2020 Giro Rosa route announced: 9 stages, lots of climbing, a touch of gravel

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With less than a month to go before the start of the 2020 Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, also known as the Giro Rosa, a route has finally been announced. The race will run from September 11-19 and will be the only Women’s WorldTour race in 2020 with more than three stages.

Until this week, only one of the stages for the Giro Rosa had been announced: the opening team time trial, a 16.8 km loop in Grosseto, Tuscany. A fast and flat course will favor teams that have been able to host team camps and practice riding together. The Giro Rosa has started with a team time trial every year since 2017.

Stage 1: September 11, Grosseto, 16km

Following the TTT, the peloton remains in the Grosseto province for a 124.8 km gravel stage starting in Civitella Paganico. Yes, you read that correctly. Staying hip and up to date with the current craze of the cycling world, the often traditional Giro Rosa has thrown in a course with various gravel sectors, including the gravel Seggiano climb which lasts 4 km and tops out only 11 km from the finish in Arcidosso.

Stage 2: September 12, Paganico – Arcidosso, 124.8km

There is “no peace for the athletes” as they head into the third stage of the race, a rolling 142.2 km course from Santa Fiora to Assisi, and the first mountain-top finish for the race.

Stage 3: September 13, Santa Fiora – Assisi, 142.2km

The fourth stage starting in Assisi contains some climbing and is a slow and steady burn to the finish in Tivoli, however the challenge of this stage will be in the length. At 170.3 km it is the longest stage in the race.

Stage 4: September 14, Assisi – Tivoli, 170.3km

Starting and finishing in the coastal town of Terracina, the fifth stage finally sees a flat finish for the sprinters. There are two categorized climbs on the 110 km course, but too much ground after the top of the second climb to make it a climber’s race. However, this stage could see a motivated breakaway take off on the climb and stay away for the 30 or so kilometres to the finish.

Stage 5: September 15, Terracina-Terracina, 110.3km

Another hilly yet not completely terrifying course, the 97.5 km stage six starts off tame, waiting 31 km for its first climb. After the third category climb in Sarno, just inland from the start, the race rises and falls on approach to a largely downhill run-in to the finish in Nola.

Stage 6: September 16, Torre del Greco – Nola, 97.5km

The chaos doesn’t start until kilometre 82 of 112.5 on the seventh stage starting in Nola. Once the riders reach Caserta they will make their way up a third-category climb to the Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo where they will find a circuit before finishing in Maddaloni.

Stage 7: September 17, Nola – Maddaloni, 112.5km

The eighth stage is the shortest road stage of the race at only 91.5 km, but definitely not the easiest. From the gun, the peloton climbs out of Castelnuovo della Daunia and doesn’t get a break until the finish in San Marco La Catola. The second official mountain-top finish of the race, this stage guarantees some excitement.

Stage 8: September 18, Castelnuovo della Daunia – San Marco La Catola, 91.5km

Finally, on September 19, the race will be decided on a circuit around Motta Montecorvin — four laps of a 27.5 km course that finishes on a GPM will conclude the 2020 Giro Rosa.

Stage 9: September 19, Motta Montecorvino – Motta Montecorvino, 109.8km

Predictions for the race can be made at a later date, possibly only the day before, since the only predictable thing about 2020 is that you can’t see what’s coming next. However, after dominating every road race she has entered in 2020 it is hard to see past defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten.

As the only women’s stage race longer than a week in 2020, the Giro Rosa will be anything but disappointing. The originally jam-packed Women’s WorldTour calendar has slowly been cut down to just two stage races and 10 one-day events, so every single race holds more significance than it did a year ago.

Now we cross our fingers and hope for live coverage so we can see the women battle it out in Italy.

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