Giro d’Italia Women 2024 Race Preview

34th Giro d'Italia Donne 2023 - Stage 9

Giro d'Italia Women 2024 History

The 2024 Giro d’Italia Women will be the first run by the same race organisers as the men’s Giro. It has taken a long time to get here but RCS finally takes over leadership and hopefully means we’ll see a smoother race. This time last year we were wondering if the 2023 race was going to get live pictures after a skirmish between the departing race organisers and the Italian Federation, before going on to host a good race. This year there’s been none of that drama and mishap which has become de rigeur at the Giro Rosa, Giro Donne and Giro d’Italia Women.

A slight reduction in the number of stages from 9 to 8 I a shame but we’ll see a time trial and a mountain summit included in the parcours this year. Blockhaus is the big climb to look forward to and will be making its first appearance in the race. At 17.7km at 7.8% it’s an absolute brute and GC riders will need to be as fresh as possible for it on Stage 7. Whilst the TT will set the early standings, it’s this climb which will likely decide the GC. We only have one previous winner here this year, with Van Vleuten, Van der Breggen and Guarnier in retirement that’s all of the last 9 winners out of contention. So it’s 2011, 2012 & 2014 GC champion Marianne Vos who is the only rider to have taken home the Maglia Rosa.
Scratch all that, Marianne Vos won’t be racing this year’s Giro d’Italia Women!

Previous Winners

Giro d'Italia Women 2024 Stage Profiles

Stage 1 (TT)

2024_Giro_D'Italia_Women_Stage_1_Profile

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

Stage 6

Stage 7

Stage 8

Blockhaus Climb Profile (Stage 7)

TV Coverage

Sunday 7th July – Sunday 14th 2024

Live on Eurosport/Discovery across Europe

Stage 1: 11:50-13:50
Stage 2: 11:50-13:50
Stage 3: 12:00-14:00
Stage 4: 12:00-14:00
Stage 5: 12:00-14:00
Stage 6: 12:00-14:00
Stage 7: 12:00-14:00
Stage 8: 12:00-14:00

All times in BST

Twitter: #GirodItaliaWomen

Startlist: FirstCycling

Giro d'Italia Women 2024 Contenders

Lidl-Trek is here to win and are bringing all the major Italian talent to do well on home roads. Elisa Longo Borghini and Gaia Realini are the GC threats, with the former finishing 3rd at the Vuelta and Suisse before becoming Italian nat champ again. From what we’ve seen of the startlist, she should be the GC favourite this year and hopefully can stay out of trouble this year, unlike last year’s infamous crash. Gaia Realini has struggled in parts this season but 2nd on the opening stage of the Tour de Suisse was a sign that hopefully the climbing is back on point again now. ELB should have more of a chance but Realini can’t be discounted, especially if anyone does falter. Elisa Balsamo was back racing at the Italian nat champs, finishing 6th there after 6 weeks out because of the heavy crash at Burgos. At her best, she should be the fastest sprinter here, the question mark is just what level she will be at currently. You also can’t discount Brodie Chapman in a time trial at the moment or the pair of Lizzie Deignan and Lucinda Brand to put pressure on with attacks. Brand, in particular, is going well with a stage win and 4th in GC at the Thüringen Ladies Tour.

SD Worx is going to be interesting to watch. Lotte Kopecky is racing and might be going for the GC after what we’ve seen from here this year. She took a double set of wins at the Belgian nat champs, won 2 stages and the GC at the Tour of Britain and finished 3rd at the RideLondon Classique whilst leading out Lorena Wiebes there. We’ve not seen her tackle a major climb really since the Jebel Hafeet stage win back at the UAE Tour in February so how she stacks up against the likes of Longo Borghini on them is unclear. She’s going to get support from Marlen Reusser but her form is unclear. She had to skip her home race, the Tour de Suisse, due to illness and also missed the national championships as well. She should be a contender for the opening time trial but her form and racing days since Itzulia in early May just aren’t there. Niamh Fisher-Black was good at the Vuelta, finishing 7th in GC there and should be the climbing option here for SD Worx. The results since then though aren’t quite where you’d expect. She could podium at her best. It’s similar with Blanka Vas who will be the sprinting option. 2nd at 4th at the Vuelta, she was off at Itzulia and then got on the mountain bike.

