Our roster for the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, affectionately known as the Giro Rosa, will be Alena Amialiusik, Hannah Barnes, Elena Cecchini, Lisa Klein, Kasia Niewiadoma and Omer Shapira. The UCI Women’s World Tour race has been reduced to nine days and starts with a team time trial (TTT) on Friday, 11 September in Grosseto, Italy.
After holding the coveted maglia rosa leader’s jersey for five days in last year’s race, Kasia believes anything is possible for the tour.
“I would love to see a pink jersey with the CANYON//SRAM logo on it,” beamed Kasia.
“Personally, I’m aiming for the greatest Giro Rosa of my career! I want to do my best, finish it with no regrets, and no energy left in my body.”
While Kasia lines up as one of the GC contenders for the tour, her teammate Lisa returns to the Giro Rosa after a two-year hiatus from the longest stage race on the women’s calendar.
“In 2017, I was very motivated to race my first Giro Rosa. That year, the tour had a mix of hard stages and some easier stages for the sprinters. I was there as a lead out rider and domestique and overall it was a tough, but good experience,” explained Lisa.
“I am happy to have been selected to race and it is an honour to support the team this year. I will be the best domestique I can be for our climbers Kasia, Alena and Omer. This year’s Giro Rosa on paper looks very hard with a lot of climbing. My plan is to go day by day and not think about how hard every stage is. I have full respect for this long stage race and I’m ready for the challenge. Especially, I am super motivated for this beautiful, short TTT on stage one. It is going to be painful but we will rock it,” said Lisa.
Without knowing how each day will play out as the battle for the jersey classifications progresses from stage to stage, CANYON//SRAM Racing riders and Sport Director Rolf Aldag, give a preview for each stage of the 2020 Giro Rosa.
Stage 1 Grosseto – Grosseto | 16km TTT | 10m
Alena Amialiusik: “I expect a very fast race. To win this opening stage we have to know the lap with our eyes closed. It really isn’t technical so the few points where it is, and the roundabouts will be important.”
Type of team that can win? “Like all TTT’s it’s about going together as one, trusting each other blindly, and getting the team to go as fast as possible.”
Stage 2 Civitella Paganico – Arcidosso | 122.5km | 2775m
Kasia Niewiadoma: “I expect it to be super hard from the start because we climb from the very beginning. There are no flat parts and there are some steep sections. We did a recon of that stage just after Strade Bianche and it was warm so it felt very hard. I expect that race day on Saturday, it will feel different again.”
“It can be the hardest stage of the entire Giro as it’s a great opportunity for many climbers to show their strength. It’s at the start, everyone will be fresh and will try their chances. There are a lot of opportunities for breakaways on that course too. It’s hard to predict now, so we need to and will be, prepared for every scenario.”
Type of rider that can win? “Definitely a climber.”
Stage 3 Santa Fiora – Assisi | 142km | 1812m
Elena Cecchini: “There can be many key moments on this day. The day prior is one of the most challenging stages of the Giro Rosa; I really believe that GC will be shaken up on stage two. There are many opportunities if a breakaway is allowed to go as there are several hard climbs before the finish in Assisi.”
“If the GC contenders want to keep the peloton all together, then for sure the final 2km climb, bringing us into the centre of Assisi, will be key. It’s not one for pure climbers but for punchy riders. In our case, it can be a very good chance for Kasia as it really suits her. We have a team that can push to make it for breakaways or we can put all our eggs in the one basket and make it a battle on the final climb.”
Type of rider that can win? “A punchy rider that loves a painful finish.”
Stage 4 Assisi – Tivoli | 168.5km | 1905m
Omer Shapira: “We did a recon of the last 70km of this stage. It was nice and fast roads, mainly descending, but, as expected from the Giro Rosa, the final is very challenging. It’s quite similar to the finish of stage 2 and 3: a steep, technical climb.”
“It’s a long race for the women’s calendar so I’m curious to see how the race will be, and for that reason it’s quite hard to predict. I tend to believe it will be a day of the breakaway with a group of girls working together and rolling fast to the finish. If they’re caught, then the last kilometres before the final climb starts will be key.”
Type of rider that can win? “One that’s very powerful, can climb fast and still has a big engine after 165km.”
Stage 5 Terracina – Terracina | 110km | 1109m
Hannah Barnes: “The first four stages will have already given a good indication into what the GC will look like at the end of the race, so I believe that stage 5 also could be a day for a breakaway. There will already be big time gaps so if a group forms without any GC threats then it could potentially go to the line.”
Type of rider that can win? “An aggressive rider that can go with moves on the climb, and also has a good turn of speed at the finish.”
Stage 6 Torre del Greco – Nola | 96km | 1061m
Lisa Klein: “Here, we will be halfway through, so the GC will play a role. Sometimes it is harder to keep the GC in check on these so-called ‘easier’ stages, because they’re underestimated. A key moment will be on, or before the very first climb at 25km in. I expect I’ll be in control mode for this stage. If there’s a break with no GC riders, then I’ll need to be in it. Or if we’re not, I’ll need to control the gap for the GC. I’ll have a clear goal from the team and this will be important to focus my energy on.”
“If I need to be in the break, I’ll look to whoever else will have the same intentions. In the break, I have a chance to get over the three climbs, and then it’s all downhill to the finish It can be a good stage for someone down on GC to get a victory.”
Type of rider that can win? “Someone willing to try!”
Stage 7 Nola – Maddoloni | 112km | 1085m
Stage 8 Castelnuovo della Daunia – S.Marco la Catola | 90km | 1613m
Stage 9 Motta Montecorvino – Motta Montecorvino | 110km | 2241m
Rolf Aldag, Sports Director: “The final three stages of the tour get harder and harder. It creates a nice battle for the GC as it won’t be all over and decided by stage 6 already. No. It’s going to play out on the final days. Who has the strongest team standing. Who has recovered the best day to day, who mentally and physically hasn’t cracked, and who has the best legs still.“
The 2020 Giro Rosa can be followed on Twitter with #UCIWWT and #GiroRosa. The race will have daily highlights on RAI TV and Eurosport.