The Giro d'Italia might not have quite the same global awareness as the Tour de France, but there is no question it is one of the greatest three-week long Grand Tours on the annual bike racing circuit. Indeed, if you happen to be in Italy during the much-loved Giro, you'd find it impossible not to get caught up in the whirlwind of national passion and emotion that surrounds this iconic road race. A UCI World Tour event, the 'Giro' is becoming increasingly a household name, and BikeExchange.co.nz promises to keep you updated with plenty of the action - so be sure to jump online for the very latest news!
The 2014 Giro d’Italia Route
Stage 1, Friday, 9th May 2014
Belfast – Belfast
Stage 2, Saturday, 10th May 2014
Belfast – Belfast
Stage 3, Sunday, 11th May 2014
Armagh – Dublin 187km
Monday, 12th May 2014
Stage 4, Tuesday, 13th May 2014
Giovinazzo – Bari
Stage 5, Wednesday, 14th May 2014
Taranto – Viggiano
Stage 6, Thursday, 15th May 2014
Sassano – Montecassino
Stage 7, Friday, 16th May 2014
Frosinone – Foligno
Stage 8, Saturday, 17th May 2014
Foligno – Montecopiolo, Italy
Stage 9, Sunday, 18th May 2014
Lugo – Sestola, Italy
Monday, 19th May 2014
Stage 10, Tuesday, 20th May 2014
Modena – Salsomaggiore, Italy
Stage 11, Wednesday, 21st May 2014
Corregio – Savona, Italy
Stage 12, Thursday, 22nd May 2014
Barbaresco – Barolo, Italy
Stage 13, Friday, 23rd May 2014
Fossano – Rivarolo Canavase, Italy
Stage 14, Saturday, 24th May 2014
Aglie – Oropa, Italy
Stage 15, Sunday, 25th May 2014
Valdengo – Montecampione, Italy
Stage 16, Monday, 26th May 2014
Stage 17, Tuesday, 27th May 2014
Ponte di Legno – Val Martello, Italy
Stage 18, Wednesday, 28th May 2014
Sarnonico – Vittoria Veneto, Italy
Stage 19, Thursday, 29th May 2014
Belluno – Rifugo Panarotta, Italy
Stage 20, Friday, 30th May 2014
Bassano del Grappa – Monte Grappa, Italy
Stage 21, Saturday, 31st May 2014
Maniago – Monte Zoncolan, Italy
Stage 22, Sunday, 1st June 2014
Gemona – Trieste, Italy
Teams Invited to the 2014 Giro d’Italia
Garmin Sharp (USA)
AG2R La Mondiale (France)
Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela (Italy)
Astana Pro Team (Kazakhstan)
Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox (Italy)
Blanco Pro Cycling Team (The Netherlands)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Cannondale Pro Cycling Team (Italy)
Euskaltel Euskade (Spain)
Lotto Belisol (Belgium)
Movistar Team (Spain)
Omega Pharma-Quickstep (Belgium)
Radioshack Leopard (Luxemberg)
Sky ProCycling (Great Britain)
Team Argos-Shimano (The Netherlands)
Team Saxo-Tinkoff (Denmark)
VacanSoleil DCM Pro Cycling Team (The Netherlands)
Vini Fantini-Selle Italia (Italy)
Some Giro d’Italia History…
In 1908 Italy’s Gazetta dello Sport newspaper announced the first ‘Giro d’Italia’, an event to take place the following year and to rival its neighbour’s Tour de France.
Like the Tour, the Giro usually features a stage in another country, before journeying extensively through its home country, showcasing some of the most spectacular scenery and challenging terrain that Italy can deliver.
The Giro has been responsible for creating legendary names in Italian cycling including Fausto Coppi, Fiorenzo Magni and Gino Bartali and indeed, it was not until 1950 that the Italian stronghold was broken, with Swiss Hugo Koblet becoming the first foreigner to win the great race.
Coppi, Alfredo Binda and Eddy Merckx remain Giro d’Italia demigods, having each taken the leader board five times during their cycling careers.
Snapshots from The Giro d’Italia Historic Leader Board:
1909 – Luigi Ganna, Italy
1950 – Hugo Koblet, Switzerland (first non-Italian to win) 2010 – Ivan Basso, Italy
2011 – Michele Scarponi, Italy
2012 – Ryder Hesjedal, Canada
2013 – Vincenzo Nibali, Italy
The 2014 Giro d’Italia Jersey Code
Giro d’Italia Pink Jersey
Or ‘maglia rosa’ as it is known in Italian, is inspired by the colour of Giro d’Italia founding sponsor Gazzetta dello Sport and is worn by the rider at the top of the leader board (therefore the rider with the lowest aggregated time).
Giro d’Italia Blue Jersey
Or ‘maglia azzurra’ goes to the fastest climber in the race. This jersey was green until last year. There are 39 categorised climbs in the Giro d’Italia ranging from first category (hardest) to fourth category. The famous ‘Cima Coppi’ or king of the mountain goes to the first rider to reach the highest pass.
Giro d’Italia Red Jersey
Or ‘maglia rosso’ is much like the Tour de France’s green jersey, and is worn by the Giro d’Italia rider to accumulate the most number of points during intermediate sprint and stage finishes.
Giro d’Italia White Jersey
Or ‘maglia bianca’ goes to the young up and comer – the Giro d’Italia rider under the age of 26 with the lowest aggregate time on general classification.
2014 Giro d’Italia Types of Stages
There are several different stages to a Giro:
Mass Start Stages
This is the predominant way of starting a Giro d’Italia stage, and requires the full peloton (or full number of riders) to begin as a group.
This is where some of the biggest upsets can occur in terms of changes to the leader board. Mountain stages play to the strengths of riders who are specifically strong mountain climbers. Riders can be eliminated during mountain stages if they fail to finish within the allocated time.
Individual Time Trial Stages
A time trial is essentially a race against time – to cover as much distance as possible within a set time. Start times are staggered at three-minute intervals and cyclists must commence this stage alone.
Team Time Trial Stages
Similar to the individual time trial stage, but applies to team starts versus individual starts. Team Time Trials enable team members to work strategically and to play to each other’s strengths/ minimise each other’s weaknesses.