The unification of Italy, Dante Alighieri, the 90th birthday of the Maglia Rosa, the Winter Olympics, the great personalities and past champions, and stunning mountains, landscapes, villages and cities are just some of the highlights of the official race route for the 104th edition of the Corsa Rosa, which is set to take place from 8-30 May.
It will start in Turin, on the 160th anniversary of Italy’s unification, with its first three stages in the Piemonte Region.
On the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death, the cities of Ravenna (where the Sommo Poeta was buried) and Verona will host, respectively, the start and finish of Stage 13. The Giro will also pass through Foligno, where Dante’s Divina Commedia was first printed in 1472.
Perugia-Montalcino (Brunello) will be this year’s Wine Stage and will include several segments of Strade Bianche towards its finish.
The Siena-Bagno di Romagna stage, which will start in Piazza del Campo, is set to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Italian cycling legend Alfredo Martini. This will also be the Giro's Bartali Stage, taking the race through both Sesto Fiorentino and Ponte a Ema, where Gino Bartali was born.
This year’s Corsa Rosa will also see the return of a stage finish on Monte Zoncolan, climbed from the Sutrio side. Pordoi Pass (2,239m) will be the 2021 Cima Coppi, and will form part of an unprecedented Dolomites stage that includes Passo Fedaia (Montagna Pantani), Passo Giau and a finish in Cortina D’Ampezzo - host city of the 2026 Winter Olympics.
Milan will host the grand finale with a 29.4km individual time trial, starting in Senago.
The Giro will cross national borders on two occasions: the Grado-Gorizia stage, which will touch Slovenia, as well as Stage 20 from Verbania to Valle Spluga/Alpe Motta, when it will pass through Switzerland.
Star Italian riders Vincenzo Nibali and Filippo Ganna expressed their excitement to compete on this new route.
"I’m happy about the way it’s been designed," Nibali said. "There are a lot of climbs - some of these are major ones, like the Zoncolan!
"For now, I’ll focus on preparing for the race in the best way possible.”
While Ganna said: “I’m really happy that the 104th edition of the Giro will start from Turin and my home region, Piemonte.
"The course for Stage 1 looks like a really fast one and I’m ready to do well in it.
"I’m looking to start the Giro on the right foot and replicate what I did last year, trying to wear the first Maglia Rosa.”