Giro d’Italia 2013: An Alternative Route – Week One

If you’re a follower of social media, you’ll have come across the fantastic promotional video for the 2013 Giro, as seen here:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmhd0jjZwWM)

As expected, the interweb has exploded into speculation over just how the route will shake up, given all we know is that it begins in Naples and includes a stage finish on the Galibier as a tribute to Marco Pantani.

Thus, as I was massively procastrinating, I’ve come up with yet another alternative route after the previous ones for the Tour de France 2013 (https://sicycle.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/2013-tour-de-france-my-route-part-one/), The Tour of Britain (https://sicycle.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/an-alternative-tour-of-britain-route/) and an Tour Grand Depart (https://sicycle.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/an-alternative-british-bid-for-the-tour-de-france-northumberlandnewcastle-upon-tyne/).

This time, I’ve split it into three parts, for each week of the race, but so you’re not in too much suspense, here’s the stage list:

Stage 1: Naples TTT 8.94 miles/14.4km

Stage 2: Naples- Mount Vesuvius 93.1 miles/150km – 102.4m/166.8km

Stage 3: Pompeii-Castellebate 125.1 miles/201.3km – 225.1m/368.1k

Stage 4: Scalea-Tropea 104.5 miles/168.2km – 359.6m/536.3k

Stage 5: Tropea-Canazaro 92.7miles/149km – 452.3m/685.3k

Stage 6: Soverato-Reggio Calabria 101.2kmiles/162.8km – 553.5m/848.1l

Stage 7: Messina-Mount Etna  104.5miles/168.2km –  658m/1016.3k

Rest day

Stage 8: Foggia-Pescara 114.2miles/183.7km – 772.2miles/1200km

Stage 9: L’Aquila-Blockhaus 136.9miles/220.3km – 909.1m/1420.3km

Stage 10: Laggo Di Bracciano-Rome 90miles(30+6=x10mile circuits), 144.8km – 999.1m/1565.1

Stage 11: Rome- Castiglione Laggo 123.2miles/198.3km – 1122.3m/1763.4

Stage 12: San Marino-Bologna 96.4miles/155.1km – 1218.7/1918.5km

Stage 13: Verona-Venice 91.5miles/147.3km – 1310.2m/2065.8km

Stage 14: Udine-Monte Crostis 103.6miles/166.7km – 1413.8m/2232.5km

Rest day

Stage 15: Monte Zonoclan TT 8miles/12.8km – 1421.8m/2245.3km

Stage 16: Cuneo – Sestrierre 118.9/191.4km – 1540.7m/2436.7km

Stage 17: Cesana Torinese – Galibier 94.5miles/152.1km – 1635.2m/2588.8km

Stage 18: Torino-Gran Paradiso 88.7miles/142.7km – 1723.9m/2731.5km

Stage 19: Varese – Mortitolo 106.3miles/171km – 1830.2m/2902.5km

Stage 20: Passo del Stelvio-Madonna Ghisallo 175miles/281km – 2005.2m/3183.5

Stage 21: Bergamo-Milan 63miles/101.4km – 2068.2m/3284.9km

The race includes:

– Visits to Rome, Naples, Turin, Verona, Venice, Bologna.

– Three foreign excursions to Vatican City, San Marino and France.

– Eight Summit finishes on Vesuvius, Etna, Blockhaus, Monte Crostis, Sestriere, Gran Paradiso, Mortitolo and at the Madonna Ghisallo.

– Two time trials: one opening team time trial and a uphill one of the Zoncolan.

It also goes to the South, a region oft neglected by the race, and also includes a start in Naples a la the actual race, as well as the Galibier Stage that has already been announced. As before, it’s not entirely practical and based in fantasy somewhat, but that’s half the joy. So, off we go…

Stage One: Naples TTT

We start with a 9 mile team time trial around Naples, starting atop the hill overlooking the city and cutting down through many corners before finishing the Plaza de San Francesco.

Stage 2: Naples- Mount Vesuvius 93.1 miles/150km

The scene of what this Giro will be like is established immediately by this frankly evil stage that sets to confirm the motto that the race is the ‘toughest race in the world’s most beautiful place’. Starting out in front of Naples cathedral, the race heads toward the Sorrento coast, taking in the beautiful vistas before curving back in towards the mountain that has been dominating the scene the last couple of days. We simply have to climb Vesuvius, so the race has its first summit finish on day two.

Stage 3: Pompeii-Castellebate 125.1 miles/201.3km

Starting in Pompeii, the race heads out for a lumpy run with a flat finishing straight to give the sprinters their first opportunity at victory in Castellabate, a big producer of wine, mozeralla and olive oil. Pompeii of course we all know about, and the riders will hope that no one springs as explosive a suprise that Vesuvius was to the town on the hills in the middle of the course.

Stage 4: Scalea-Tropea 104.5 miles/168.2km

Another coastal stage that is a it cruel- it features a long flat run until the very end, where the race ascends to Tropea for stunning vistas across the ocean, as well as tearing the race apart again. By this point, the key contenders have had three stages out of four to gain time, and should be able to settle into a comfortable patch. Tropea is famous for its beaches, red onions and alike, although I doubt the riders will be too keen to dabble, even if it is May. The start town of Scalea is one of those lovely looking terraced villages, which should look delightful in the morning sun.

Stage 5: Tropea-Canazaro 92.7miles/149km

Another typical lumpy Giro stage as the race cuts across from one coast to another, rolling over the sparse Italian country side. It then heads neatly inland for an uphill sprint finish in Canazaro.

Stage 6: Soverato-Reggio Calabria 101.2kmiles/162.8km

A nice flat coastal stage to Reggio Calabria, the beautiful coastal town, which gives the sprinters another opportunity before the next days third summit finish of the race. Expect crosswinds, echelons and coastal views acorss the ocean. Soverato is a sleepy town,fitting given this stage is a lull before the storm the next day, whilst Reggio Calabria is a beautiful town rich with history, that will provide the race hub for the next few days with the transfers across the Strait of Messina and the journey to Foggia on the rest day.

Stage 7: Messina-Mount Etna  104.5miles/168.2km

The final day of the first week, before the first restday, is an opportunity to kill the race, if only Etna was a little steeper. Given it isn’t the race, shouldn’t be as explosive as the terrain it crosses, but with two ascents of the mountain, it may give someone a good buffer going into the second week.

Tomorrow: The race gets gradually tougher as it turns back North. https://sicycle.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/giro-ditalia-2013-an-alternative-route-week-two/

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