The Giro Rosa is the longest and arguably most prestigious stage race within the women’s pro cycling calendar.
A UCI Women’s World Tour event this year, the race across Italy will feature 23 of the best women’s teams and provide a springboard for riders to show off their very best pre-Rio form.
Renowned for being a hillfest of delight for those who enjoy climbing, the terrain will provide perfect preparation for those riders looking to race over climbs in the lead up to the Brazil Oympics. However, not all have chosen to go about their preparation this way – with some teams giving the event a miss this year.
The race begins today, with a short 2km Prologue – before the real endurance work kicks off…
Friday, July 1: Prologue: Gaiarine 2km
Saturday, July 2: Stage 1: Gaiarine – San Fior, 104km
Sunday, July 3: Stage 2: Tarcento – Montenars, 111.1km
Monday, July 4: Stage 3: Montagnana – Lendinara, 120km
Tuesday, July 5: Stage 4: Costa Volpino – Lovere, 98.5km
Wednesday, July 6: Stage 5: Grosio – Tirano, 77.5 km
Thursday, July 7: Stage 6: Andora – Alassio/Madonna della Guardia, 118.6km
Friday, July 8: Stage 7: Albisola Superiore – Varazze (individual TT), 21.9km
Saturday, July 9: Stage 8: Rescaldina – Legnano, 99.3km
Sunday, July 10: Stage 9: Verbania – Verbania, 104.8km
Most of the big guns will be present – with Italy of course being the most represented with 7 teams: Alè Cipollini, Aromitalia – Vaiano – Fondriest, Bepink, Inpa – Bianchi, Servetto – Footon – Alurecycling, S.C. Michela Fanini and Top Girls Fassa Bortolo.
The race has also attracted World Tour champions (thus far) Boels Dolmans, who have brought World Champion Lizzie Armitstead and WWT leader Megan Guarnier, with Amalie Dideriksen, Christine Majerus, Evelyn Stevens en Karol Ann Canuel.
Also on the start line will be Rabo-Liv, led by last year’s winner Anna van der Breggen alongside Lucinda Brand, Shara Gillow, Thalita de Jong, Roxane Knetemann and Kasia Niewiadoma.
Two time winner and climbing expert Wiggle High5 rider Mara Abbott will also be back, supported by Giorgia Bronzini, Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Mayuko Hagiwara, Chloe Hosking, and Elisa Longo Borghini.
Liv-Plantur, Canyon//SRAM, Astana Women’s Team, Hitec-Products, Cylance Pro Cycling, Hagens Berman/Supermint, Lensworld Zannata, Lotto Soudal Ladies, Bizkaia-Durango, Lointek, BTC City Ljubljana, Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86 and Xirayas de San Luis Team.
The number one goal is to wear the Pink jersey that goes to the leader of the General Classification.
However, there’s more up for grabs. The sprint points leader will wear the Purple jersey, the QOM climber will wear Green, the best young rider will wear White and the Blue jersey is awarded to the best Italian rider.
Anticipation began to build yesterday with the Team Presentation, taking place in San Fior. Every rider was awarded with a delicate pink rose – a lovely touch, though we’re expecting to see their more fierce sides over the coming days…