One thing is clear when you watch the video that illustrates the route that will be used for the 2023 Giro d’Italia: this is a challenging course. Another thing is that a lot of drone footage has been collected to ensure you see plenty of Italy’s beauty…
What remains to be seen is who will start the first Grand Tour of next year and challenge for the maglia rosa.
– By Rob Arnold
The reigning champion was there at the presentation. Jai Hindley took centre stage overnight in the Teatro Lirico Giorgio Gaber in Milan and was amongst the crowd that watched as the route for the first Grand Tour of 2023 was revealed.
There are, of course, a few surprises – like a short, steep individual time trial late in the race (18.6km, stage 20) and a circuit race on the streets of Rome on the final day (rather than the TT that has been a feature of the final Sunday for the last four years).
There is also the usual flurry of climbing activity in the final week, something that we’ve come to expect from the organisers of the Giro d’Italia. As is often the case when it comes to this race, the route overview can be summarised by: ‘It’s one for the climbers.’
– Click the link below to watch a stunning video showcasing the route of the 106th Giro d’Italia –
The 106th Giro d’Italia will begin on Saturday 6 May 2023 with a 18.4km time trial from Costa dei Trabocchi to Ortona on the Adriatic coastline midway down the ‘boot’ of Italy. It will end in the nation’s capital on Sunday 28 May after having covered a distance of 3,448.6km which includes a total of 51,300 metres of climbing.
In the span of three weeks and over 21 stages the riders will be tested on all kinds of terrain on a route that, in 2023, is almost entirely in Italy. (Note: the final 50km of stage 13 and opening 40km of stage 14 will be on Swiss roads.)
Next year there’ll be no foreign Grande Partenza (like Budapest last year, when the race began on a Friday and included a ‘transfer day’ allowing the riders and race entourage to travel to Italy after three stages in Hungary). There will be no Vincenzo Nibali, although the two-time champion (2013 and 2016) who retired from racing earlier this month was one of the stars of The Big Reveal in Milan on Monday evening.
And when it comes time to race next May there may be, or may not be, the presence of the Australian who won the title in 2022.
Hindley was on stage alongside Nibali as well as other riders and dignitaries and he received the well-earned plaudits for his efforts last May when he climbed into the maglia rosa in stunning style on the penultimate day of the race. The Australian rider from Bora-Hansgrohe is indeed one of the finest climbers of his generation, a multiple stage winner of the Giro and the first Aussie champion of the Italian Grand Tour.
In Milan on Monday evening he noted his history with one of the feature climbs of the opening stanza but was coy about confirming if he will contest the Giro for the fifth time in his relatively short career.
“This whole route is quite interesting,” he said after seeing the impressive drone footage and dramatic film showcasing the course for next May.
“I think stage seven, with the finish atop Campo Imperatore will be very important. I won there in 2017 at the under-23 Giro.”Hindley knows Italy well. He understands the prestige that comes with winning the pink jersey. He also recognises that victory in one Grand Tour doesn’t automatically make him a favourite for the next one he competes in.
This year was the first time the 26-year-old attempted two Grand Tours in one season. It went well early in 2022 with a stage victory atop the Blockhaus climb on the second Sunday of the 105th Giro, and then his coup in stage 20 at Marmolada when he disposed of his main rival, Richard Carapaz, on the steep gradients of the final climb, the brutal Passo Fedaia.
After his victory in Italy, he took a pause from racing, rested and reflected… and then prepared for the second stanza of his season. At the Vuelta a España he was good, but not at the peak of his form, and unable to challenge the likes of Remco Evenepoel who claimed the win in the Spanish race and continued to build his reputation.Hindley was 10th in the Vuelta of 2022 and now he’s considering his schedule for 2023. The route for the Giro suggests it would be wise for the climbing specialist to return and once again challenge for the maglia rosa. He’s worn the leader’s jersey in the race for only two days: once in 2020 when he started the final TT as the best on GC (with a lead of only a fraction of a second) and eventually stood on the podium as runner-up to Tao Geoghegan Hart.
The second time Hindley wore the pink jersey in the Giro, it was another time trial to close out the race. On the final Sunday of the contest in May 2022, he lost a little time to Carapaz in the TT but it was only nine seconds and the Australian claimed a stunning GC victory ahead of the Ecuadorian from Ineos Grenadiers.
Next year? “I have not defined my plans for 2023,” said Hindley in Milan, “but I hope to be at the start of the Giro next year.”
The Giro organisers hope the defending champion will be on the start line. And, at a glance, the challenging route riders will face next May will suit Jai Hindley. What’s also clear is that Remco Evenepoel is being tempted to consider his next Grand Tour carefully.
The Belgian who won the 2022 world championship road race a little over three weeks ago would also likely excel on the roads of Italy next year but cycling fans and Evenepoel’s rivals will have to wait a little longer before finding out if there’s a three-week race on his program for 2023, and if it will be the Giro, Tour de France or Vuelta.
To date Evenepoel has only contested two Grand Tours: the Giro of 2021 when he reached as high as second on GC (and held that position for five days through to the middle of the race) but abandoned the race before stage 18, two days after Egan Bernal burst into the lead with a stunning display of climbing on the road to Cortina d’Ampezzo which effectively won him the title that year.
Evenepoel’s second Grand Tour was the Vuelta this year when he won two stages and wore the leader’s jersey for two-thirds of the race. He won the Vuelta at the age of 22 and only hours after stepping off the podium in Madrid was on a flight to Australia for the worlds.
There are many more title contenders than Hindley and Evenepoel alone.
At the end of the 2022 season there is more and more footage on social media of Bernal riding his bike again and although he’s not won a race since his horrendous training crash earlier this year, there is hope that he will one day return to the kind of form that has seen him win both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia before he was 25.
The accident in Colombia halted Bernal’s career but had it not happened, he would relish the route that was presented in Milan last night.
The route for the 2023 Giro has been revealed. It is one of the climbers. It is tempting terrain for the likes of Hindley and Evenepoel. It is certainly a fantastic showcase of Italy and the many beautiful regions the race will visit in May next year. It is something that riders and teams will be carefully considering in the coming weeks.
The Giro will be a tempting proposition for many of the world’s best riders. But exactly who turns up for the Grande Partenza remains to be seen. There’s another race route presentation coming up this October, one in Paris at the end of the month. And when the full details of Le Tour 2023 have been revealed there’ll be more surety about who is racing where and when once the Grand Tour season of next year begins in Italy on 6 May.
– By Rob Arnold
– Click the image below to see the full details of the Giro d’Italia route for 2023. –