Documentary: How to survive a Grand Tour
Conor Dunne follows Pascal Ackermann, Derek Gee, Davide Cimolai and Charlie Quarterman at the Giro d'Italia in the brand-new GCN+ original film
At 3,355.5km in length and with 53,626m of climbing to contend with, the 2023 Giro d'Italia provided a brutal version of the toughest test known to a professional cyclist: a Grand Tour. Ridden over the course of 21 stages, these three-week races are the pinnacle of WorldTour road racing and over 175 athletes take to the start line with dreams, expectations and, let's be honest, nerves.
For some in the peloton - the likes of Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) - the ambition is to finish the three weeks as the race's best rider. But for others, the ambition is merely to make it to the finish line.
To do so is an incredible achievement in itself for any cyclist. But how do they do it?
We decided it was time to discover how cyclists survive through 21 stages ridden over brutal climbs and incredible distances, so we sent former pro and GCN's own Conor Dunne to find out. Conor is a two-time finisher of Grand Tours, having ridden the Vuelta a España in 2017 and the Giro d'Italia in 2019. He knows as well as any rider how difficult surviving the 21 stages truly is, finishing the Vuelta in last place.
Returning to the Giro, Conor follows four riders as they embark on this monumental feat of physical endurance. Sprinters Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) and Davide Cimolai (Cofidis) will reveal what it is like in the mayhem of bunch finishes, with the German Ackermann showing us what it takes to win a stage.
Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech) and Charlie Quarterman (Corratec - Selle Italia), meanwhile, offer the insights of Grand Tour debutants, with the Canadian Gee a soon-to-be revelation of the race.
Conor also meets the sports directors, nutritionists, and medics that work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the riders remain fit and focused throughout the three weeks.
Follow these riders in our new GCN+ original film, as they embark on the 2023 Giro. Will they reach Rome? What state will they be in when they get there? Click here to watch the full film.
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