riders were eligible to compete, and from this, it has expanded into a global cycling tour exclusive to the professional peloton full of riders from all over the world. The Giro d’Italia has since then, been staged annually, aside from the years during both World Wars.
The setting in Italy is stunning; there is no question about that. The nature of the scenery attracts more spectators to the Giro d’Italia simply because of this. Locals, travelers, fanatics, or people that just love the whole spirit of the race come together to create this magical atmosphere. Italy go to ‘town’ when the Giro comes to town; they literally paint the town’s pink! Waterfalls of pink bubbles spouting out of jets, farmers dying their sheep’s wool, home owners pinking all their whites and hanging them from the streets and cyclists getting some added pink accessories to keep in the theme! With the route naturally leading itself to breathtaking scenery due to some spectacular mountain stages, riders are also taken through quaint, Italian towns and famous sites that make the whole tour a memorable one for all.
Find out more about the Leader’s Jerseys: