Giro d’Italia 2024 route revealed

Italian Grand Tour features 68.2km of individual time trialling and a final-week showdown in the mountains, but there's less climbing and shorter stages than recent years

Clock17:01, Friday 13th October 2023

© RCS Sport

The map for the 2024 Giro d'Italia

The 2024 Giro d’Italia route will feature 68.2km of individual time trialling, six summit finishes, stages inspired by Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, and a lighter touch.

The full route for the 107th edition of the corsa rosa was officially unveiled in Trento on Friday evening, with organisers RCS Sport rolling out a 3,321km journey that starts in Turin on 4 May and finishes, 21 stages and two rest days later, in Rome on 26 May.

The headline news is that the Giro d’Italia has stuck to its guns as the most time trial-friendly of the three Grand Tours. The total distance against the clock of 68.2km – spread across two tests in weeks one and two – may be a couple of kilometres short of the 2023 total, but then the final TT there was on a mountain, whereas the terrain here is generally flat, tilting the balance in favour of the rouleurs.

That theme is reinforced by a relatively light helping of mountains, although there are still six summit finishes. Last year, those 70km against the clock were balanced out by a savage final week, but, while the high mountains are similarly backloaded in the 2024 route, there are simply not as many of them; the total elevation gain for the Giro as a whole is 42,900 metres, compared to 51,000m in the past two years.

It’s also interesting to note that the total distance for the Giro (3,321km) is the shortest since 1979. So while the 2023 edition was considered extreme in its dimensions, this is a Giro with a lighter touch.

That said, difficulties can arise in different places, and one of the standout elements of this Giro is that it’s the hardest start for some time. The opening stage takes riders over tough climbs around Turin, while the haul to Oropa on stage 2 is the earliest summit finish since Mount Etna in 1989. The opening week also features a mini versions of Milan-San Remo and a trip over the Tuscan gravel of Strade Bianche, although not in as big a dose as the dramatic previous visit in 2021.

The climbing may feel less extreme, but there are still some spectacular and savage mountains stages. There are three summit finishes before we even reach the half-way mark and a monster to end the second week on the Swiss border, measuring 220km with 5,200m of elevation. The mighty Stelvio opens the final week as the Cima Coppi – the highest point of the Giro – but the other critical mountain stages come afterwards and both feature double ascents, of the Passo Brocon on stage 17 and the fearsome Monte Grappa on stage 20.

Aside from the time trialling and the climbing, there is enough to go around the sprinters, with five clear-cut opportunities, including the finale in Rome. There are a few more opportunities, too, if they can survive the scattering of small hills in the first two weeks that will tempt the ambitious among the puncheurs.

Week 1: A rude awakening

The Grande Partenza takes place on home soil, with a trio of stages in the Piemonte region in north west Italy, starting out in Venara Reale for a stage that centres on Turin. The Superga climb, which used to feature in MIlano-Torino, appears mid-race on the 75th anniversary of the tragic plane crash that killed the 31 members of the Grande Torino football team there in 1949. The opening stage goes onto to tackle the tougher Colle Maddalena (6.1km at 7.4%) ahead of a run down into Turin.

Things intensify on stage 2, which sees the earliest summit finish for 35 years and another anniversary - Oropa being the scene of a famous Marco Pantani victory 25 years ago. The climb to the stunning Sanctuary measures 11.8km at 6.2% and while it’s preceded by a couple of minor climbs, it should be more of an explosive burst to the top, with Tom Dumoulin winning on the last visit in 2017.

Stage 3 sees the race exit Piemonte and head south to Fossano, where a drag to the line will make for a leg-sapping sprint, and the sprinters will also encounter a late obstacle on stage 4, which is the mini Milan-San Remo.

The 187km stage features a mid-range 1,000-metre-high climb, the Colle del Melogno – acting as the Passo dello Turchino – and then runs along the Ligurian coast in the direction of San Remo, hitting the climb of Capo Mele – which is used on the San Remo route – before a 2km drop into the finish town of Andora. Stage 5 continues the theme, throwing up a category-4 climb 20km from the line in Lucca.

The race then enters Tuscany, and Strade Bianche territory, with 11.6km of gravel spread across three sectors on the way to Rapolano Terme. That’s significantly less than the 35km helping in 2021, so it should be rather less chaotic, although the chance of mechanicals is always high and the middle sector in Grotti climbs steeply for 4.8km and follows straight on from the opening sector to effectively form one 9.2km sector. The final 2.4km sector is flatter and comes 15km out before a grinding drag to the line.

Stage 7 is the all-important first time trial, running 37.2km from Foligno to Perugia. The course is flat for the first 30km but then starts to rise in a staggered manner all the way to the line, with organisers designating it a category-4 climb that ascends 275 vertical metres. It’s not bike change material, and it’s nothing that’s going to tip the balance back towards the pure climbers in any meaningful way.

Climbing legs will be needed on stage 8 in the second of the two crucial GC days of the opening week. Heading into the Abruzzo area of the Apennine mountains that run through central Italy, it features a tough start, rugged mid-stage terrain, and a first big summit finish at Prati di Tivo, the climb to the ski resort measuring 14.6km at 7%.

The opening week rounds out with a flatter run to Napoli, but one that features some more of those late undulations.

Week 2: A bit of everything

The rest day in Pompeii, the other side of Vesuvius to Naples, will be the furthest south ventured by the 2024 Giro d’Italia, as the second week starts by heading back up into the Apennines for a summit finish at Bocca della Selva, which measures 17.9% at an average of 5.6% but with some double-digit sections. It’s not a major showdown, and breakaway hopes will be high, but any post-rest day blues among the GC contenders can be punished.

