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30 May 2018

An analysis of the Giro 101: the toughest race in the world’s most beautiful place

The Giro d’Italia ended just a few days ago with the triumph of Britain’s Chris Froome and his crowning in the fittingly historic setting of Rome’s Imperial Fora. The 101st edition of the Corsa Rosa was a fascinating one – right from the Big Start in Israel through to the tight epilogue.

Paolo Bellino, General Manager of RCS Sport: “This year’s Giro has been a truly great success from the media point of view as well as from the sporting one. For RCS Sport it was a victory on all fronts: more than 2,000 journalists were accredited for the Giro 101 representing 900 international media brands, including globally prestigious TV channels such as the BBC, CNN; news agencies, such as Reuters, Associated Press and France Presse, and newspapers including The Times of London; all of whom covered the event daily. Our broadcast partner Rai did an exceptional job in delivering excellent audience figures. During the stage on Friday 25 May almost 3 million viewers tuned in to Rai 2 to watch Froome’s decisive attack between Colle delle Finestre and the finish atop Jafferau, delivering an audience share of 23,60%. The Giro’s peak audience was recorded the day of the Monte Zoncolan where the final climb was followed by 3,255,634 viewers and a 25% audience share. The race was distributed in 198 countries around the world, reaching 800 million viewers with the stunning coverage of the race and the landscapes it crossed. The story of this edition was truly unique and captured the imaginations of fans around the world, as evidenced by the large digital audience we reached via our social channels, with over 2,800,000 followers. Of course, we cannot forget the passion and enthusiasm of the roadside spectators who lined the length of the course; they’re a true testament to the fact that cycling is a truly transformational sport that’s able to attract a highly engaged, passionate and respectful audience with ‘amore infinito’ (infinite love) for the sport and the riders. The 101 edition also highlighted that the Corsa Rosa really is the hardest race in the world. The last stage to the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome, with the Colosseum and the Imperial Fora, delivered a uniquely breathtaking course between two wings of seemingly-endless crowds confirmed that we are ‘in the most beautiful country in the world.’ I would also like to thank all our sponsors and partners who have accompanied us on this exciting journey: we really could not have wished for more. The real challenge for us now will be to grow still further for the 102nd edition.”

Mauro Vegni, Director of the Giro d’Italia: “Both the start in Jerusalem and the finish in Rome gave this year’s Giro huge prestige. In both cities we found a unique welcome, as we did across all the stages and the many cities and towns we touched. But starting from the Holy Land to finish in the Eternal City, ending at the Imperial Fora under the Altare della Patria and the Campidoglio, genuinely is unprecedented. The final stage, between two wings of crowd, was truly spectacular: as expected, it ended with a dramatic sprint – with the riders who honored it racing at over 50 km/h average speed for the last eight laps of the circuit. The final victory of Froome and the genuine uncertainty of the race’s final result until the very last moment delivered suspense and kept the race alive to the very last. We had great stage winners – from Dumoulin to Viviani, Bennett, Wellens, Chaves and Yates to name just a few – together with moments of high drama, like Froome’s attack on the Colle delle Finestre and Jafferau stage, as well unexpected ‘sporting drama’ – such as the crisis of Yates while in the Maglia Rosa and the one of Pinot on the penultimate day – which have always been part of the DNA of this sport. I would say that we really could have not asked more of this year’s Giro. In every way, the 101st edition of the Corsa Rosa combined the pure essence of modern cycling together with elements of the bygone days of epic racing.”