MILAN — Next year’s Giro d’Italia will feature tough ascents up Mount Etna, the Blockhaus, the Mortirolo and Santa Cristina.
The six mountain stages of the 2022 Giro were revealed as race organizers continued their staggered presentation of the route.
In a break with tradition, race organizer RCS Sport has decided to release details of the Giro in instalments, starting with the seven stages best suited for sprinters on Monday, and the six hilly legs the following day.
It is in the mountains that the overall winner of the Giro should be decided, however.
“With these six high mountain stages it is clear that the 2022 Giro d’Italia will be another tough one,” reigning champion Egan Bernal said. “The first uphill finish on Etna will be important and could really cut out from the GC those who are not at 100% on form for the first week of the race.
“Then there will be the mythical climbs like the Mortirolo, where great champions have written important chapters in cycling history.”
The Giro starts on May 6 with three stages in Hungary before the first rest day for the transfer back to Italy. Riders are expected to face their first serious test on stage four as it culminates in the ascent up Etna.
There are three more mountain top finishes, including the Blockhaus, where the stage finale features double-digit gradients along a series of hairpin bends leading to the line. There is a double assault of the Blockhaus in the 187-kilometer (116-mile) stage that includes almost 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) of climbing.
There is even more climbing in the Giro’s traditional wine stage. The 200-kilometer (124-mile) leg from Salo to Aprica packs in 5,400 meters (17,717 feet) as it ascends the Goletto di Cadino as well as the Mortirolo and Santa Cristina.
Another stage that has been given five stars – the highest difficulty rating – is the final mountain stage. The 167-kilometer (104-mile) route from Belluno features the last uphill finish and the race’s final three climbs: the the Passo San Pellegrino , the Passo Pordoi – which is the race’s highest point – and the final Passo Fedaia to the foot of the Marmolada glacier.
That should come on the penultimate day of the Giro before what is expected to be the finish of a time trial to Verona on May 29.
Details of the finale will be announced on Thursday, when the route will be revealed in full and RCS Sport will confirm precisely when all the stages will take place.