The Giro d’Italia begins in Budapest on Friday and concludes with a person time trial in Verona on 29 Could.
The 21-stage race travels a 3,446km (2,141 miles) route throughout flat sprinter-friendly days, time trials and gruelling mountain climbs.
Right here, BBC Sport seems at every little thing that you must know in regards to the race.
What is the significance of the Giro?
A complete of 176 riders from 22 completely different groups will take part within the a hundred and fifth version the three-week race, which comes off the again of the spring Classics and is historically the primary of biking’s three ‘Grand Excursions’ on the calendar.
Established in 1909 by newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Giro was received 5 instances by Alfredo Binda, Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx, with this yr’s Grande Partenza from Hungary coming two years later than deliberate due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In recent times, Ineos Grenadiers have held sway on the prime of the final classification.
Colombian Egan Bernal and British riders Tao Geoghegan Hart and Chris Froome – after they had been Group Sky – have collected the maglia rosa in three of the previous 4 years, and in the one season they didn’t, present Ineos rider Richard Carapaz took the final classification glory.
Which British riders are racing?
After a sensational return on the prime of the game through which Mark Cavendish equal Merckx’s Tour de France document of 34 stage wins in 2021, he arrives on the Giro as one of many headline acts.
Cavendish is again on the race for Fast Step-Alpha Vinyl after a nine-year absence, having claimed 5 levels to win the factors classification on his final look in 2013. The sprinter, who turns 37 on the 14th day of the race, has received 15 levels in complete on the Giro.
Alongside him, he can have fellow Briton James Knox, Davide Ballerini and Michael Morkov – among the best lead-out males within the enterprise. Consequently, Cavendish will hope to ship performances – and probably the maglia ciclamino, for successful the factors classification – that persuade crew boss Patrick Lefevere to incorporate him on the Tour.
Whereas Cavendish will likely be eyeing victories on the six levels that may particularly favour the short males within the peloton, Simon Yates will likely be among the many predominant normal classification favourites as he launches a fifth tilt for the maglia rosa.
The 29-year-old already has a Grand Tour success on his CV after successful the Vuelta a Espana in 2018 however has unfinished enterprise in terms of the Giro.
He spent 13 days within the leaders’ pink jersey earlier than cracking on stage 19 in 2018 as Froome launched a race-winning assault and completed eighth in 2019.
Covid pressured him to desert in 2020 however final yr he recovered from a sluggish begin to win stage 19 and end third general.
Climber Hugh Carthy will likely be chaperoned by Simon Carr and former Olympic crew pursuit champion Owain Doull as he leads the EF Training-EasyPost crew, trying to construct on his eighth-placed end in 2021 and a 3rd place within the 2020 Vuelta.
Elsewhere, Ben Tulett will get his first style of a Grand Tour, and together with Ben Swift will act as a part of the supporting forged for Carapaz, whereas specialist time-trialist Alex Dowsett, a two-time stage winner represents Israel-Premier Tech.
Lotto-Soudal’s Matthew Holmes takes half in his second Giro as a part of a crew containing heavyweight Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan, German Olympic silver medallist Roger Kluge and veteran Belgian rouleur Thomas de Gendt.
The riders to observe
Having taken the Olympic gold medal within the elite males’s street race in Tokyo in addition to securing podium finishes within the Tour (2021 – third) and Vuelta (2020 – second), Carapaz is much less an outsider, extra a favorite to win this time round.
The Ecuadorian’s chances are high buoyed significantly by having Richie Porte, Jonathan Castroviejo, and Pavel Sivakov all working for him and naturally not having to go toe-to-toe with reigning Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar, who has resisted the temptation to double up.
Joao Almeida, Alejandro Valverde, Giulio Ciccone, Mikel Landa and Wilco Kelderman, amongst others, could have one thing to say a few Carapaz win, although.
There isn’t a doubt in regards to the pedigree of 2017 champion Dumoulin, however at 31 and after returning from a break from biking, there could also be legitimate questions over his health for a race of this size.
The Dutchman, who completed second general at each the Giro and the Tour in 2018, has been restricted to simply 12 days of racing this season and didn’t take part in a single Grand Tour final time period.
As certainly one of solely seven cyclists to have received all three Grand Excursions of their profession, Nibali is one other with unquestionable standing within the peloton. Nevertheless, at 37, the Italian is unlikely to repeat his 2013 and 2016 successes and as an alternative trip for Astana team-mate Miguel Angel Lopez.
As a racer who rides on intuition, he might effectively illuminate proceedings with a stage win and if the ‘Shark’ might someway ship an emotional victory in his house metropolis of Messina, it might present a fairytale second in what could also be his final Giro.
Mathieu van der Poel
Of these making their debut on the Giro, Van der Poel is comfortably essentially the most high-profile title on the listing.
The Dutch puncheur – a rider who who specialises in rolling terrain with brief however steep climbs – heads into the opening stage and its uphill end among the many favourites to take the primary chief’s jersey lower than 12 months after a stint in yellow on the Tour de France.
Whereas he could not have the ability to compete with the perfect climbers within the mountains, count on fireworks from the Alpecin-Fenix chief on the rolling terrain and together with Giacomo Nizzolo, Magnus Cort and sprinter Arnaud Demare, he might function prominently within the factors classification.
The place will the race be received and misplaced?
Tuesday 10 Could – stage 4: Avola – Etna – Nicolosi 172km
Whereas Mount Etna could come into sight early within the race, by the point the peloton reaches its summit, the riders can have spent virtually 40km on an uncompromising climb to complete.
The beginning of the ultimate climb sees the riders head up a comparatively secure 7% gradient till issues ramp as much as 14% midway up, that means it’s greater than able to inflicting some severe harm to the hopes of normal classification contenders.
Sunday, 15 Could – stage 9: Isernia – Blockhaus 191km
The ninth stage challenges the riders to deal with 5 categorised climbs on one other punishing day within the saddle. The profile of the stage would appear to go well with Carapaz and Yates, and will present the primary main barometer of how the Giro goes to play out.
Tuesday, 24 Could – stage 16: Salo to Aprica, 202km
With three gruelling class one climbs and a few treacherous descents on the menu, that is arguably the peleton’s most troublesome day within the mountains.
The Valico di Santa Cristina, essentially the most extreme climb of the stage, averages out at about 8% – however ratchets as much as gradients of greater than 12% in sections.
Wednesday, 24 Could – stage 17 – Ponte di Legno – Lavarone 168km
The Giro travels over 4 alpine peaks from Ponte di Legno to Lavarone – and because the third mountain stage in a row, it’s prone to be the place these close to the highest of the final classification standings are at their most weak.
Sunday, 29 Could – stage 21 – Verona (Cronometro delle Colline Veronesi) – Tissot ITT 17.4km
A day after the race climbs 2,000m above sea degree on a frightening closing mountain stage, it concludes in the identical spot that Carapaz sealed his general victory in 2019.