We know that everyone's attention is on the Tour de France at the moment, but here at Total Women's Cycling we are even more excited for the Giro Rosa 2014 which will take place from 4-13 July.
If like us you are keen to watch some of the excitement of the race, check out our comprehensive guide to the Giro Rosa.
Here is a sneak peek of what you can expect from each stage.
Giro Rosa The Prologue – 2.05km
The race will kick off with a prologue in the town of Caserta just north of Naples. Riders will take to the start ramp at one minute intervals for an out-and-back time trial. It’s a straight, flat, drag heading east away from the palace along Corso Trieste before a tight, 180 degree turn in the road and then full-gas back to the palace.Starting at sunset, the riders will have to be extra wary of uneven flagstones and cobbles which will be hard to see in the dark.
Giro Rosa Stage 1 – 95.2km
Taking place 15km south east of the prologue in Caserta in the town of Santa Maria a Vico, this stage will consist of 11 anti-clockwise lapsof an 8.6km circuit. Riders will have a total of 11 ascents in this stage.
Giro Rosa Stage 2 – 120km
Stage 2 is another circuit stage but this time on the outskirts of Naples in a town called Frattamaggiore. Riders will complete six anti-clockwise laps, 20km in length. This stage is a sprinter’s dream as there is little in the way of tough climbs. Instead they can expect straight, wide roads.
Giro Rosa Stage 3 – 125.3km
Starting just around the corner from the prologue course in Caserta, this will be the first chance for potential General Classification contenders to show their worth on some pretty hectic climbs.
Heading north-west out of Caserta the intermediate sprint comes just 17.5 kilometres into the stage as the race passes through Capua. Riders will make their way through rolling farmland and even take in an extinct volcano before heading into a series of climbs. First up is the Belmonte Castello ascent which is about seven kilometres in length, with 520m of elevation change.
The girls can expect a tough finish with 5km of ascent to reach the line at San Donato Val di Camino.
Giro Rosa Stage 4 – 118km
Sea views will be order of the day on stage 4 as the race moves across to the Adriatic Coast to the beach town of Adriatico Alba. The girls will travel north towards the finish line at Jesi with just one categorised climb on this stage. This climb occurs just 10km from the finish though so we may see some interesting attacks here.
Giro Rosa Stage 5 – 118.3km
Launching from Jesi and finishing in Cesenatico riders will descend to sea level and follow the Adriatic coastline. The only climb of the route will take place just past Pesaro. Not a huge climb, this will not be of too much concern for the sprinters.
The final leg of this stage will see two 90 degree turns before a straight finish which will hopefully end in a bunch sprint.
Giro Rosa Stage 6 – 112km
With three categorised climbs and 2,300 vertical metres on this section which goes from Gaiarine to San Fior, stage six is where the battle for the coveted pink jersey (the leader’s jersey) really comes alive.
One of the highlights of this route will undoubtedly be the ‘cross country’ section that will see the riders head along lanes that promise to be little more than a rough track.
Giro Rosa Stage 7 – 91.8km
Heading up to the mountains, stage 7 of the Giro Rosa will kick off in Apricia and travel to Chiavenna. This stage will start with a neutral section down the mountainside, as soon as the girls reach the valley floor, the flag will be dropped and the climbing begins.
With a 5.4km scent to Teglio which averages and 8% gradient the race will then head westward along some flatter terrain and on towards Lake Como. A long uphill drag will signal the final part of this stage.
Giro Rosa Stage 8 – 90.3km
This stage will start in Verbania and finish in the mountain top village of San Domenico di Varzo. Undoubtedly this stage is all about the final climb of the day. Ascending over 1,000 metres in the final 13km, it will be a gruelling end to the penultimate stage.
Giro Rosa Stage 9 – 90.3km
The final stage of the Giro Rosa will kick off in Trezzo sull’Adda, about 30km from Milan. There is a good chance that General Classification will still be up for grabs on the final day which will give way to some nail biting racing.
The race will follow the picturesque shorelines of Lake Como as the riders cut through the hillside towards Bellagio. The final climb of the race will come at Ghisallo where the average gradient is around 7% but the most gruelling sections of this climb actually peak at 14%. The route then flattens out before another ascent for the final 2km which will bring the race to the finish line at the church of Madonna del Ghisallo.
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