Vincenzo Nibali: The final week of the Giro d'Italia is the most feared

Race director Mauro Vegni stresses that GC riders will need to be on form at the start of the race

Clock17:56, Friday 13th October 2023
Vincenzo Nibali winning the Giro d'Italia in 2016

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Vincenzo Nibali winning the Giro d'Italia in 2016

Although race organiser Mauro Vegni stated that the 2024 Giro d’Italia 'reached out to the riders' with fewer kilometres and less climbing than in previous years, two-time race winner Vincenzo Nibali still highlighted several brutal stages where the race could explode.

The 2024 Giro d’Italia will take place between May 4-26, and the route includes six summit finishes and 68.2km against the clock over two individual time trials. There are a sprinkling of mountain stages throughout the race, including a tough finish up at Oropa on stage 2 after a hilly opener in Turin.

“The opening stage is already really important with a finish in Turin,” Nibali said at the unveiling of the Grand Tour route in Trento.

“From there we might already see the riders who are in good form. We can’t either rule out a breakaway as riders might be able to express themselves but then I also look at stage 2, 25 years after Marco Pantani did a wonderful race to Oropa."

A tough 37.2km individual time trial awaits the riders on stage 7, a stage that Nibali believes will be pivotal for the Grand Tour contenders.

“Individual time trials are very important these days in Grand Tours. It’s a flat TT, apart from the final part. I was at the prologue for the Giro d’Italia this year and there were very high speeds. I think that Filippo Ganna will show his specialism there. It’s a real test for those aiming at the overall."

The second week of the Giro d’Italia is well balanced, with stages for virtually every rider in the peloton. By that point, a pecking order will be firmly established in the race for the maglia rosa.

Regardless, Nibali highlighted the brutal stage 15 to Livigno, which comes just before the final rest-day, as another key moment in the race as the riders head through Aprica before taking on the mighty Forcola di Livigno and another summit finish in Livigno itself.

“In the second week we enter the core and these stages will make the riders hurt. Stage 10 is tough after the rest day and no stage should be undervalued. There could be splits in the peloton and I would focus on the Livigno stage on stage 15. That’s a really important day,” the former Astana rider said.

The final week is typically where the race will be won. Although the last block of stages are not as demanding as in previous years - a factor race organisers RCS have designed on purpose - there is still enough terrain to shape and reshape the overall standings. Mountain stages follow on stages 16, 17, 19, and 20, although the penultimate day does not end in a summit finish.

“The final week is the most feared one and it’s where the climbers want to show what they’re about," Nibali said.

"We start the final week with stage 16, and a very long stage in the Dolomites. It could confirm what we saw in Livigno or we could get some unbalanced results but the following stages are the most important ones, with three days in a row."

Vegni watched on as Nibali gave his interpretation of the race, and the veteran race organiser added that he and RCS Sport wanted to create greater balance between the opening week and the last few stages of the race.

“It’s a Giro that reaches out to the riders,” Vegni said.

“There are fewer kilometres to cover and less climbing but it starts immediately with important stages. Even in the final, it won't have a monster final, so the riders will need to commit from the start, as the difficulties have been spread across the three weeks."

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

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