Everything you need to know about the Giro d'Italia

Sarah Maclachlan

Apr / 28 / 2019

Often referred to as "the toughest race in the world's most beautiful place", the Giro d'Italia is one of the world’s most famous multiple stage cycle events and it's the first of three Grand Tours on the UCI Calendar held each year. With the 2019 edition, less than 2 weeks away here is everything you need to know about the race...


The Giro d'Italia was first organised in 1909 and has been held every year since (with the exception of the years it was stopped due to the two world wars).

The race was organised to boost sales and popularity of the pink newspaper ‘Gazzetta dello Sport’. Today the race is run by RCS Sports and 102 years on the Giro d’Italia has managed to retain its heritage and keep the infamous pink winner's jersey!

The 1909 Giro d'Italia was the inaugural running of the Giro d'Italia and was won by Italian rider Luigi Ganna.

Tour format

As with all the Grand Tours, each tour is 3 weeks long with 21 stages and 2 rest days. Every year the route changes and the route is predominately held in Italy with the exception of some editions choosing a host country to welcome the Grande Partenza.

The 21-day long stage race tends to follow the same format year on year with 9 stages/ rest day/ 6 stages/ rest day/ 6 stages. Each edition of the race can expect to feature at least two time trials and a passage through the Alps and Dolomites.

102nd Edition of the 2019 Corsa Rosa

2019 Rider line up

Of the 22 teams (19 pro tour & 4 pro continental) you will find on the start line, each comprising of 8 riders here are just some of the riders you should be keeping an eye on…

Simon Yates (Michelton-Scott) is set to return to the Giro d'Italia, this time trying to regain the pink jersey, which he wore for over two weeks in 2018 until he collapsed in the penultimate mountain stage over the Colle delle Finestre, loosing to Chris Froome.

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) former ski jumper turned cyclist is relatively new on the pro circuit stepping up to the WorldTour in 2016 but three years on, he will start this year's Giro as one of the favourites for overall victory. In 2018 Roglic placed 1st in the Tour of Basque Country, Tour de Romandie and Tour of Slovenia before finishing with an impressive 4th place at the Tour de France. This year he has won the UAE Tour swiftly followed by Tirreno-Adriatico.

Team Sky (Team Ineos) has announced that Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas will focus their 2019 seasons around the Tour de France, with Egan Bernal set to lead his first Grand Tour at the Giro d’Italia.

Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) former 2017 winner is choosing the Giro over the Tour de France this year. Last year he finished second place at the Giro d’Italia behind Fromme and Second at the Tour de France behind Geraint Thomas. Many thought he would focus his attention solely on the Tour de France but after a course comparison, Team Sunweb have confirmed that Dumoulin will focus his efforts on the Giro d’Italia with the hope of regaining his title!

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida), former double Giro winner in 2013 and 2016 and one of only 7 riders to win all 3 grand tours. With 7 mountain finishes, this year's Corsa Rosa is well suited to Nibali and if he is able to execute the race well it could leave him in good steading for a third Giro win. After the unfortunate end to Nibali's season at the Tour de France last year we expect to see him fully recovered and in fighting spirit.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team). Valverde currently holds the world championship title after winning in Innsbruck last year, although he has recently announced retirement. Movistar rider said “In principle, I will retire in 2021... I will do one more year after the Tokyo Olympics. I think that's fine.” As World Champion, we expect to see some strong riding from the Movistar team.

2017 Giro d'Itlai team presentation, Sardinia.

Grande Partenza

For the first 47 editions of the Giro d'Italia, the race always departed on Italian Soil, passing only briefly into neighbouring countries France and Italy.

For the first time in 1965, the Giro departed from foreign soil…. And since has departed from 12 foreign locations.

San Marino (1965), Monaco (1966), Belgium (1973), Vatican City (1974), Greece (1996), France(1998), Netherlands (2002), Belgium (2006), Netherlands (2010), Denmark (2012), Northern Island (2014), Netherlands (2016), Israel (2018) and in 2020 Hungary will host the Grande Partenza for the 103rd Edition of the Giro d’Italia (The first grand tour to be hosted in this country).

This year the Giro will be departing from Bologna with an Individual Time Trial.

2018 Giro d'Itlaia Experience tour 'Grande Partenza Israel'.

Grande Finale

Milan has seen the start and finish of the Giro d’Itlaia for more than half a century! The main reason for this was that the Gazzetta dello Sport was located here. Since the Grande Finale has been hosted in Rome, Trieste and Verona.

The 102nd edition will be concluded in Verona and we can't wait to see who will be announced the winner!

2018 winner Chris Froome in Rome