From Budapest toArena of Verona. From 6 to 29 May. Forty-seven mountain races, 3445.6 km in total and 50,580 meters in altitude (never so many since 2011). Just eight stages suitable for sprinters and only 26 kilometers assigned to stopwatch. It is the 105th edition of the Tour of Italy. An appointment dedicated to the mountains since the inaugural stage, which will end at the top of the Visegrad Castle, in the Hungarian capital. Three kilometers at an average gradient of 5%. In the absence of a favorite for the final victory, the real protagonist is the path. Hungary – where three stages are run – becomes the 14th departure from abroad in the history of the Giro (the first in 1965 from San Marino) and represents the beginning of a long succession of climbs and descents, within which two stand out names. Two mountains different from all the others in their charm and history. The Mortirolo and the Marmolada.
The return of Mortirolo – It is May 24th. And the Salò-Aprica of 202 kilometers. From Lake Garda to Valtellina, 5,250 meters in altitude. It is the day of Mortirolo, on the Monno side. The climb where on June 5, 1994 Marco Pantani officially introduces himself to the world of cycling, detaching himself Indurain, Chiappucci and the pink jersey Berzin from the Mazzo side. The hardest of that mountain climbed for the first time in 1962. The twelve kilometers of Mortirolo (slope at 7.6%, peaking at 16) represent the highlight of a stage that also includes the Goletto di Cadinothe Tegliothe Pass of Santa Cristina and finally the arrival to Aprica.
The Marmolada – Another place of suffering is the Marmolada. It is likely that the Giro d’Italia 2022 will be decided here. The Marmolada, nestled between Trentino and Alto Adige, is the last uphill finish before the final time trial. To get to yours 2,057 meters of altitude you have to travel 168 kilometers. But above all they must overcome the San Pellegrino Passfrom the Falcade side, and the Pordoi Pass, Cima Coppi del Giro at 2,239 meters above sea level. A 14 kilometer long asphalt snake, where the road rears up to 18%. This will be the third arrival at the top of the Marmolada, after those of 1970 and 2008. Yet even in this case everyone’s memory goes to Marco Pantani. It is June 2, 1998. The Giro is dominating it Alex Zulle and the Pirate is asked for the attack that can shuffle the cards. Halfway through the ascent of the Marmolada, however, he is still in the middle of the leading group. Roberto Conti, now exhausted, he joins him to ask him when he intends to attack. The Pirate’s response surprised him: “But when does the Marmolada start?”. Then comes the shot, the void on the opponents, the crisis of Zulle, the victory of Lorenzo Guerini. Pantani is second, he takes the pink jersey and will bring it to the end at the end.
From Etna to the Blockhaus – Mortirolo and Marmolada arrive respectively at the 16th and 19th stages, when the climbs have already made themselves felt in the legs and heads of the riders, together with the hundreds of kilometers traveled to climb the peninsula from Sicily. And it is precisely in Sicily that the Giro faces the first real pitfall. The rise ofEtna is one of those that make themselves heard. Twenty-two kilometers. A leg that warms up the muscles in view of the Diamond-Power (with its 4,510 meters of altitude difference on the Lucanian Apennines) and, above all, the first real one tappone of the Giro: theIsernia-Blockhaus. Here are Pass of the Macerone, Rionero Sannitico And Roccaraso. But it is on Passo Lanciano that things are starting to get serious: over 10 km at 7.6%, peaking at 14%. An appetizer before the Blockhaus, the main climb of the hamlet. It is on these routes that Eddy Merckx he won his first race at the Giro in 1967. Then there are the Mortirolo and Marmolada divides Passo del Tonalethe ascent of Palù di Giovothe Valico del Vetriolo and the Menador at the 17th stage and the four Mountain Grand Prix of the 19th stage: Villanova Cavesthe Pass of Tanameathe Kolovrat (in Slovenian territory) and the Castelmonte Sanctuary. The unpublished novelty of Cogne, final 22 km ascent of the Aosta Valley pre-Mortirolo stage. An arrival that follows the climbs of the Stack he was born in Verrogne. All over 10 kilometers and all capable of cracking their legs before the last week.
The protagonists – A spectacular, unpredictable route that starts without a real favorite. There is only one strong man on the eve. This is Richard Carapaz, already winner of the Corsa Rosa in 2019 and reigning Olympic champion in Tokyo 2020. Not so much for his class and experience, but for the team behind him. There Ineos-Grenadiers triumphed in the last two editions of the Giro, in 2020 with the English Tao Geoghegan Hart and then with Egan Bernal last year. And the Colombian will be the big absentee after the serious accident last January 24th. Introduce 2017 champion Tom DumoulinSimon Yates and Joao Almeida23-year-old from UAE Emirates, the team of Tadej Pogacar. And the latter will be another excellent absentee of this edition, together with Primoz RoglicRemco Evenepoel and Woet Van Aert. And for Italy? The great classics of spring did not bring satisfactions. In addition, the illness occurred to us Sonny Colbrelli that scared the whole world of cycling. Everything will therefore still be on the shoulders of the 37-year-old Vincenzo Nibaliat the eleventh Giro d’Italia and returned to Astana to watch Miguel Angel Lopez. Present Giulio CicconeLorenzo LuckyDiego UlyssesGiacomo Nizzolothe Olympic champion on track Simone Consonni and the eternal Domenico Pozzovivo, 39 years old, the oldest Italian at the start. There will be no Elijah instead VivianiDamiano Caruso (second in the Giro 2021) and, above all, Filippo Ganna.
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Giro d’Italia 2022 at the start: an edition without favorites and without Italian big names. The show? It is guaranteed by a path with a lot of mountains – Il Fatto Quotidiano
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