Stage 11 takes the race over to the eastern Adriatic coast for an expected sprint in Francavilla al Mare, while stage 12 tracks north along that coast but dips inland for a series of five categorised climbs and plenty more undulations besides. A pan-flat stage from Riccione to Cento completes what starts to feel like the Giro hauling its way north towards the Alps for the truly important stages.

The first comes in the form of the race’s second time trial, measuring 31km between Castiglione delle Stivere and Desenzano del Garda on the shores of the magnificent Lake Garda. There are some very minor undulations but the total elevation gain is only 150 metres and the course is net downhill and largely non-technical, making it a fast course for the powerful riders. It will serve to shake up the general classification ahead of the remaining mountains.

Those mountains comes into view the very next day, with stage 15 closing the second week with what is likely to be the hardest stage of the entire Giro. 220km long with 5,200 metres of elevation, this is certainly in the ‘extreme’ category we mentioned above.

The stage heads into the Alps via the category-2 Colle San Zeno before the long drag up to Aprica - scene of one of Marco Pantani’s most famous exploits. The route then crosses the Swiss border to take on the Forcola di Livigno a mountain pass at 2,315 metres. Officially, the climb measures 18km at 7.1% but it’s preceded by a 10km uncategorised climb, so it’s a big slog.

From the top of the pass it’s a dip down into Italy before the final climb to Livigno itself, which looks nothing compared to what’s come before but is still a proper test at 8.1km at 6.6%. It’s a critical day for the pink jersey battle.

Week 3: Showdown in the Alps

The final week picks up from Livigno and heads straight for the Giro’s most iconic climb, the Passo dello Stelvio, which is the Cima Coppi as the highest point of the Giro at 2,758m. There may be some disappointment that a legend is being deployed at such an early point in the stage but the up-and-down that precedes it – not to mention the difficulty and altitude of the Stelvio itself – should still make for a wild start to the stage.

The famous 48 hairpins of the eastern flank will be tackled downhill as the route drops to 200 metres before heading uphill again in a finale that takes in the Passo Pinei (23.4km at 4.7%) and the final climb of Monte Pana (7.6km at 6.1% but with double digits at the top).

While stage 16 is awarded four stars out of five in the Giro organisers' difficulty ratings, stage 17, despite having marginally less elevation gain, is a five-star affair, with those 4,100m of up coming in the space of just 159km.

It’ll be another mad start as they climb the Passo Sella from the start, with the Passo Rolle jutting up next ahead of the double ascent of Passo Brocon. The first ascent is from the north, rated category-2 and measuring 13.3km at 6.5%, and the riders then descent to the foot of the western approach, which is shorter (12.2km), less steep (6.4%), but has been given category-1 status. Either way, it’s a beast of a day.

There is an abrupt pause to the climbing-fest with a largely downhill run down to Padova near the Venetian coast but the race quickly heads back into the Alps. Stage 19, with its finish at Sappada beyond the Cima Sappada climb, looks like fertile ground for a breakaway, but it’s stage 20 that’s the obvious GC humdinger, with that double ascent of one of pro cycling’s most fearsome climbs: Monte Grappa.

Despite the severity - 18.2km at 8.1% - and the stunning scenery, Monte Grappa is far from a Giro legend, having been used fewer than 10 times in the race’s history. Here, however, it has big billing, with the riders set to go up then straight back down and around to where they started, hauling themselves up a second time before the second time down the long descent takes them to the finish.

Monte Grappa will be the setting for the final act in the battle for the pink jersey, as the race then transfers to Rome via plane for a ceremonial start, laps of the city, a probable sprint finish, and all the race-ending podium ceremonies.

For a detailed look at the route, stages and latest information about the 2024 Giro d'Italia, explore our dedicated race page.

Giro d'Italia 2024 stages

The stars represent the difficulty of each stage, on a scale of 1-5, as decided by the race organisers

Stage 1: Venaria Reale - Torino, 136km ***

Stage 2: San Francesco Al Campo - Santuario Di Oropa, 150km ***

Stage 3: Novara - Fossano, 165km **

Stage 4: Acqui Terme - Andora, 187km **

Stage 5: Genova - Lucca, 176km ***

Stage 6: Viareggio - Rapolano Terme, 177km ***

Stage 7: Foligno - Perugia (ITT), 37.2km ****

Stage 8: Spoleto - Prati Di Tivo, 153km *****

Stage 9: Avezzano - Napoli, 206km ***

Stage 10: Pompei - Cusano Mutri (Bocca Della Selva), 141km ***

Stage 11: Foiano Di Valfortore - Francavilla Al Mare, 203km **

Stage 12:Martinsicuro - Fano, 183km ***

Stage 13: Riccione - Cento, 179km *

Stage 14: Castiglione Delle Stiviere - Desenzano Del Garda, 31km ***

Stage 15: Manerba Del Garda - Livigno, 220km *****

Stage 16: Livigno - Santa Cristina Valgardena (Monte Pana), 202km ****

Stage 17: Selva Di Val Gardena - Passo Del Brocon, 154km *****

Stage 18: Fiera Di Primiero - Padova, 166km **

Stage 19: Mortegliano - Sappada, 154km ***

Stage 20: Alpago - Bassano Del Grappa, 175km *****

Stage 21: Roma - Roma, 126km *

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