Ultimate Giro d’Italia 2023 Preview: Route, Teams, and More

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Get ready for an exciting and unpredictable journey as the Giro d’Italia 2023 kicks off in the Abruzzo region of Italy on Saturday, 6 May.

As one of the three Grand Tours, the Giro d’Italia 2023 is renowned for its grueling multi-stage endurance race, featuring the world’s top cyclists competing for the prestigious pink jersey (maglia rosa).

This year’s race – the 106th edition – features a challenging course with big stages, mountains, and time trials, providing riders with tough days in the saddle and seven summit finishes.

Although the defending champion from 2022, Jai Hindley, will not be competing to defend his title, all eyes are on Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglič as they reignite their rivalry on the Italian roads.

With three time trials, 168,635 ft (51,400 m) of elevation gain, and 2,174 miles (3,489 km) of road, the Giro d’Italia 2023 promises to be a classic, filled with excitement and surprises.

Read on to discover more about the contenders, the course, and what to anticipate from this year’s race, covering:

  • Route Of The Giro D’Italia 2023
  • Key Stages
  • The Most Recent Winners
  • Teams Engaged
  • GC Favorites For The Giro D’Italia 2023
  • Other Riders To Watch
  • How To Watch The Giro D’Italia 2023

The 2023 Giro d’Italia has now been and gone. Check out our Giro d’Italia 2023: Stage-by-Stage Recap here!

Giro d'Italia 2023
Preview: Title Image

Route of the Giro d’Italia 2023

The Giro d’Italia 2023 is a three-week Grand Tour featuring a significant increase in time trialing compared to previous editions.

It begins on Saturday, May 6th, 2023, with an individual time trial (ITT) of 11.4 miles (18.4 km) in Abruzzo.

The race also includes two additional time trials: a 20.9-mile (33.6 km) flat ITT in Emilia Romagna, and an 11.5-mile (18.6 km) mountain ITT in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The total distance covered in time trials is 43.9 miles (70.6 km), which is the most since 2013.

Starting in the Abruzzo region, the race traverses Italy with various stages, including summit finishes in the Apennines, the Alps, and the Dolomites.

Stage 7 features a challenging 28-mile (45 km) ascent to Gran Sasso, and Stage 13 takes the riders through a brutal 21.1-mile (34 km) climb up Colle del Gran San Bernardo.

The final week is particularly challenging with multiple mountain stages, including the penultimate stage’s mountain time trial.

The race also offers opportunities for sprinters, but many flat finishes follow substantial climbs, favoring breakaway riders.

The Giro d’Italia 2023 concludes on Sunday, May 28th with a 71.5-mile (115 km) circuit race around Rome, marking its return to the capital for the first time since 2018.

With a mix of time trials, climbs, and sprint stages, the Giro d’Italia 2023 caters to a wide range of riders, giving time trial specialists and climbers ample opportunities to compete for the prestigious maglia rosa.

Key Stages

Stage 1: Fossacesia Marina – Ortona (ITT: 18.4 km)

Stage 1 features a mostly flat time trial along the Abruzzo coastline, with an uphill final kilometer.

The fastest time trialist on this stage will wear the first maglia rosa of the Giro d’Italia 2023 on Stage 2.

Stage 7: Capua – Gran Sasso d’Italia (218 km)

Stage 7 is the first real mountain top finish in the Abruzzo Apennines, ending atop the long Campo Imperatore climb, over 6562 ft (2000 m) above sea level.

This stage will likely provide the first real revelations of this year’s Giro, as riders face a 28-mile (45 km) ascent to a summit finish at Gran Sasso.

Stage 9: Savignano sul Rubicone – Cesena (ITT: 33.6 km)

The first week concludes with a crucial 20.9 miles (33.6 km) ITT in Emilia-Romagna. The pan-flat parcours will test GC contenders with any weakness against the clock, as they aim to stake their claim for the pink jersey.

Stage 13: Borgofranco d’Ivrea – Crans Montana (208 km)

This challenging stage takes riders across the border into Switzerland, with three massive mountains, including the Col du Grand Saint-Bernard.

The climb is this year’s Cima Coppi – the highest point of the Giro, named in honor of the great Fausto Coppi.

The stage concludes with a second Category 1 climb to the finish at Crans Montana.

Stage 16: Sabbio Chiese – Monte Bondone (198 km)

Featuring over 16,404 ft (5,000 m) of elevation gain and culminating with a peak ascent at Monte Bondone, Stage 16 marks the beginning of the concluding week, which is packed with mountainous terrain.

Riders will encounter several challenging climbs along the 123-mile (198 km) route, including the Passo di Santa Barbara and Monte Bondone, which boast gradients of up to 15%.

Stage 18: Oderzo – Val di Zoldo (160 km)

Stage 18 offers five categorized climbs and a finish at Val di Zoldo. The race features the steep slopes of the new climb to Coi, adding intrigue to the stage finale.

The Zoldo Alto climb, which last featured in 2005, concludes the stage after 99.4 miles (160 km).

View of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo across a lake.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo

Stage 19: Longarone – Tre Cime di Lavaredo (182 km)

This year’s Queen Stage spans 113.1 miles (182 km) through the Dolomites, encompassing 17,716 ft (5,400 m) of elevation gain and five categorized climbs.

The route includes three peaks above 6,500 ft (2,000 m), including the iconic Tre Cime di Lavaredo, and provides minimal relief for the riders.

Stage 20: Tarvisio – Monte Lussari Tudor (ITT: 18.6 km)

Stage 20 is a time trial with a twist, as the last four miles (7 km) ascend the steep Monte Lussari, averaging a 12.3% gradient.

This stage offers an opportunity for climbers to make their mark, and could shake-up the overall standings right at the end of the Giro.

