Giro d'Italia 2023 Giro D’Italia Route Rumors

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We clearly need to send tons of Emails to the tourist information of Sölden to sell them on the idea that an Ötztaler Ramarathon Granfodo stage is what they need to promote bike Tourism even more.


In the real world the Monte Lussari MTT rumour from the Friuli region is still ongoing, but I believe it when I see it.
I can't ever be hyped by something with a profile like .... that

That Como stage was so disappointing because I was hyped for a big breakaway fight where they raced it like a classic and then it went with a 2-rider break.
It was disappointing because it had no Muro di Sormano
 
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Meanwhile what I really wanna see is Monte Maddalena with a descent finish into Brescia. It's a pretty perfect climb unipuerto descent finish stage that doesn't add that much overall fatigue but still adds a nice descent finish to a race on a shortish, brutal climb.
 
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Jul 27, 2022
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The problem of the rumoured Como to Bergamo stage is the lack of climbing or descending in the final . Unless somebody has a real crisis, everything would come together before the final two kickers. There, no one can surprise the others, but at least one or two minutes between GC riders are possible. Nevertheless, it doesn't look any similar to this years Torino stage. It would be a typical end of week 2 stage, which gives at least three opportunities for the Dolomites and the Ortler Alps (Stelvio, Gavia) until the Zoncolan (which might be stage 18 or 19, if Slovenia and a hilly stage in Friaul are considered afterwards)
 
The problem of the rumoured Como to Bergamo stage is the lack of climbing or descending in the final . Unless somebody has a real crisis, everything would come together before the final two kickers. There, no one can surprise the others, but at least one or two minutes between GC riders are possible. Nevertheless, it doesn't look any similar to this years Torino stage. It would be a typical end of week 2 stage, which gives at least three opportunities for the Dolomites and the Ortler Alps (Stelvio, Gavia) until the Zoncolan (which might be stage 18 or 19, if Slovenia and a hilly stage in Friaul are considered afterwards)
The positive thing I see for it is that it shouldn't really dissuade attacking either.
 
Not sure if it has been mentioned already, but there will be a MTF to Crans-Montana in the penultimate weekend (or more likely on stage 13, friday). It's unclear whether they will enter Switzerland via Gran San Bernardo or Sempione.

The Bergamo stage is definitely happening on stage 15, but I doubt they will do such a short circuit. Half the peloton would get lapped.
 
This would be the route, pretty much. As usual the first week has still lots of unknowns. The other two weeks are fairly clear though, at least in structure.

1 ITT on the Abruzzo coast
2 Abruzzo 2 (probably finish in San Salvo)
3 Go to Puglia
4 Go south clockwise
5 Might be Montevergine
6 go back north
7 MTF to Campo Imperatore
8 towards Tuscany
9 all in Tuscany
rest
10 ??? - Albisola
11 Savona? - Acqui Terme?
12 Castellania/Gavi/Asti/others ITT [yes, an ITT, hopefully. but don't hold your breath]
13 ??? - Crans Montana
14 Sion? - Cesano Maderno (fresh rumour from a Cicloweb user who is often very reliable)
15 Seregno - Bergamo (or Bergamo - Bergamo)
rest
16 Sarnico - Monte Bondone?
17 Trento? - Possagno? (possibly with Monte Grappa)
18 ??? - Longarone
19 Erto - Tre Cime di Lavaredo
20 Tarvisio - Monte Lussari ITT
21 Buja - Trieste
 
I'd be shocked if there are 3 ITT's - The Vuelta has ITT's well organised - Have a pan flat ITT in stage 10 which should allow for attacking racing either side of the ITT - Will add the last 2 Giro's have been disappointing because the race is too back-loaded.
 
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5 Might be Montevergine
Sigh......
7 MTF to Campo Imperatore
Double sigh.........
8 towards Tuscany
9 all in Tuscany
These two better be freakin good since the rest of that first week looks crap!
13 ??? - Crans Montana
Oh my freakin god! Honestly! If this is used, it better contain climbs like Veysonnaz and Anzere first.
14 Sion? - Cesano Maderno (
That would mean perhaps Simplonpass, followed by some easier climbs and mostly flat at the end?
16 Sarnico - Monte Bondone?
17 Trento? - Possagno? (possibly with Monte Grappa)
18 ??? - Longarone
19 Erto - Tre Cime di Lavaredo
20 Tarvisio - Monte Lussari ITT
This looks somewhat better, at least if they do Monte Grappa. But Lussari MTT is still an awful penultimate stage.

This rumoured route would be a good contender for worst GT route in the 21th century. Considering the potential for good stages in Italy, this is mostly crap!

Bondone is okay as a one or two big MTFs. Tre Cime is great if preceeded by the "usual suspects" of climbs, but will that happen? And it preceeds the Lussari MTT, which really can't be good for much action other on the last ramp to stage finish at Tre Cime. Grappa can be very good if used as a descent finish, but will that happen? This route needs some serious quality on the medium mountain stages just to be charachterized as mediocre!
 