Canyon SRAM will be Kasia-less but there are still plenty of riders who can shine. Neve Bradbury was huge at the Tour de Suisse, finishing 2nd in GC with a stage win there. She was 2nd way back at the UAE Tour as well so there are flashes that the Aussie is starting to really come good now this year. If she brings that form to the Giro then the top-5 might be possible for her as well. She’ll get support from Antonia Niedermaier who won a stage solo here last year before an unfortunate crash took her out of the race. She rode as the 3rd wheel in Suisse but still finished 6th overall and was 11th at the Vuelta. If her form peak is timed for the Giro we might see her challenge once more. Elise Chabbey will be in the hunt too, she’s talking about breaks and no doubt a steer at the QoM jersey as is her reputation. She won it at Suisse after finishing 3rd on the first day, was 4th in GC at Burgos and 5th in GC at Ituzlia too for an outside threat. When it comes to sprints, on tougher days, Soraya Paladin can contest and has been good recently with top-10s at RideLondon Classique and Vuelta a Burgos in the last 2 months. It’s a similar story for Maike van der Duin too on that note at the same races, albeit on the flatter finishes. If she can regain her top form after an injury-filled season, there will be opportunities for top-3 finishes for the Dutch rider.

Juliette Labous
Juliette Labous

Team dsm-firmenich PostNL will be firmly behind Juliette Labous for the GC here. Labous just became the French national champion in a sprint-a-deux finish. That’s the first time for her and comes off the back of a solid block of top-5 GC finishes at the Tour de Suisse, Itzulia and Vuelta since the Spring Classics. She should be fine in the TT, not losing much or any time to rivals there and then will see what she can do on the climbs after that. The top-5 should be more than doable with the podium maybe possible too. There are plenty of other stage hunting options in the line-up, with Josie Nelson probably the rider most likely to sprint. She took a 4th on the opening day of Itzulia and was 7th in the British nat champs recently too.

Liv-AlUla-Jayco will have plenty of form and confidence coming into the Giro d’Italia Women. Mavi Garcia won the Ruta del Sol GC with a stage win in there too, but won’t be in the Spanish jersey for the first time since 2020 after finishing 3rd in the Spanish nats. She had a solid Itzulia too with 2nd on the 2nd stage helping her finish 4th overall there. Mavi should be a cert for the top-10 but it’s hard to see her really contesting for the GC win. Her support includes some very in-form riders. Silke Smulders, who was 2nd in GC and a stage win at the Ruta del Sol will hopefully be in the same form in Italy. Ella Wyllie had a strong Spain month, taking top-10 GC results in Itzulia, Burgos and winning a stage of the Ruta del Sol to finish 3rd in GC there (the team dominated that race). Away from there, Urska Zigart looked on it again at the Tour de Suisse where she finished 9th in GC, easily her most high-profile result of the season before going on to win both the road race and TT at Slovenian nats. Ruby Roseman-Gannon should get in the mix for some of the sprints and took her first WWT victory at the Tour of Britain Women by sneaking past a trio of SD Worx riders who were messing around at the finish line. The rolling stages with fast finishes will be her forte. Ingvild Gåskjenn might just be over her impressive form peak in April/May which saw the Norwegian take a host of WWT top-5 results. Expect to see her in the mix again but there are a lot of mouths to feed on the team!

Movistar will have their work cut out to retain their title here. Liane Lippert might just be coming back into form after a delayed start to the season. She was 8th in GC at the Vuelta a Burgos where her consistency helped keep her near the top of the standings. 2nd in the German national champs was a strong result, albeit beaten in a sprint in a small group finish. She could still be in top-10 GC and stage contention but a high GC feels out of reach just yet. Movistar should get some joy with Arlenis Sierra as well on stages. The parcours suits a hilly sprinter like the Cuban who retained her national champs titles. After a quartet of 2nd places this year, Sierra finally took a victory at the Ruta del Sol. There will be climbing threats from Claire Steels and Mareille Meijering. Steels looked strong at the British nats and has been consistently riding in support through Spain month at the expense of an individual result. Meijering got a chance at GP Eibar and Durango-Durango, finishing 5th and 6th in those races to back up her GC win at Vuelta Extremadura Féminas in March.

