It sometimes feels like a ‘best kept secret’ type of event, maybe because it doesn’t have the same public attention as the Tour de France… but, this is one for the cycling enthusiasts, like us, and anyone who fancies soaking up some panoramic Italian landscapes.
The 102nd Giro d’Italia road race, which rolled out of Bologna on the 11th May, is 21 trilling stages pedal powered action ending in a trail in the middle of Verona. In between start and finish is a real grand tour of Italy, taking in as many regions as possible; Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzo and Puglia, then north on narrow twisting roads to San Marino. From there into the Alps, passing by Charlie Croker and his gold laden bus teetering on the edge of the Nivolet Pass – cue the Matt Monro singing ‘on days like these’! Then a spectacular final week in the Dolomites and the final mountain stage which, at its summit, has a statue dedicated to Tulio Campagnolo who famously struggled to change a wheel during a race in 1927 and was inspired to create the quick release lever we all enjoy on our bikes to this day.
The final winner will be crowned in Verona inside the Roman amphitheatre Verona Arena, renowned for hosting many large-scale Opera performances. It’s a one of the best-preserved structures of its kind and will be a truly stunning venue to end what was hopefully a thrilling Giro d’Italia.
This year’s Giro has had its’ critics slating the long stages and tactical riding. So, if you are just tuning in it’s probably a good time to start watching, as it’ll definitely start hotting up in this second half where we head into the mountains and those riders which have been saving energy will come alight. Saving the best for last!
Valerio Conti (USE Team Emirates) is leading the way in Pink, and Primož Roglič (Jumbo Visma) is leading the group of potential overall winners. We’ll certainly be watching with interest to see who is going to excel… but also to take in wonder of Italy’s scenery… even when it’s cold and raining! Fingers crossed for clear skies to beautiful vistas to come.
Sound good? Catch live coverage on Eurosport or look out for hour highlights on Quest in the evenings at 7pm.
Don’t forget that we are currently running a special Roadies offer; FREE Shimano inner gear and brake cable upgrades on all road bikes booked for a Deluxe or Super Deluxe C&R Service with us before 24th May. Simply mention ‘Free Shimano Cable Upgrade’ in your booking. Offer excludes hydraulic systems.
Photocredit: Giro d’Italia