The 2024 edition of the Giro d’Italia Women, the first to be organised by RCS Sport, was presented in Milan at the Grattacielo Pirelli, the historic headquarters of the Lombardy Region, on December 12th. The event was attended by great athletes of the recent past, such as Marta Bastianelli, 2007 World champion and 2018 European champion, along with many well-known faces from sport and institutions. Mavi Garcia, Elisa Longo Borghini, and Silvia Persico, spoke from their training camps about the event:
Elisa Longo Borghini: “I like this Giro a lot, it’s a race in which you must never lower your tension, because even the flat stages are tricky. The Brescia time trial is perfect for the type of athlete I am, even if everything will be decided in the second part, which is full of demanding climbs.”
Mavi Garcia: “After a disappointing season I hope I can return to my level and fight for the Maglia Rosa. Clearly the Blockhaus will be the decisive stage, I have rarely tackled such altitude gains in racing. We will pass many beautiful parts of Italy, although we won’t be able to enjoy the views too much!”
Silvia Persico: “I will try to win a stage, even though I have placed well in the general classification in recent seasons. I particularly like the Urbino stage, which suits my characteristics. Marta Bastianelli, who inspires me and with whom I was lucky to be able to race together, would also have liked it a lot.”
Fabiana Luperini: “As an athlete, I would have loved such a tough finale for what were my characteristics. The race will be a continuous crescendo, which will favour the athletes with more stamina. I am convinced that the winner on Blockhaus will most likely be the winner of the Giro.”
Marta Bastianelli:”Women’s cycling is growing and the Giro d’Italia Women will be a great challenge, both for the organisers and for the athletes, who will be called upon to push their limits. I expect a lot from the Blockhaus stage and I’m sure the women riders will be able to give us a spectacle, as they did last year at the Tour de France on the Tourmalet.”
Barbara Mazzali, Councillor for Tourism, Territorial Marketing and Fashion of the Lombardy Region added, “The Giro d’Italia Women 2024 will be a great opportunity to tell the story of our territory through a great event. This year the departure will be from Brescia, a city of extraordinary beauty, ’embraced’ by its Lake Garda and enveloped by its Franciacorta hills, which offer us unique glasses of bubbles. We will then move on to two splendid locations in the Mantuan area, Sirmione and Sabbioneta. This event is capable of attracting hundreds of visitors, including fans, on a par with the so-called ‘Il Lombardia’, the classic men’s race. I therefore had no doubts in supporting this event in which ‘Tourism and Sport’ get together in a perfect mix of attractiveness. The challenge for our Region is to relaunch the cycling tourism offer, because the ‘two wheels’ are an extraordinary territorial marketing tool, as well as a means of ‘green’ travel. Last but not least, the theme is prominent: this year’s Giro d’Italia Women is to be dedicated precisely to us, women, too often victims, but today, here, protagonists and ready to express our great potential, our tenacity, perseverance, over every wall”.
Urbano Cairo, President of Rcs MediaGroup said, “For us, organising this event is a major, new challenge that enriches our already wide cycling offering with the Giro d’Italia, the Giro Next Gen and all RCS Sport-branded races. All these competitions attract strong global interest, and it is right to focus on women’s movement, which has grown so much in recent years and is so rich in both Italian and international champions. We expect to see them at the start for a top-level week that brings the best of women’s cycling to Italy. Furthermore, RCS Sport has always been attentive to social issues and the Giro d’Italia Women will be an important driver to send messages that go beyond the concept of sport”.
Paolo Bellino, Managing Director at RCS Sport added, ”Our organisational machine is preparing for what will be the third Giro in less than three months. A demanding but necessary effort to recount the cycling universe at 360°, involving not only the champions of today and those of tomorrow, but also the great champions of women’s cycling. An exciting spectacle that allows us to continue to focus decisively on the combination of sport and tourism. In addition to the competitive factor, in fact, there is the side of promotion and enhancement of the territories that will be touched by the various events”.
Giusy Virelli, Project Manager of Giro d’Italia Women said, “We have designed a race that can offer opportunities to all the riders. We start with a time trial that is long enough to create gaps in the general classification. After stages for the sprinters and stage hunters, there will come the terrible final triptych in Abruzzo with over 3600 metres of altitude gain on the day of the Blockhaus”.