Kim-Cadzow-inks-new-deal-with-EF-Education-Cannondale-after-strong-spring-campaign
Kim Cadzow

Kim Cadzow was hugely impressive at the Tour de Suisse, finishing 3rd on the mountain TT and setting herself up for a really high GC finish. An unfortunate crash on the final stage took her out of the top-5 and into 8th in GC at the finish. Despite that, it’s a sign that the Kiwi is in the hunt for these kinds of races after finishing 10th at the Vuelta as well. A regular time trial here probably doesn’t help but there are enough opportunities to gain time with rolling stages and punchy finishes. Letizia Borghesi is in some good form and whilst not a pure sprinter will get chances here. A Giro stage winner back in 2019, that remains her only win. She was consistent all week at the Thüringen Ladies Tour to finish 9th in GC, plus 5th at Dwars door het Hageland and the Italian nats – a Giro d’Italia Women stage win will be a big target for her.

There’s quite a bit of hype now for the former triathlete Usoa Ostolaza. First of all, she won the GC at the Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées, along with a stage victory. That was off the back of 5th at the Ruta del Sol and 2nd at the GP Eibar too. That win seems to have sparked the confidence in her to go get more results, with a win in the Spanish national championships a couple of weeks ago. The time trial is an unknown but in this form, Ostolaza could be a nice top-10 surprise. Teammate Ane Santesteban is the bigger name and has been solid despite interruptions to her 2024 season. She was 6th at Spanish nats off the back of top 10s at GP Eibar and Durango-Durango a month earlier. She would normally be expected to be the GC threat here but should work nicely with Ostolaza.

Cofidis will be confident in their young starlet Julie Bego. She was 7th in GC at the Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées and climbed to 6th on the Col d’Aubisque. She’s got a chance to maybe wear the white youth jersey early on but it will be tough to win it over say Gaia Realini with the Blockhaus climb coming late on. Nikola Noskova will be in the mix on the climbs as well and seemed to be almost over her elbow injury at the Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées, where she also made the top-10 to finish 9th and win the QoM jersey there. Sarah Roy is enjoying her riding at the moment and after a win at the Bretagne Ladies Tour, she was 12th in GC at the Women’s Tour of Britain, with a 6th place into Wrexham. Hannah Ludwig is the wildcard rider who hopefully will go on the attack. We saw her win the Navarra Elite Classics and has been racing well since.

Chiara Consonni
Chiara Consonni

UAE Team ADQ will most likely get their success here through stage wins rather than GC. Chiara Consonni will get a couple of opportunities and should be high in confidence after a trio of wins in 1.1 races in the last couple of months. A purer sprinter than say Balsamo, there are 2 obvious opportunities here for her. Silvia Persico has pivoted from GC attempts to stage hunting and there are some stages here which could suit her finishing style. She won the GP de Plumelec-Morbihan this year and could do well on some of the medium-difficulty stages. It’s a similar story for the new Polish national champ, Dominika Wlodarczyk, who sprints well on tough days. If Consonni is dropped for any reason then Wlodarczyk will be able to step into her shoes and finish well. Eleonora Gasparrini can perform the same role too after finishing 8th in GC at the RideLondon Classique thanks to results on the tougher stages. She’s also got a win this year at La Classique Morbihan. We might see Erica Magnaldi try something for GC but it feels like the Italian will be doing well to make the top-10. She was 15th at the Vuelta and I can see her finishing around there again with the odd strong stage finish too.

Kim le Court is going to be a nice option for AG Insurance-Soudal. After a bit of a post-classics break, she came back well to finish 4th at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. There are a number of stages here which will suit her ability to sprint well on hilly stages. The team isn’t really here with a GC threat but there are plenty of chances for them to animate and maybe get a jersey – the likes of Lore De Schepper and Marthe Goossens can go on the attack and finish well if they get in the customary Giro break winning stage.

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig is tough to pick with confidence at the moment. She’s made a return to racing and there have been some encouraging signs, even if it’s not quite the WWT star she is used to being. You can see the progression steps back to there. However, she didn’t finish the Tour de Suisse and then skipped the Danish nationals as well. Even a top-10 GC shout feels tough currently. Grace Brown is a nice option, especially with a TT involved. She won the Bretagne Ladies Tour and had an ok Volta Catalunya with 8th on the first day before fading. Outside of the TT, I kinda expect attacks and dom duty. Vittoria Guazzini could be the FDJ rider to get the most joy on tages. She won the opener of the Tour des Pyrenees, then won the Italian National TT (albeit with an ELB relegation assistance). There’s a chance she’s challenging for the pink jersey on Stage 2.

