WHITEY’S GIRO 2020 ROUTE REVIEW: ‘It’s up there with one of the toughest editions I’ve seen’Fri 25 Oct 2019
The Giro d’Italia organisers yesterday unveiled the route for the 103rd edition of the Italian Grand Tour in Milan, with a brutal final week on the cards in 2020.
We asked Mitchelton-SCOTT’s head sports director, Matt White for his thoughts on the course and what he expects over the course of the three-week race that starts in Hungary.
The Giro is known for packing the final week of the race with it’s biggest challenges and the 2020 edition will be no different. The final week of racing see’s five mountain stages and a time trial squeezed into seven days and Whitey agrees that it’s a tough way to end the tour.
Matt White: “The Giro is renowned for always having a backend heavy race, but this is up there with one of the toughest editions I’ve seen in the last 20-years, that’s for sure.
“The thing that initially stands out for me is the length of the stages, there’s 10 stages over 200 kilometres, that’s long. I think there’s only one stage at the Tour de France that goes over 200 and at the Giro there’s 10. I think the average kilometres per day works out to be around 170 per day and that’s with three short time trials.”
Rock and Roll
Despite being notoriously backend loaded, there will be no chance for the general classification hopefuls to ride themselves into form over the three weeks, with a tricky opening five days on the cards.
Whitey: “You’re going to have to be ready to rock and roll straight away because you don’t want to be giving away time on stage one, then straight away on stage four and five in Sicily you have a four kilometre hilltop finish and then a climb up Etna, and that’s in the first five days, so there will be no riding into the race.”
In contrast to the 2020 Tour de France route, next year’s Giro will boast three tests against the clock, with the two flat TTs bookending the race and a hilly 33.7km course to negotiate on stage 14.
Whitey: “I think the time trials are pretty good, they’re not too long and there’s a bit of something for everyone there. The first one and the last one are pretty straightforward flat ones and the longer one is definitely not straightforward.”
The 2020 edition of the race has seen the organisers search for new roads and new finishes, meaning that a thorough recon will be needed before the peloton line up in Budapest next May.
Whitey: “Besides Hungary, that we’re not going to recon, we’re going to have to go and look at 12 stages. There’s a lot of new stuff there that we haven’t used before, there’s a lot of tricky finals that are definitely worth checking out. So, over the next four or five months between the sports directors we’ll going to check a big chunk of the Giro out.”
Whitey: “It’s a filthy Giro, that last week has five mountain stages and three of them are over 200 kilometres, plus the TT. That’s not a soft landing. The only easier part of the race is stages eight, nine and 11, the second week is the easiest part for sure but the last week is brutal.”
Photo courtesy of Kristof Ramon.