Giro d’Italia Donne 2023: Ultimate Preview

Photo of author
Written by
reviewed by Rory McAllister
Last Updated:

In the heart of summer, the 34th Giro d’Italia Donne, the women’s Giro d’Italia, is poised to ignite the cobbled streets and rolling hills of Italy with racing action that promises to rival the drama of its esteemed male counterpart.

The 2023 race will take riders through the awe-inspiring landscapes of Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Liguria, and Sardinia.

Taking place from June 30 to July 9, 2023, this edition of the race holds the potential for intense competition, unwavering determination, and exceptional cycling prowess.

Can reigning champion Annemiek van Vleuten successfully defend her title against a world-class field on a challenging course? Moreover, will the historical race maintain its prestige following recent controversies?

These questions, among others, will be answered in our comprehensive preview of the Giro d’Italia Donne 2023.

Join us as we delve into an in-depth examination of the route, top teams, potential winners, and more. In this coverage, we will explore:

  • Giro d’Italia Donne 2023 Overview
  • Route Of The Giro D’Italia Donne 2023
  • The Last 10 Podiums
  • Giro d’Italia Donne 2023: Teams
  • Giro d’Italia Donne 2023: The Favourites
  • How To Watch The Giro D’Italia Donne 2023

Let’s dive in!

Giro d'Italia Donne 2023: Ultimate Preview (Title Image)

Giro d’Italia Donne 2023 Overview

The Giro d’Italia Donne, also known as the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, ranks among the oldest and most iconic stage races for women.

The race will kick off in the picturesque town of Chianciano Terme in Tuscany and culminate in Olbia, a historical city on the northeastern coast of Sardinia.

In a break from the traditional 10-day schedule, this year’s Giro is condensed into a rigorous nine days of racing.

The riders will take a well-earned rest day on July 7, slotted between stages 7 and 8, allowing for travel from mainland Italy to the island of Sardinia for the final two challenging days of the event.

Despite the one-day reduction in duration, the Giro d’Italia Donne remains the longest – and arguably most prestigious – event on the women’s calendar.

One of the race’s major highlights is the daunting Passo (Pian) del Lupo. Crowned as the “Cima Coppi” (the highest point in the race), this peak will put the riders’ climbing skills to the test on Stage 5.

The 2023 Giro d’Italia Femminile is shaping up to be a thrilling precursor to the Tour de France Femmes, which is scheduled to take place just a few weeks later.

The Giro d’Italia Donne made a victorious comeback to the Women’s WorldTour in 2022, after being briefly demoted in 2021 for failing to offer live broadcasting of the race in the previous year.

Route of the Giro d’Italia Donne 2023

The Giro d’Italia Donne, eagerly awaited by tens of thousands of fans and spectators, showcases a diverse course spanning sea, mountains, hills, lakes, rivers, and cities of art.

The race consists of nine stages, covering a total distance of 928 kilometers.

Despite the relative lack of major climbs, the race’s varied terrain features numerous rolling roads and a few challenging ascents that could play a crucial role in determining the overall standings.

The 5th stage holds special interest, with the Passo del Lupo (1500 m), the only climb surpassing 1000 m. This contrasts sharply with last year’s race, which included a dramatic summit finish on the Passo Maniva.

This year’s event organization has stirred some controversy.

Several teams and riders have voiced their displeasure with the current organizer, PMG Sport/Starlight, citing a perceived lack of professionalism and respect due to the late release of route details in May 2023. 

These details are vital, as they allow riders to plan their training sessions and reconnaissance trips effectively.

However, the 2023 edition of the women’s Corsa Rosa will be the last to be organized by PMG Sport/Starlight. Starting in 2024, the organization duties will shift to RCS Sport, who will be in charge of the race for a four-year term ending in 2027.

Aerial view across the island of Sardinia, where the Giro d'Italia Donne 2023 ends.
Sardinia, Italy.

Stage 1: Chianciano, 4.4 km (ITT)

The Giro d’Italia Donne 2023 kicks off with a flat 4.4 km individual time trial (ITT).

Here, each rider will take on the course individually against the clock. This short, explosive race will favor powerful riders who excel in these fast, brief efforts.

The first rider to cross the finish line will be awarded the maglia rosa, the pink leader’s jersey.

Stage 2: Bagno a Ripoli to Marradi, 102.1 km

The stage features an initially flat course, but a sizeable climb towards the end means the course is unlikely to favor the pure sprinters.

The Category 2 climb over the Passo della Colla, positioned 15 km before the finish, will challenge the peloton. This 16.1 km climb, with an average gradient of 4.5%, could disrupt the peloton’s rhythm and cause potential shifts in the race standings.

Stage 3: Formigine to Modena, 118.2 km

The third stage covers 118.2 km from Formigine to Modena, with a significant Category 3 climb at Villa Bianca-Marano roughly midway through the stage.

While tough, the timing of this climb gives riders a chance to regroup for a possible sprint finish or provides an opportunity for breakaway riders to make their move.

Stage 4: Fidenza to Borgo Val di Taro, 134 km

This stage doesn’t feature any categorized climbs, making it relatively straightforward.

However, a series of rolling hills in the second half of the course could create opportunities for a breakaway group to establish a lead and compete for the stage win.

Stage 5: Salassa to Ceres, 103.3 km

The fifth stage signals the race’s arrival in the mountains, starting with a punishing Category 1 climb along the Passo (Pian) del Lupo.

The climb, spanning roughly 16 km from the Castellamonte side, is designated as the Cima Coppi, the highest peak of the race.

