The BIG START of the 102nd Giro d’Italia, set to kick off on Saturday May 11th in 2019 has been revealed!
Starting from the stunning Emilia-Romanga region in Bologna with a short 8.2km Time Trial, it is almost certain to be a BIG start. Short, yes but certainly no breeze and unsurprisingly tough in nature as we all know how much of a challenge the Italians love to provide! The course will be mostly straightforward and flat up until 2.1km to go, where riders will hit the base of the San Luca climb. The gnarly ascent will be all about time in the pain cave, averaging 9.7% and peaking at a gruelling 16% in the closing km. Let’s confidently assume, the Giro d’Italia will be ON from the gun.
Stage Two will also depart from Bologna and is set to head South where it is anticipated that the first week’s stages will be surrounded, before returning North up the Adriatic coast and back to the Emilia-Romanga region for Stages 9 and 10.
Although the complete Giro d’Italia route confirmation is not set to be announced until later year, the Big Start reveal did mention the inclusion of a very challenging Stage 9, hilly 34.7km Individual Time Trial from the coastal town of Riccione to San Marino. Early GC shake-up’s? Likely!
Lastly, they declared that Stage 10 would be a flat 147km fast run and predicted sprint opportunity from Ravenna to Modena.
Ravenna holds special memories for Mummu Cycling’s Stuart O’Grady as the last time the Giro d’Italia set off from the town in 2005, he came close to stage victory in third place behind Australian sprint sensation, Robbie McEwen and Italian speedster Alessandro Petacchi. A thrilling sprint victory was had and could well reoccur in 2019. Could we see another Viviani, Bennett battle?
Lined up from left to right, Zabel, McEwen, Petacchi, O’Grady. Image: Sirotti.
That’s all for now, but it’s certainly left us on our toes and hungry for more details as we look back on what was an outstanding 2018 Giro D’Italia. Stay tuned!