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104th Giro d’Italia: Piedmont to host the Grande Partenza

04/02/2021

On Saturday 8 May, the Corsa Rosa will begin from Turin, the Piedmont capital. Stage 2 from Stupinigi (Nichelino) to Novara – one for the sprinters – and Stage 3 from Biella to Canale will also be hosted by the region. The Giro will return to Piedmont in its final week with a never-before-seen summit finish at Alpe di Mera (Valsesia) and stage departure from Verbania. Watch Filippo Ganna’s video message below.

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.

THE 3 STAGES OF THE GRANDE PARTENZA

Stage 1: Turin – Turin ITT (9.0km)

An entirely urban stage. Stage 1 starts from Piazza Castello and follows the Po River, passing through Turin’s Valentino Park. After crossing over the Po, the route continues along the Corso Casale and remains straight until it reaches the Gran Madre church at the foot of the Superga hill to finish.

Stage 2: Stupinigi (Nichelino) – Novara (173km)

A mainly flat stage. Riders will depart from the Palazzina di Caccia in Stupinigi before reaching another Savoy castle in Racconigi a few kilometers later. The route then passes through Santena, the city where Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour rests (a leading figure in the Italian unification movement), 160 years after his death. The peloton will then face some gentle undulations as they cross through the Monferrato area and enter the Po Valley.

Stage 3: Biella – Canale (187km)

An undulating stage, suitable for finisseurs. The stage is initially flat from the city of Biella before the riders reach the slopes of the Apennine Mountains. After Asti, a succession of climbs begin, some of which are classified as GPMs. Once the peloton has passed by Alba, a few short but steep ramps will greet the riders before the finish, presenting an ideal opportunity for an attack.

STATISTICS

  • For the third time in its history, Turin will host the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia. The city previously did so in 1961 (the centenary of Italian unification) and 2011 (the 150th anniversary of the event).
  • The Giro has never started a stage from Stupinigi before (Stage 2). The town of Novara (also Stage 2) last hosted a stage finish in 1968, won by Eddy Merckx who took his first Maglia Rosa that day.
  • Biella will host a stage start for the sixth time (the first was in 1963, most recently in 2007), while the race has never finished a stage at Canale.
  • The Giro has also never finished a stage at Alpe di Mera in Valsesia.
  • Verbania is set to host a stage start for the fourth time in its history, having previously done so in 1952, 1992 and 2011.

QUOTES

Alberto Cirio, President of the Piedmont Region and Fabrizio Ricca, Councilor for Sport of the Piedmont Region said: “This year, we will have a truly Piedmontese Giro d’Italia that will cross the region’s cities, countryside and mountains, bringing with it the magic of one of Italy’s best loved sporting events. We are proud to host a race that represents the history of cycling and to do so by offering unique landscapes for the competition. The diverse roads and terrain that the riders will face will fit in perfectly with the rich morphology of our territory”.

Paolo Bellino, CEO and General Manager of RCS Sport, said: “On the 160th anniversary of the unification of Italy, we could only choose Piedmont and Turin, the first Italian capital, for the Grande Partenza of the Giro’s 104th edition. The race will begin with three stages that will show Piedmont in its entirety, even places that are not usually visited in the story of cycling, because the Giro d’Italia is not only a fantastic sporting event but also a wonderful vehicle for promoting the territories touched by the Corsa Rosa. There is a well-established collaborative relationship with the Piedmont Region, not only with the Corsa Rosa but also with other RCS Sport events in Turin and in the rest of the Region.”

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