2014 Giro d'Italia Preview and Predictions
The 2014 Giro d’Italia will not be a picnic.
The 2014 Giro d’Italia will not be a picnic. The race will be 3,449.9 km long and will feature four medium mountain stages with summit finishes and five high mountain stages with summit finishes. It will also have three time trials totaling 94.9 km and eight sprinters’ stages.
The 2014 edition strives to be more humane than previous editions, however. Recent Giri have had riders finishing stages and then having repeated transfers. The 2014 Giro will see fewer transfers and three rest days instead of the customary two. If the stages will be no easier than usual, at least the activities between them will be.
The 2014 Giro d'Italia will begin in Belfast, Northern Ireland with a 21.7-km team time trial. Stage 2 will also take place in and around Belfast, with the riders tackling a somewhat lumpy, 218-km ride. Stage 3 will take the riders from Armagh in Northern Ireland to Dublin in the Irish Republic. The first rest day will follow Stage 3, with the riders being transferred to Italy.
Stage 4, a 121-km run from Giovinazzo to Bari, should end in a sprint, but the following two stages will be medium mountain ones. Stage 5 will be a 200-km ride from Taranto to Viggiano, while Stage 6 will be a 247-km ride from Sassano to Monte Cassino, the monastery that Allied bombs destroyed during the Second World War. Stage 7 will be a 214-km run from Frosinone to Foligno and should end in a sprint, but Stages 8 and 9, a 174-km ride from Foligno to Monte Copiolo and a 174-km ride from Lugo to Sestola, respectively, will be medium mountain rides. The race’s second rest day follows Stage 9.
Stage 10 will be a flat, 184-km run from Modena to Salsomaggiore Terme that a sprinter should win. The road will turn skyward again in Stage 11, the race’s longest stage, a 249-km medium mountain stage from Collechio to Savona. Stage 12 will be the second of the 2014 Giro’s three time trials, a 46.4-km affair from Barbaresco to Barolo that will have a hilly finish. Stage 13 will be a flat, 158-km run from Fossano to Rivarolo Canavese that a sprinter should win.
The race will then move into the high mountains, where it will stay for most of the rest of the race. Stage 14 will be a 162-km ride from Aglie to Oropa that will feature three high mountain passes, including the ascent to the finish. Stage 15 will take the riders 217 km from Valdengo to Plan di Montecampione and will end with a stiff climb. The third rest day will follow Stage 15.
Stage 16 will be another mountain battle. The 139-km ride from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello/Martelltal will go over the Gavia and Stelvio passes before ending with a climb to the finish. The riders will get a break in Stage 17, a mainly flat, 204-km run from Sarnonico to Vittorio Veneto, but in Stage 18, they will tackle three climbs, including the ascent to the finish, during the high mountain,