Stage 21: Rome – Rome (135 km)

After a long transfer, riders will finish the Giro with a circuit stage around Rome’s historical streets, likely ending in a sprint finish.

View of the roads around the Colosseum at night, where the Giro d'Italia 2023 will finish.

The Most Recent Winners

  • 2022: Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe)
  • 2021: Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers)
  • 2020: Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers)
  • 2019: Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team)
  • 2018: Chris Froome (Team Sky)

Giro d’Italia 2023 Teams

The Giro d’Italia 2023 will showcase 22 teams of 8 riders, with 18 of them being WorldTour teams that earned an automatic place at the start line.

The remaining four spots have been filled by second-division pro teams, which were selected as either the top-ranked or granted a wildcard by the organizers.

WorldTour Teams

  • AG2R Citroën Team
  • Alpecin-Deceuninck
  • Arkéa-Samsic
  • Astana Qazaqstan Team
  • Team Bahrain Victorious
  • Bora-Hansgrohe
  • Cofidis
  • Team DSM
  • EF Education-EasyPost 
  • Groupama-FDJ
  • Ineos Grenadiers 
  • Intermarché-Circus-Wanty Matériaux
  • Jacyo-Alula
  • Jumbo-Visma 
  • Movistar Team 
  • Soudal – Quick-Step
  • Trek-Segafredo
  • UAE Team Emirates

Invited Teams

  • Team Corratec 
  • Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
  • Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Fiazane
  • Israel-Premier Tech

GC favorites for the Giro d’Italia 2023

Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep)

Evenepoel is a Grand Tour winner, world champion, and two-time Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner who has demonstrated his potential across all terrains.

He has already secured victories at the UAE Tour and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, as well as a second-place finish at Catalunya this season.

Evenepoel’s chances will be boosted by the inclusion of three-time trials during the Giro d’Italia.

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)

Roglič, seeking to fill a gap in his palmarès, has already started and won two races this year, showcasing his finishing sprint at Tirreno-Adriatico and level-headedness at the Volta a Catalunya.

He will be backed by a talented Jumbo-Visma team, including Robert Gesink, Sepp Kuss, and Tobias Foss.

Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers)

Geoghegan Hart, the only previous Giro winner in the starting lineup, has recently displayed Giro-winning form at the Tour of the Alps.

His strong team includes Pavel Sivakov, Geraint Thomas, and Thymen Arensmen, with the latter showing potential as a future GC contender.

João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates)

With a history of impressive Giro performances, Almeida has achieved promising GC results as a team leader at UAE Team Emirates, including placements at the Vuelta, Tirreno-Adriatico, and Volta a Catalunya.

He will receive support from teammate Jay Vine, who may act as a co-leader or super-domestique.

Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe)

Vlasov has demonstrated GC potential with a fifth-place finish at the Tour de France and overall victory at the Tour de Romandie.

However, he has flown under the radar this season. The team dynamics at Bora-Hansgrohe, with Lennard Kämna also targeting the overall classification, will affect Vlasov’s overall prospects.

Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers)

Part of a strong Ineos team, Thomas has a history of GC racing success, but a less impressive Giro record due to crashes.

Given his uncertain role in this year’s race and a challenging start to the season, Thomas could be a pleasant surprise, considering he displayed some signs of form at the recent Tour of the Alps.

Other Riders To Watch

Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)

Pedersen is not just a sprinter and is considered a top contender for the points classification, alongside the general classification favorites.

At the last Vuelta, he demonstrated his speed by winning three stages and the green jersey.

Pedersen’s superior climbing ability compared to most of his rivals should enable him to collect points in transition stages where other sprinters may struggle.

Fernando Gaviria (Movistar)

Leading Team Movistar at the Giro d’Italia 2023, Colombian rider Fernando Gaviria has two victories this year, indicating a potential revival of his career that could translate into a strong performance at the Giro.

Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers)

Italian time-trial specialist Filippo Ganna is a double world champion in the discipline (2020, 2021) and returns to the Giro d’Italia after participating in the Tour de France in 2022.

Ganna has competed in five time-trials in his two previous Giro appearances, winning all of them.

Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan)

At 37 years old, Cavendish has already won 16 stages of the Giro d’Italia in his stellar career.

However, he will be racing without a dedicated lead-out train this time around.

The “Manx Missile” is participating in his 22nd Grand Tour and 7th Giro, but is yet to achieve a victory with his new team, Astana Qazaqstan.

Michael Matthews (Jayco AlUla)

After a disappointing and setback-filled spring season, Australian rider Michael Matthews took a month off to regroup and focus on the Giro d’Italia – a race where he has previously won two stages.

How to Watch The Giro d’Italia 2023

Here’s a list of where viewers can watch the Giro:

  • Europe and UK: Eurosport and GCN
  • USA: BeIN Sport and GCN
  • Australia: Eurosport, GCN, and SBS
  • South Africa: GCN and Supersport

Most stages are estimated to start around 12:00 CEST (10:00 UTC), and finish around 17:00 CEST (15:00 UTC).

Enjoyed this Giro d’Italia 2023 Preview? Check out more from the BikeTips experts below!

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Quentin's background in bike racing runs deep. In his youth, he won the prestigious junior Roc d'Azur MTB race before representing Belgium at the U17 European Championships in Graz, Austria. Shifting to road racing, he then competed in some of the biggest races on the junior calendar, including Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, before stepping up to race Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Paris-Roubaix as an U23. With a breakthrough into the cut-throat environment of professional racing just out of reach, Quentin decided to shift his focus to embrace bike racing as a passion rather than a career. Now writing for BikeTips, Quentin's experience provides invaluable insight into performance cycling - though he's always ready to embrace the fun side of the sport he loves too and share his passion with others.

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