back to news

24 September 2018

Giro d'Italia 2019 - The Big Start and other stages in Emilia-Romagna

Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy will host the Big Start of the 102nd edition of the Giro d’Italia, which begins on Saturday 11 May.

The Corsa Rosa will begin with an 8.2km Individual Time Trial from the city center to the hilltop San Luca Sanctuary. Stage 2 on Sunday 12 May will start in Bologna and head south. The other stages in the Emilia-Romagna region are from Riccione to San Marino (the only stage to leave Italian soil in 2019) on Sunday 19 May for a 34.7km Individual Time Trial that will also be the so-called ‘Wine Stage’ of the Giro d’Italia. Monday 20 May is a rest day, while on Tuesday 21 May, the 147km Stage 11 runs from Ravenna to Modena and clearly suits the sprinters. On Wednesday 22 May the Giro d’Italia will leave Emilia-Romagna from Carpi and head west.

The 2019 Giro d’Italia will start on Saturday 11 May from the Emilia-Romagna region in the heart of Italy, specifically from the region’s capital Bologna, exactly 25 years after the city last hosted the Big Start in 1994. As part of a wide-reaching agreement between RCS Sport and the Emilia-Romagna region, stages of the Giro d’Italia will visit other parts of the region with starts or finishes in Riccione, Ravenna, Modena and Carpi. The 2019 Giro d’Italia is the 102nd edition of the Italian Grand Tour and will be organized by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport, running between 11 May and 3 June.


Discover more about the Emilia-Romagna stages, click here

  • STAGE 1, Saturday 11 May – Bologna-Bologna (San Luca) ITT – 8.2km
  • STAGE 2, Sunday 12 May – The Giro d’Italia leaves Bologna and heads south
  • STAGE 9, Sunday 19 May – RICCIONE – SAN MARINO (RSM) ITT (Sangiovese Wine Stage) – 34.7km
  • STAGE 10, Tuesday 21 May – RAVENNA – MODENA – 147km
  • STAGE 11, Wednesday 22 May – CARPI towards the west


Stefano Bonaccini, President of Regione Emilia-Romagna said: “It’s going to be a moment of celebration for all of Emilia-Romagna. It’s a dream come true, it’ll be a great way to show off our region that carefully protects its history and heritage but also looks to the future with a sense of constant innovation. After recent Big Start outside of Italy, the Giro d’Italia has chosen to start in Bologna in 2019 and with a Time Trial that climbs up to the Madonna di San Luca Sanctuary, that is a symbol of the city and has the world’s longest archway. Other stages will also be held entirely in the Emilia-Romagna region, with stage starts in Bologna and Carpi as the Giro d’Italia visits the villages and cities of the region and reveals our art and culture, with our sense of hospitality and the cheering fans acting as a picture frame as the riders race by.”

Paolo Bellino, Managing Director and Director General of RCS Sport pointed out that “After 25 years and for the second time in its long history, the Giro d’Italia will start from Bologna. The Giro d’Italia is one of the crown jewels of RCS and of the whole country. This edition will be almost all raced within Italy and so gives us an opportunity to show the world the beauty and excellence of the country, starting with the stupendous Emilia-Romagna region. Via the many media that follow the Giro d’Italia, millions of people can enjoy the show, which is far more than just a sporting event. Television coverage extends to 198 countries across five continents. The Giro d’Italia is continually developing and growing and is positioning itself amongst the most closely followed global sporting events. We’re sure that yet again the 2019 Giro d’Italia and its partners – the institutions, sponsors and media – will show off the race to the nation.”

Mauro Vegni, Director of the Giro d’Italia said: “This project with the Emilia-Romagna region has come about thanks to our excellent long-term relationship that has seen important stages of the Giro d’Italia start or finish in, or visit the region over the years. Working with regional president Bonaccini, we realised it was time to create something unforgettable with the Big Start in Bologna and other stages that visit different parts of the Emilia-Romagna region, passing from the coast to the mountains via the plains and countryside. Emilia-Romagna has always been a cycling region as well as a center for tourism. It has also produced some of the greatest champions of the sport of cycling. It thoroughly deserves this recognition. In a marked difference to recent years, we decided with the Emilia-Romagna region not design three consecutive stages early in the race but to create three very different stages for each day of racing. The start in Bologna with a Time Trial to the San Luca Sanctuary will give an immediate shape to the race for the maglia rosa. The Time Trial stage from Riccione to San Marino is very hard and, as the Wine Stage of the 2019 Giro d’Italia, will celebrate the Sangiovese wines. The stage from Ravenna to Modena and then from Carpi the following day will show off parts of Emilia Romagna, especially their history, culture and cuisine.”

The Editor of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Andrea Monti said: “The Giro d’Italia starting in Bologna is special for me. In 2015, with President Bonaccini, we promoted a campaign called “Made in Emilia-Romagna” via a special event and a special edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport; we presented the sporting excellence of the Emilia-Romagna region, from football to basketball and cycling. Now those seeds have grown and have lead to the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia. We’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of our work together in 2019. La Gazzetta dello Sport will of course follow its race closely, day after day. I’m sure the Emilia-Romagna region will know how to show the Corsa Rosa its warmth and hospitality. Emilia-Romagna has produced great cycling heroes such as Adorni, Baldini and Pantani, to mention just a few who are closely linked to the Giro d’Italia. They represented their region with pride, making it an icon of Italian sport.”


For the second time in its history, the Giro d’Italia will start from Bologna, 25 years after the first Big Start in the city on 22 May 1994. Then the race started with a morning road race stage won by Endrio Leoni followed by a Time Trial won by France’s Armand de las Cuevas.

Riccione hosts a stage start for the sixth time. San Marino will host a stage finish for the 13th time, and the first for 21 years, when Andrea Noè won in 1998.

San Marino will host a finish of a time trial for the eighth time. These are the previous occasions:

  • 1951: won by Giancarlo Astrua
  • 1956: circuit of San Marino won by Dutchman Jan Nolten
  • 1958: won by Charly Gaul
  • 1968: won by Felice Gimondi ahead of race leader Eddy Merckx
  • 1969: won by race leader Eddy Merckx
  • 1979: Giuseppe Saronni won the stage and became the new race leader, holding the maglia rosa to the end of the Giro d’Italia
  • 1987: Roberto Visentini won the stage and took the race lead from teammate Stephen Roche
  • 1997: Pavel Tonkov won the stage and became the new race leader.

Ravenna will host a stage start for the eighth time. In 2005 the stage finished in Rossano Veneto, with Australia’s Robbie McEwen beating Alessandro Petacchi and Stuart O’Grady.

The Giro d’italia returns to Modena for a stage finish after a 34-year absence. The last was the stage from Cecina, won by Daniel Gisiger. This will be the ninth stage finish in Modena in the history of the Giro d’Italia. The first was in 1928 after a start in Pistoia, with Domenico Piemontesi winning the stage.

Carpi will host a stage start for the second time after the first in 1998.