Cedrine Kerbaol will be a threat in the time trial with the French rider just missing out to Cordon-Ragot in the French nats this year. She was 6th on all 3 stages at the Volta Catalunya and unsurprisingly finished…6th in GC there too. She won Durango-Durango with a daring descent in the rain and should be a good attacking option in the lead-up to the Tour de France Femmes. Ceratizt-WNT also has a number of good one-day race finishers in Kathrin Schweinberger (winner of Dwars door de Westhoek recently) and Arianna Fidanza for good measure.

There’s no Marianne Vos here for Visma | Lease a Bike, a slight surprise given her long successful history. Fem van Empel will fancy her chances across most of these stages, suiting that slightly puncheur sprinter power curve which will see her contest at least half of the stages of this year’s race. She was 7th at the Volta Catalunya because of having a quiet, if consistent, Tour de Suisse experience. Lieke Nooijen had a hugely impressive ride to finish 2nd in the Dutch National TT this year. She’s often a sort of sprinter, sort of attacking rider and now can firmly add time trialling to her bow too. If she’s up there after Stage 1, maybe the team will see if they can get her into pink. Rosita Reijnhout continues to impress this season with a good Spain month and a solid Tour de Suisse. She will be a good attacking option who can sneak into the top 10s of reduced group sprints. Maud Oudeman also fits that bill and finishing 10th at the Vuelta a Burgos and 9th at the Volta Catalunya is also encouraging.

Giro d'Italia Women 2024 Outsiders

Giada-Borghesi-2024-Giro-Mediterraneo-in-Rosa-Flaviano-Ossola
Giada Borghesi

Giada Borghesi has just signed for Human Powered Health after a very impressive 2024 season so far. The younger sister of EF rider Letizia, Giada has barely finished outside of the top-10 in recent months, scoring high finishes in a series of 1.1 races in France, Spain and Italy. HPH moved quickly to sign her and she’s immediately into the Giro team. Hopefully, she will get a chance to do well. Ruth Edwards is also in some form after a really fun Thüringen Ladies Tour. She got a win from the break on Stage 1 and held it the rest of the way. Her confidence is now sky high and we might see something from the American again here.

Monica Trinca Colonel has been another star Italian rider this year on the Continental teams. Signed by BePink, she’s been a revelation with top-10s in smaller races and is on the cusp of the same in WWT races as well. She’s shown to be a solid all-rounder with the ability to climb well as well as get into the mix in a reduced sprint as well. A star turn at the Giro d’Italia Women will have the WWT teams trying to sign her up quickly. The likes of Tota Magalhães and Elisa Valtulini have also had their moments this year, with Angela Oro almost a dead cert to be in a breakaway at some point this week.

Elena Pirrone has quietly been going well recently. She was 3rd in the Italian TT Championship and followed that up with a solid week at the Thüringen Ladies Tour, finishing 14th overall there. We’ve seen her do well in races like Navarra Elite Classics where the Italian finished 6th and she scored another top 10 during the Tour de Suisse. It’s hard to make a solid favourite for any stage but she can certainly be in contention. I quite like the chances of Elena Hartmann on some of the purer climbing stages but it might be difficult to piece together a full GC challenge. A top-20 is likely, with maybe creeping into the top-10 of Stages 3 and 7 along the way too.

She’s not done that much at WWT level this season but Mie Bjørndal Ottestad has done well elsewhere. Winner of the GC at the Tour de Normandie back in March, she then finished 4th at the Ruta del Sol, a top-10 stage finish at the Volta Catalunya and then became the Norwegian champion. Hopefully, we see her make some moves.

Tashkent are going to have their work cut out here but Yanina Kuskova is the young rider on the team with some talent. She’s the new Uzbek national champion and has done well in races across the world this year with 5th at GP de Plumelec-Morbihan, 6th at the Tour of the Gila and 9th at the Tour of Thailand. Repeating some of that against WWT opposition will be tough but it’s a chance for her.

Top 3 Prediction

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