With the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, the Giro d’Italia is one of the Grand Tours: the three major European professional cycling stage races. The race has been held annually since its first edition in 1909. The route changes each year, whereas the format of the race stays the same, with at least two time trials, and a passage through the spectacular Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The leader of the race has the privilege to wear the race leader’s pink jersey: the colour pink was chosen as the magazine that created the Giro, La Gazzetta dello Sport, printed its newspapers on pink paper. The colour pink will accompany the cyclists throughout the stage, as in the Dolomites at dusk and dawn, the rocks become of a colour ranging from orange-red to pink: this is the enrosadira or alpenglow.
The 16th stage of the race will be the most difficult of the Giro: a gigantic stage through the Dolomites, with 212 km and an elevation gain of 5,700 m. After the start at Sacile, the athletes will climb the Crosetta Pass to reach the plateau of the Cansiglio. After descending to the towns of Belluno and Agordo, they will face the challenge of three legendary Dolomite Passes: the Fedaia, aside Mount Marmolada, the Pordoi and the Giau, from which the final descent will take them to the finish line in Cortina d’Ampezzo. This incredible climb in the Dolomites is expected to be one of the decisive stages of the race.
The Giro gives good chances to both sprinters (6 arrivals) and breakaway riders (8 arrivals uphill) with average short stages. Among the favourites, there are the Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal, an endurance racer who performs at his best in the long climbs above 2,000 m and the Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel, very strong and fast but still recovering from an injury. Other prominent contenders are Vincenzo Nibali (Italy), Thibaut Pinot (France), Romain Bardet (France), Jai Hindley (Australia) and Simon Yates (UK).
Further information about the event: www.giroditalia.it