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The Giro is pretty unique of the three Grand Tours because of two main factors:
  • Italy has much more big climbs than France and Spain ideally placed to be used either as the penultimate climb or as a descent finish.
  • The potential for big medium mountain stages are nearly unlimited.
The second factor is really not utilized fully in any way. The Giro could easily have two big and long medium mountain stages each year and still go years without using the same climbs or finish location. But we rarely see these kind of stages more than every 2 or 3 years.

So the use of big climbs like Finestre, Mortirolo, Stelvio and many more as penultimate climb or descent is really important. Both France and Spain have a lot of climbs okay for MTF, but not the big climb/small climb combos as in Italy. So for a good Giro, this has been an absolute key factor.

Right now the rumoured route doesn't seem to contain any stages of the first type. It could have good medium mountain stages, but given the recent history of Giro it doesn't seem likely that there are many of these. The route has been worse the last couple of years than 5-15 years ago, but in 2023 we could see the biggest low since 2004.
 
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but still it is a choice. The can easily spice up the first 2 weeks with interesting stages as well. Having 5 stages in a row in the last week and 4 of them seems to be the most important of the race is a choice and not a obligation, even with a 'toughness budget'. They could use decent 1st (or even HC) catogorized climbs in the southern and central part of Italy as the giro first half summit finishes. Add some decent medium mountains, muritos, and strada bianchi stages and there could be a lot of fun. To compensate they only have to remove 1 or 2 hard stages from the last week and select less hard summit finishes in the Alps and Dolomites, and still can use their icons as passes, to enforce racing.
 
Geography and time of the year. It's natural for the Giro to be the most backloaded of the three GTs.
That's a bad excuse. Sure it makes sense that the hardest stages of the Giro take place in the Alps but that's not justification for the Giro not having a properly gc relevant mountain stage outside of the Alps that wasn't a mtf on Blockhaus since when? Etna 2011? All usual Apennines mtf's other than Blockhaus are not steep enough, have a long flat section before the final ramp or something like that. Aside from that, you could still have a backloaded race without absolutely everything coming down to the last week. Like, as much as I complain about the first week of the 2019 Giro, the two crucial stages of that race were actually stages 13 and 14, so not even that late. But in the last three years (and by the looks of it next year as well) the backloading has been taken to another level.

2020 had its first serious mountain stage on stage 15 and had 3 enormous mountain stages plus the hardest medium mountain stage of the race plus a TT all in the last week.

2021 had the Zoncolan as its first serious mountain stage on stage 14 followed by a last week with 4 super tough mountain stages and a TT (at least the mountain stages on stage 19 and 20 were easier than the ones on stage 16 and 17 and we had a gravel stage earlier)

2022 had Blockhaus early, as I said the only good HC climb in the "south" of Italy the Giro sometimes uses, and the next proper mountain stage in week 3 where we once again had 4 of them.

And now 2023 from what I can read from Eshnar's prediction looks like more of the same. The two early mtf's he predicts are Montevergine and Campo Imperatore which might as well be the two most useless mtf's in the world, then there will be one mtf in Crans Montana before once again 4 high mountain stages in the final week.

It has simply become too extreme. For one I really wish every Giro had at least one, maybe two proper high mountain stages outside of the Alps and just as importantly I really wish the Giro would balance its Alps stages a bit more between 2nd and 3rd week. Remember the infamous route of the 2011 Giro? That last week was a soft MTT, two medium mountain stages and two high mountain stages of which both weren't that extreme either. The two hardest stages, plus the Großglockner stage both came in the 2nd week. Similarly the great 2010 Giro only had 2 real high mountain stages in the last week too. It's not like the Giro is this backloaded by nature or even has always been this backloaded. It's just a new horrible race design philosophy to create a pseudo "grand finale" that in reality leads to horrible racing.
 
The Giro is dying. I will once again watch, but most likely with very limited enthusiasm. The Vuelta is outperforming the Giro by a mile these years, and nothing can change that apart from firing the totally useless and oblivious Mauro Vegni.
 
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2022 had Blockhaus early, as I said the only good HC climb in the "south" of Italy the Giro sometimes uses, and the next proper mountain stage in week 3 where we once again had 4 of them.
We did have an excellent medium mountain stage this year.

And I would be fine with for example two medium tough MTFs like Vesuvio, Terminillo, Pratonevoso or some of the Marche climbs in the two first weeks as long as they also did a couple of brutal hilly/medium mountain stages. A murito madness stage like in TA and a stage similar to this year's Torino stage.
 
The Giro is dying. I will once again watch, but most likely with very limited enthusiasm. The Vuelta is outperforming the Giro by a mile these years, and nothing can change that apart from firing the totally useless and oblivious Mauro Vegni.
Still, the Vuelta is rarely more than a 7/10 race. The Giro has the potential to be more if RCS design the race better. Spain doesn't have Finestre/Sestriere, Mortirolo/Aprica, Stelvio/Torri di Fraele, Tuscany sterrato stages or multiple climb stages of the same difficulty as the Dolomites. Nor the endless potential for tough medium mountain stages.
 

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