Yesterday the event organisers of the Giro d’Italia hosted an opening ceremony in Milan to confirm the 101st Giro d’Italia route for 2018. Our team are now very busy tailoring our trips to Italy so you can witness the fantastic atmosphere that the race provides. We are the only international tour operator who has official partnerships with the three Cycling Grand Tours and the five Monuments of Cycling. We provide an unrivaled offering of travel options to provide sports fans as well as the travelling amateur cyclist access to a whole host of amazing events throughout the year. We have been operating tours to major cycling events around the world for over 20 years and our team of drivers, bike mechanics, bike guides and tour hosts have unrivaled knowledge and expertise of this incredible event. Our partnership with the Giro d’Italia allows us to include exclusive VIP access into all our tours for cyclists and spectators to ensure our customers have the most authentic and unforgettable experience whilst in Italy.
Italy’s greatest cycling event will be the first Grand Tour event to start outside of Europe with the race starting in Jerusalem this year. There will be three stages in Israel, the first of which is a 10km time trial that should create a fantastic spectacle as the riders will look to get off to a fast start.
After those stages the route then heads back to Italian shores. Sicily will host four, five and six where the race will not be won in these early stages although it could well be lost if the riders lose too much time at the tough mountain finish of stage six in Etna. The route will then move north across central Italy towards the eastern coast. The stages at this point of the race are long distances but not completely flat so the GC riders need to be on their toes not to lose time.
In what was one of the biggest announcements at the ceremony in Milan, the Giro d’Italia event organisers confirmed that the famous Monte Zoncolan will return for the first time since 2014. Arguably the toughest climb in Italy and possibly any Grand Tour will be the finishing point of stage 14. This is going to be a fascinating for spectators as the riders battle against a gruelling climb to the 1730m summit of Monte Zoncolan. This will be a crucial stage in the race which could see the climbers gain a significant lead going into the final week of racing. Spectators will be able to see the fantastic views from the top of the mountain and immerse themselves in the atmosphere of a key battle in the fight for pink. This stage features on our Zoncolan to Rome ten day trip.
Furthermore, another intriguing stage for cycling enthusiasts is Stage 19. This is a big mountain stage in the Alps that features the Colle delle Finestre, the highest climb of the Giro d’Italia, also called the Cima Coppi,which stands at a gruelling 2178m. Colle dell Finestre provides great entertainment due to the unpredictability of the racing. Not only is it a physically demanding climb for the riders it also has elements of the climb that challenge the riders due to a gravel road surface. From the Giro d’Italia’s highest point spectators will be able to see the beautiful alpine views that make the mountain stages of the Giro d’Italia so iconic. Available on our ten day trip and our seven day trip.
The penultimate stage of the Giro d’Italia is from Susa to Cervinia, where the general classification will be confirmed. With the race then heading to Rome for the victory parade where the peloton will ride through the historic streets of Rome. The celebrations will begin and the winner will be presented with the famous pink jersey in front of thousands of spectators flooding the streets of Rome.
With regards to who will actually ride in 2018, one of the biggest announcements at the ceremony in Milan was that Chris Froome has confirmed the rumours that have been circulating for a while and that he will ride the 2018 Giro d’Italia. The reigning Tour de France and La Vuelta champion will be looking to add to his list of Grand Tours. Froome who last rode the Giro d’Italia in 2010 and was subsequently disqualified for holding onto a motorbike, will have extra motivation as he looks to join an elite club of cyclists who have won all three Grand Tour events. The route could play into Froome’s strengths and if his 2017 form in Grand Tour events is anything to go by he will with out doubt be a strong contender for the Giro d’Italia in 2018.
The winner of the last edition of the Giro d’Italia, Tom Dumoulin could be a fierce rival for Froome at the 2018 Giro d’Italia. The Dutchman rode fantastically well in 2017 and is sure to be a contender in 2018 if he can replicate that level of performance. Although, some stages contain tough mountain finishes which could be detrimental to his chances of retaining the pink jersey given he is not a prolific climber.
Italian riders always gain extra support at this famous Grand Tour, the home crowd always tries to galvanise an Italian to victory. Being inspired by thousands of home supporters can create special experiences for Italian riders however it can also add unwanted added pressure on the riders. Vincenzo Nibali, the four time Grand Tour champion, will be hoping he can replicate the form he produced in 2016 when he last won the Giro D’Italia. If he can accomplish his peak level of performance the Italian spectators could see an Italian winner again.