This is followed by two Category 3 climbs at Vietti and Sant’Ignazio, adding to the difficulty before the stage concludes at Ceres.

Stage 6: Canelli to Canelli, 104.4 km

Stage 6 comprises a hilly 104.4 km loop beginning and ending in Canelli.

The course includes three Category 3 climbs at Castino, Calosso, and Santo Stefano, with a summit finish that could reshuffle the General Classification standings.

Stage 7: Albenga to Alassio, 109.1 km

On Stage 7, riders will navigate along the Ligurian coastline.

The course turns inland to tackle a Category 3 climb at Passo del Ginestro, followed by two consecutive Category 2 ascents at Vioneto and Salita.

A summit finish in Alassio caps off this demanding stage.

Stage 8: Nuoro to Sassari, 125.7 km

The race transitions to the island of Sardinia for stage eight, a 125.7 km route from Nuoro to Sassari.

The course features just one Category 3 climb at Romana-Ittiri but maintains a hilly profile throughout, culminating in a potentially decisive uphill finish.

Stage 9: Sassari to Olbia, 126.8 km

The day starts with a Category 1 climb at Osilo, followed by a Category 3 climb mid-way through the stage.

The riders will then descend towards the coastal city of Olbia, where the overall champion will be determined, potentially from a reduced group sprint finish.

The Last 10 Podiums

2013Mara AbbottTatiana GuderzoClaudia Häusler
2014Marianne VosPauline Ferrand-PrévotAnna van der Breggen
2015Anna van der BreggenMara AbbottMegan Guarnier
2016Megan GuarnierEvelyn StevensAnna van der Breggen
2017Anna van der BreggenElisa Longo BorghiniAnnemiek van Vleuten
2018Annemiek van VleutenAshleigh MoolmanAmanda Spratt
2019Annemiek van VleutenAnna van der BreggenAmanda Spratt
2020Anna van der BreggenKatarzyna NiewiadomaElisa Longo Borghini
2021Anna van der BreggenAshleigh MoolmanDemi Vollering
2022Annemiek van VleutenMarta CavalliMavi García

Giro d’Italia Donne 2023: The Teams

A total of 168 cyclists from the top 24 teams worldwide are expected to kick off the race.

Leading the pack will be the 15 contingents from the UCI Women’s World Team.

These squads hail from a diverse array of countries, including Australia, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, the United States, Switzerland, and of course, Italy.

World Teams

  • Canyon//SRAM Racing
  • EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
  • FDJ – SUEZ
  • Fenix-Deceuninck
  • Human Powered Health
  • Israel Premier Tech Roland
  • Lidl – Trek
  • Liv Racing TeqFind
  • Movistar Team
  • Team Jayco AlUla
  • Team Jumbo-Visma
  • Team SD Worx
  • Team dsm-firmenich
  • UAE Team ADQ
  • Uno-X Pro Cycling Team

Continental Teams

  • AG Insurance – Soudal Quick-Step
  • Aromitalia – Basso Bikes – Vaiano
  • Bepink
  • Bizkaia Durango
  • Born To Win G20 Ambedo
  • GB Junior Team Piemonte Pedale Castanese A.S.D.
  • Isolmant – Premac – Vittoria
  • Team Mendelspeck
  • Top Girls Fassa Bortolo

Giro d’Italia Donne 2023: The Favourites

There is high anticipation for two thrice-crowned champions from the Netherlands to hit the start line this year: Marianne Vos, winner of the 2011, 2012, and 2014 editions, and Annemiek van Vleuten, who claimed the title in 2018, 2019, and 2022.

All eyes are on Annemiek van Vleuten, the reigning champion who clinched the leader’s jersey after a powerful performance on Stage 4 of the previous edition.

Van Vleuten solidified her dominance with a solo victory on Stage 8, despite a late crash on the final descent, and managed to extend her overall lead.

Marta Cavalli of FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope finished in second place, 1:52 behind, and Mavi Garcia of UAE Team ADQ claimed third, finishing 5:56 down.

As the top contender for victory, she aims to match Anna van der Breggen’s four wins. However, closing in on Fabiana Luperini’s impressive record of five victories appears to be a formidable challenge.

Other confirmed riders include Erica Magnaldi, who placed 8th in both last year’s Giro and this year’s Vuelta Femina, and former World Champion Marta Bastianelli, a seasoned one-day racer with victories at the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem under her belt.

Cliffside view of Italy's Ligurian coast.
Liguria, Italy.

How To Watch The Giro d’Italia Donne 2023

All stages will begin at 2:00 pm CEST and can be viewed via TV broadcast or online streaming, depending on your location.

Please note that there may be territory restrictions when streaming outside the mentioned countries due to licensing agreements and broadcast rights. Be sure to verify these details in advance to avoid disappointment.

United States

GCN+ offers two hours of coverage each day of the race. This platform provides a mix of live racing, expert analysis, and more.

United Kingdom

Australia, Canada, New Zealand

  • GCN+

Now You’re Up To Speed With Giro d’Italia Donne 2023 Action…

The stage is set, and the countdown has begun for the Giro d’Italia Donne 2023.

We have meticulously analyzed the route, predicted the main contenders, and provided you with all the information you need to stay informed throughout every pedal stroke.

Now, it’s time to sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the exhilarating action.

As we eagerly anticipate the kickoff, we’d love to hear from you: Who do you think will triumph in this year’s Giro d’Italia Donne? Will Annemiek van Vleuten hold onto her crown, or will an underdog rise to the challenge?

Share your predictions, perspectives, and opinions in the comments section below!

Photo of author
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.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.