The official 2022 Giro d’Italia route was announced in its entirety today, boasting a total of 51,000 metres of climbing across the three weeks but with a noticeably lower amount of time trial kilometres compared to other editions.
We caught up with Head Sport Director Matt White to get his take on the proposed route.
Beginning in Budapest, Hungary with a slightly undulating 195km stage, the riders will then head on to their time trial bikes for the first of two-time trial stages on day two, a short 9.2km race against the clock, before another sprinter friendly stage on day three.
The time trial bikes will then be put away until the final stage in Verona on the 29th of May, when they will reappear for another fairly short 17.1km individual time trial, making it the lowest number of time trial kilometres in a Giro d’Italia in the past 60-years.
White: “By having less time trial kilometres, there will be riders who aren’t particularly strong in time trials looking at the Giro in a different way, it is a very climbing friendly route. I think we will see a few more pure climbers lining-up at the Giro next year.
If you also look at the Tour de France, there’s around 53km of time trialling so if you are a strong time trial rider then you will be looking at the Giro route and thinking ‘well where can I make up time, I can’t use my biggest asset to take time as there’s not enough TT kilometres’.”
Over to Italy and into the mountains
The first rest day will come on the fourth day as the peloton make their way over to Italy ready for the first mountains test. Kicking off their Italian arrival with a bang, the peloton will enjoy the first summit finish of the race on day four up Mount Etna, which should be a good warm-up for a week that is bookended by iconic climbs.
White: “Stage four is up Etna but it isn’t actually up the hardest side of Etna so I think the real race will begin in real earnest on stage seven. It isn’t a hilltop finish, but it is a tough stage and then a couple of days later finishing up Blockhaus on stage nine, that will be a stage when we really see who is here to play.
Blockhaus is a climb we’ve used many times before in the Giro. There’s no hiding, it is a hard climb around 15km long, and the last nine kilometres are really hard. There’s nearly 5,000metres of elevation climb on that stage alone, it is a huge day and will be a really important day for the general classification. I think by the end of that stage, stage nine, we will know who the contenders are.”
In traditional Giro style, the final week of the race is scattered with brutal climbs, with back-to-back tests for the general classification riders before the race concludes in Verona after a mammoth 3,410.3km of racing.
White: “This 2022 route is traditionally backend heavy. There’s three really big days in a row, stage 15 before the rest day and then stage 16 and 17, then as always, at the very end of the final week we have stage 19 which is solid and then stage 20 is a monster. Like always, the devil will be in the detail of those stages.
In that last week, having four mountain stages and a time trial is really solid. I think the GC will be sorted before we arrive to Verona. The damage will be done early in the week and by the final time trial, people will be just looking to solidify their spots or move up some places on stages 19 and 20. Having a final time trial that short and relatively easy favours more aggressive racing earlier on, there’s not time to make up any time on a time trial of that length.
I am a big fan of the more traditional climbs, so I think having the Mortirolo back is a great. I am not a huge fan of the stages with dirt that we’ve seen over the years, I don’t like seeing people lose races from bad luck, the risk is amplified a lot when you’re on pave or dirt, so I am happy there’s not any of those types of stages and it looks like a really great and challenging route that we can look forward to.”
2022 Giro d’Italia Route
Stage 1, May 6: Budapest – Visegrád, 195km
Stage 2, May 7: Budapest – Budapest, 9.2km (ITT)
Stage 3, May 8: Kaposvár – Balatonfüred, 201km
Rest Day 1, May 9
Stage 4, May 10: Avola – Etna, 166km
Stage 5, May 11: Catania – Messina, 172km
Stage 6, May 12: Palmi – Scalea, 192km
Stage 7, May 13: Diamante – Potenza, 198km
Stage 8, May 14: Napoli – Napoli, 149km
Stage 9, May 15: Isernia – Blockhaus, 187km
Rest Day 2, May 16
Stage 10, May 17: Pescara – Jesi, 194km
Stage 11, May 18: Santarcangelo di Romagna – Reggio Emilia, 201km
Stage 12, May 19: Parma – Genova, 186km
Stage 13, May 20: Sanremo – Cuneo, 157km
Stage 14, May 21: Santena – Torino, 153km
Stage 15, May 22: Rivarolo Canavese – Cogne, 177km
Rest Day 3, May 23
Stage 16, May 24: Salò – Aprica, 200km
Stage 17, May 25: Ponte di Legno – Lavarone, 165km
Stage 18, May 26: Borgo Valsugana – Treviso, 146km
Stage 19, May 27: Marano Lagunare – Castelmonte, 178km
Stage 20, May 28: Belluno – Passo Fedaia/Marmolada, 165km
Stage 21, May 29: Verona – Verona, 17.1km (ITT)
Photo credit: Getty Images
— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com