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08-05-2021 | Herman Nekkers

The granfondos of the Giro d'Italia

The Giro d'Italia has started again. For lovers of the Italian cycling experience, these are the best weeks of the year. Rolling hills, typical Italian villages, high Alpine passes, frenzied tifosi, the peaks of the Dolomites and aggressive sprints. The Giro has just that little bit more than other stage races. Would you like to taste the typical atmosphere of Italy in the form of an event? We found out where to go for the gran fondos of the Giro.

Stage 3 Biella - Canale

The first three days of the Giro take place around Turin. The third stage goes through the hilly area east of this metropolis. Do you want to get to know this region? Then the  Gran Fondo Torino is an excellent opportunity.

Stage 11 Perugia - Montalcino

On this day, several stretches of strade bianche are included around the finish town of Montalcino. This is also the start and finish of L'Eroica Montalcino. The longest distance of this retro race has no less than 11 sections on the white roads.

Another great event in this area is the GFNY Italia Montepulciano with lots of strada bianche sections.

Stage 12 Siena - Bagno di Romagna


Photo: Wielerbus

Siena stands for Tuscany and Strade Bianche. This pro race also has a granfondo with the unsurprising name of Gran Fondo Strade Bianche. Start and finish are in Siena. Although the pros in the Giro as far as we know do not get any white roads under their wheels, this cyclo should not go unmentioned. Every year Wielerbusoffers a fully catered trip to this event.

The peloton also visits Florence. The Gran Fondo Firenze takes place here every year..

Stage 14 Citadella - Monte Zoncolan

Clear your diary for Saturday 22 May, because the arrival on the Monte Zoncolan promises spectacle. However, this year the organisation has planned the climb from the west side instead of the famous east side. Nevertheless, a very hard finale awaits the riders. The last 3 kilometres are 13% on average, with peaks of up to 27%. From whichever side, the Zoncolan is a must. This is possible in the Austrian Super Giro Dolomiti. A extremely hard granfondo, number 14 in our CWiX 500. You can chosse the Carnia Classic Fuji-Zoncolan as well, the longest distance of which finishes on the dreaded mountain.

Stage 16 Sacile - Cortina d'Ampezzo

Monday 22 May is a feast for the Dolomites. Probably the most beautiful stage is planned then. And what a stage! The Passo Fedaia is the toughest climb in the central part of the Dolomites. At the top you pass the eternal snow of the Marmolada, the highest Dolomite peak. After the Fedaia follows the famous, but relatively easy Passo Pordoi. The final climb is the dreaded Passo Giau. Many people know it from the Maratona dles Dolomites.

Stage 17 Canazei - Sega di Ala

This day's stage is split into two parts: the first 140 kilometres go mainly downhill from the Dolomites. The last 53 kilometres are dominated by two climbs: the Passo di San Valentino and the very hard final climb to Sega di Ala. On the way, the peloton will pass through the city of Trento. This is the starting point of the granfondo La Leggendaria Charly Gaul. Although the course does not resemble the Giro stage, it should not be missed.

Stage 20 Verbania - Valle Spluga Alpe Motta


Whether the penultimate day of the Giro will be a racing spectacle remains to be seen. What is certain is that it will provide beautiful images. The course partly leads through Switzerland. Three climbs await the riders: the San Bernarinopass (photo above), not steep, but endlessly long. Directly followed by the Splügenpass  with a nice pattern of hairpin bends (photo below). The finish is in Italy again and goes to Alpe Motta.

The long distance of the Swiss Alpen Challenge  leads through the Valle Spluga and over the Splügenpass.

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