2023 Giro d’Italia to Start in Abruzzo
Giro d’Italia organizer RCS Sport earlier today announced the regional choice and routes of the first stages of the 2023 Giro d’Italia.
Next year’s Giro d’Italia will commence in Abruzzo, a region geographically located in central Italy next to the Adriatic Sea, although the region is generally considered part of southern Italy because of its culture, language and its historic role as part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies from 1816 to 1860. The western part of the region includes the highest peaks of the Apennine Mountains and Abruzzo thus offers splendid opportunities for the Giro race organizers to present climbers and general classification riders with a delightful feast as part of the extensive Giro d’Italia menu.
The 2023 edition of Giro d’Italia will commence with a 18.4-kilometer individual time trial on Saturday, May 6. The stage 1 route follows the Costa dei Trabocchi cycle path and concludes with a short climb to the center of the Ortona town on the Adriatic coast. Ortona is known for its historic role in the Byzantine Empire, for the Cathedral of Saint Thomas that holds the relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle, for its harbor and coastal region activities, and for its beaches that attract many tourists.
According to race organizers, stage 2 of Giro d’Italia 2023 will appeal to the sprinters as the riders set out on a 204-kilometer ride from Teramo to San Salvo, though the route is somewhat hilly and features small climbs as the riders approach the finish. Wind may also play an important role as the route is set along the Adriatic coast.
On Monday, May 8, the Giro peloton starts stage 3 in Vasto and bids farewell to the Abruzzo region while travelling south.
The Giro d’Italia will return to the Abruzzo region on May 12 for stage 7 – a mountain stage set in the Apennine mountains, an area that holds one of the last well-preserved and intact ecosystems of Europe known for its flora and fauna, which is protected by national parks. The Giro d’Italia peloton will enter the Grand Sasso d’Italia mountain range where riders will climb the Roccaraso and Calascio, before reaching heights beyond 2000m to conquer the Campo Imperatore, while the last specimens of the Italian Wolf and the Marsican Brown Bears try to hide on the grasslands and in the forest areas along the route after having enjoyed a well-deserved rest following the recordings for the 1971 Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movie Trinity Is Still My Name.
It is the fourth year in a row the Abruzzo region plays host to a mountain stage finish. In 2021 Egan Bernal (Ineos-Grenadiers) took the victory on Campo Felice and in 2022 Jai Hindley conquered Blockhaus for his Bora-Hansgrohe team before becoming Giro d’Italia champion.
Trek-Segafredo’s Giulio Ciccone, who won three stages and the mountains classification of the 2019 Giro, is particularly pleased with the choice of location for the start of the 2023 Giro d’Italia.
"The Grande Partenza (Grand Depart) of the Giro d'Italia is an electrifying event every time. That it will take place in my region, a few steps from home, in the area where I grew up, immediately makes the emotions and motivation very strong,” Ciccone explained to Roadcycling.com. “To be honest, I still struggle to grasp how beautiful the moment will be. Regarding the stages, the opening time trial on the Costa dei Trabocchi will offer a crazy scenario and a super-fast test. The second stage will give a chance to those riders who have not lost too much time in the time trial and play for the Maglia Rosa. It is a start of the Giro marked by speed, in a scenic context and on interesting routes.”
Dario Cataldo, who won a stage in the 2019 Giro is equally thrilled with the choice of start location.
"I am excited with the idea of the Grande Partenza of the Giro in Abruzzo and honored to represent the cycling of our region,” Cataldo explained. “It is a dream come true, especially regarding the prologue on the Costa dei Trabocchi. I well remember that when the cycle path project was born and I saw the first tracks, I imagined the beauty of a Giro d'Italia passing along the route. It looked perfect. A route that was unknown to most and which, thanks to the cycle path, has acquired more and more recognition."
Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com for full coverage of Giro d'Italia 2023.