The Giro d’Italia Donne begins on 30 June, seven weeks after the Tour of Italy for men. The Grande Partenza takes place in Sardinia. Here, a prologue and two stages will be ridden before the caravan moves, on the only rest day, to the (north-)east of Italy for the remaining seven stages. The riders will finish in Padova on Sunday, 10 July.
The Tour of Italy for women has existed since 1988 but was known as the ‘Giro Rosa’ until 2020. Marianne Vos has already won three editions; those of 2011, 2012 and 2014. This puts her in third place in the multiple Giro winners ranking. Together with her teammates, Vos is determined to fight for as many victories as possible.
“I have cycled the Giro many times already, but this year is different from previous years”, Vos said. “I have not yet experienced a start in Sardinia and a relocation is also new.”
According to Vos, racing in Italy always provides unexpected twists. “In the Giro, you have to be prepared for the unexpected. Perhaps because of the warm weather, the challenging course, and the Italian temperament, but also because the Giro is a multi-day race. The classics riders do everything they can to not lose time, while others go for a stage victory. Every day will be exciting.”
This year’s Giro Donne begins with a 4.75-kilometre prologue, followed by a mostly flat 106.5-kilometre stage on day two and a fast sprint stage on day three. On days seven, eight and nine, the peloton will face the mountains.
“The prologue on the first day will provide time differences. It will not mean anything yet, but it is a good start”, says Vos. “The two stages that follow on the island are interesting for sprinters. Personally, I prefer a more hilly course. We will get that later in the race, when we have left Sardinia.”
Vos can count on Karlijn Swinkels, Amber Kraak, Romy Kasper, Anouska Koster and Riejanne Markus during the Giro.
“We will look at the race strategy day by day, but one thing is for sure: We will go for the win in every stage. We will have to adjust the strategy every now and then – sometimes on the way – but we have that flexibility.”
It promises to be hot in Italy next week, but Vos does not see that as a disadvantage. “It could provide an extra challenge, but that applies to everyone. I hope I am used to it after my recent preparation in Spain. It is important to recover well between races so we can ride at full speed every day.”