An entire region of Italy is ready to smarten up and go pink as the host of the Grande Partenza of the 2023 Giro d’Italia. The flag will be dropped in Abruzzo, and the 106th edition of the Corsa Rosa will kick off in a marvellous part of Italy that overlooks the sea and shines in simplicity – the spectacular Costa dei Trabocchi. This stunning stretch of the central Adriatic coast boasts lovely beaches and dazzling blue seas, and is renowned for the ancient ‘trabocchi’ – traditional wooden fishing machines. The opening stages of Grand Tours usually take place in major cities and on large roads. This, conversely, will be an uncommon, innovative and pristine setting.
As a matter of fact, the route of stage one will almost entirely skip by any road open to traffic – with the exception of a few hundred metres. The opening stage of the 2023 Giro will be an 18.4-km individual time trial from Fossacesia Marina to Ortona, which will run for a full 17 km along the Via Verde-Costa dei Trabocchi cycle route. Created from the former ‘Ferrovia Adriatica’ railway line, this bike path stretches 50 kilometres across 8 municipalities, in an area of outstanding natural beauty, and it also serves as a year-round recreational corridor for cyclists and runners. The ITT will home in on a slight incline, and the finish arch will be set below the Spanish Castle (Castello Aragonese), so the first stage will be extremely interesting from a technical point of view as well.
Coming up the following day, to wrap up the opening weekend, is a 204-km stage from Teramo to San Salvo. Featuring two uncomplicated categorised climbs in Silvi Paese and in Chieti, halfway through the course, this will be the first testing ground for sprinters. Giulio Ciccone (a native of Chieti) will be riding on home roads, surrounded by the love of his people throughout the route, and even if the features of this stage don’t really suit him, this will be a special day for him.