100th Giro d’Italia Coming in May
After the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia is probably the most famous road cycling race in the world. In fact, the iconic tour covering large parts of Italy was first launched in 1909, directly inspired by the Tour de France and the success it had brought its sponsor, French newspaper L’Auto. La Gazetto dello Sport editor Tullo Morgagni was inspired to create an Italian version that would hopefully do as much good for his own publication’s circulation.
The Giro d’Italia, fondly nicknamed the Corsa Rosa, has been held every year since then, except for four-year breaks in both World Wars. So this year’s event, scheduled for 5-28 May, will mark the 100th edition of the Giro.
Race organiser RCS Sport has put together a special 3,572km route for the milestone, starting in Sardinia and then shifting to Corsica, followed by a meander up the length of Italy and through the Alps and Dolomites, before finishing in Milan.
The route includes some of Italy’s most challenging mountain passes, like Monte Grappa, Blockhaus and Umbrail Pass. There are also several flat stages, including a 28km time trial on the final leg to Milan’s Palazzo del Ghiaccio.
Colombian Quintana Looking Strong
Being the 100th edition of the Corsa Rosa, this year’s event will have several features of interest apart from the race betting. The six mountaintop finishes and three other mountainous stages, for example, could have unpredictable effects on the overall classification.
Veteran British cyclist Mick Ives, at the age of 77, is taking on the gruelling course in aid of four British charities. In a career spanning 60 years, he also performed a solo ride of the exact Tour de France course in 2005, to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Punters looking for an early favourite among the serious contenders to back, on the other hand, may want to consider Colombian Nairo Quintana. The Movistar rider won the Tirreno-Adriatico race earlier this month, so he is looking like good for the Giro.
Quintana is currently training at home in Colombia, where he will have lots of opportunities to work on his mountain riding. He’ll need to be in peak form, if he wants to make good on his intention to race in both the Giro d’Italia and July’s Tour de France this year.