The 2023 Giro Donne has been pilloried since the start of the season for not releasing details of where the race will actually take place. Riders have been unable to prepare with no clear idea of what will lie in store – it’s very hard to recon ride all of Italy. It took until the beginning of April for any details to be known, at which point we were told the 5 regions the race would be going through in 2023 – Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Liguria and Sardinia. That hinted at a race staying in the north of Italy before jumping across to the island of Sardinia, where the race started in 2022.
The actual details of the stages are still missing, Stage 1 would be one of the team time trials so beloved by the Giro Donne over the years as it both starts and finishes in Chianciano Terme. Stage 3’s finish in Modena is the first time it has hosted either a start or finish since the start of Stage 6 in 2012 where Shelley Olds took the win at the finish in Salsomaggiore Terme.
Similar to the opening day, Stage 4’s start and finish being in Fidenza may hint at a time trial there too, with the same potentially said of Canelli for Stage 6. The area around Canelli is all punchy climbs, however, so this is more likely to be a road stage. Stage 5 finishing in Ceres should see plenty of climbing, with the town located 35km north of Turin in the hills.
Stage 7 will see plenty of climbing as well as the race heads away from the coast at Albenga before dropping back down to Alassio. Alassio last saw a stage start/finish when it hosted the beginning of Stage 6 in 2016 – Evelyn Stevens won that day. Unlike last year, there is no rest day planned to get the race across the sea to Sardinia, so a long transfer with see riders potentially fly from Nice whilst the team equipment is driven via ferry to the island.
The penultimate stage will be across the hilly spine of Sardinia and the final stage keeping to the flatter north part of the island but probably still with some rolling climbing in the middle of the stage. Last year’s finish in Olbia saw Marianne Vos take the victory.
The likes of Annemiek van Vleuten and Mavi Garcia are already confirmed for this year’s Giro Donne, with Demi Vollering expected to miss it and focus on the Tour de France Femmes.
Giro Donne 2023 Route
Chianciano Terme – Chianciano Terme
Bagno a Ripoli – Marradi
Formigine – Modena
Fidenza – Fidenza
Salassa – Ceres
Canelli – Canelli
Albenga – Alassio
Nuoro – Sassari
Sassari – Olbia
Main image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency