On the 160th anniversary of Italian unification, Turin and the Piedmont region is set to host the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia, 10 years since it last did so. Stage 1 will see riders tackle a 9 kilometer-long individual time trial through the streets of Turin. Stage 2, from Stupinigi (Nichelino) to Novara (173km), will best suit the sprinters before an undulating Stage 3 from Biella to Canale (187km) that’s likely to attract the interest of the race’s finisseurs. Following the Grande Partenza, the Piedmont region will again be in the spotlight during the Giro’s final week as Stage 19 will play host to a summit finish at Alpe di Mera in Valsesia, followed by a departure from Verbania the next day.
Stage 01: Torino-Torino ITT km 9.0
This is a challenging stage, raced entirely on urban roads, with long straight stretches alternating with bends. Starting from Piazza Castello, the route heads towards the Po River and passes through the Parco del Valentino, taking in a few mild undulations and a series of corners. After crossing the river, the route merges onto Corso Casale and continues completely straight all the way to the finish, near the Gran Madre church, at the foot of the Superga hill.
Stage 02: Stupinigi (Nichelino) – Novara km 173
Expected to close in a sprint finish, this stage runs essentially flat, with just a short undulating stretch through the Montferrat. Starting from the Palazzina di Caccia (hunting lodge) of Stupinigi, and touching the royal castle of Racconigi after a few kilometres, the route passes through Santena, the town where Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, is buried, 160 years after his death. After passing Castelnuovo Don Bosco, the stage takes in some mild undulations through the Montferrat, and reaches the Po Plain, unfolding among the paddy fields, on long straight roads, with major villages and towns, such as Vercelli, along the route.
Stage 03: Biella – Canale km 187
This is a rolling stage, particularly suited to finisseurs, in which GC contenders should watch out for any surprise moves. The route runs initially flat from Biella to the foot of the Apennines and then becomes wavier past Asti, taking in a series of milder and steeper climbs, including some categorised ones. Past Alba, before reaching the finish, the stage takes in a few more short – yet steep – ascents serving as the perfect ‘launchpad’ for anyone willing to surprise the peloton and pull off stage victory.