Cordiano Dagnoni, President of the Italian Cycling Federation added with pride, “This year, with the Giro d’Italia Women, we complete a chain of major events organised by RCS Sport. Their professionalism offers added value to the race, as it is synonymous with quality. It will be a great spectacle and an important driver for the promotion of women’s cycling”.
Marco Marsilio, President of the Abruzzo Region concluded, “It is with great satisfaction and anticipation that our region prepares to welcome the Giro d’Italia Women. After last year’s extraordinary success with the Grande Partenza from the Costa dei Trabocchi of the ‘race of the Italians’ – as Urbano Cairo, president of Rcs MediaGroup, called it – and the three stages of this year’s Giro d’Italia, cycling in Abruzzo turns a shade of pink, confirming that it has what it takes to host sporting events of international renown. This tradition is renewed year after year and expanded with new sporting events, increasingly strengthening the vocation of Abruzzo as a land of cycling, and promoting this historic discipline in the extraordinary setting offered by our territories. The Giro d’Italia Women is an event which consolidates the collaboration with Rcs MediaGroup and offers Abruzzo another memorable page of sport”.
SCARPETTA ROSSA – CHARITY PARTNER OF THE EVENT
The Giro d’Italia Women, together with the Giro d’Italia and the Giro Next Gen, will support Scarpetta Rossa, which becomes the Charity Partner of the three events. The association is on the front line to fight the social scourge of violence against women. Scarpetta Rossa was founded in Milan in 2014. It is active throughout the country with a network of volunteers and experts who offer assistance, advice and shelter to women in difficulty. ‘Red benches’, located in numerous Italian regions, are the distinctive symbol of Scarpetta Rossa.
The stages of the event will roll out as follows:
07/07/2024, STAGE 1, BRESCIA-BRESCIA 14.6 KM ITT
An individual time trial entirely on urban roads. Starting from the Stadium, the route initially runs along the river Mella on mainly flat and straight roads. After a second pass over the Mella, the riders enter the city centre, reaching the Castle, which marks the only short climb of the stage, descending towards the historic centre and finishing in Piazza della Loggia.
08/07/2024, STAGE 2, SIRMIONE-VOLTA MANTOVANA 102 KM
A flat stage with a closing circuit. Starting on the shore of Lake Garda, the route follows the waterside through Desenzano and then enters the Brescia plain, touching Lonato, Montichiari, Asola and Medole before reaching Guidizzolo, where it enters a 20-km circuit to be repeated once. Inside the circuit, there are minor undulations in Cavriana before arriving at the final sprint in Volta Mantovana.
09/07/2024, STAGE 3, SABBIONETA-TOANO 111 KM
This will be the first uphill finish in a stage that is clearly divided into two parts: the first one up to Ponte Secchia, is a very gentle ascent across the Po valley and the last 12 km are entirely uphill, all the way to the finish. The first part crosses several towns in the Reggio Emilia area, before entering the Secchia valley and climbing it up to the foot of the final ascent. The closing climb, around 11 km, is the first GPM of the Giro. The first part has gradients around 6%, easing out just past “La Collina”.
10/07/2024, STAGE 4, IMOLA-URBINO 133 KM
Another stage divided into two parts: a completely flat first half and a very hilly finale. From Imola to Savignano sul Rubicone, the route follows the Via Emilia, virtually straight and flat, only dotted with villages and their collection of common traffic impediments. After Savignano, the route gradually enters the Romagna Apennines, it crosses the Republic of San Marino taking in a GPM and directly reaches Urbino via Mercatino Conca, negotiating a few more climbs before the final closing ascent.
11/07/2024, STAGE 5, FRONTONE-FOLIGNO 111 KM
This will be the last quiet stage before the final three that will decide the Giro classification. The route crosses the Umbro-Marchean Apennines, passing by Pergola and Sassoferrato, before entering the Via Flaminia, which will lead to the finish through its continuous and gradually downhill undulations. After a very fast-running finale in the city, the stage homes in Foligno, as has happened in previous editions of the Tirreno-Adriatico or the Giro d’Italia.
12/07/2024, STAGE 6, SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO-CHIETI 155 KM
This stage consists of a succession of climbs and descents, as the race moves from one valley to another. The route features around ten tough climbs and just as many descents, with virtually no flat terrain. The finale is all uphill with double-digit gradients leading to the centre of Chieti.
13/07/2024, STAGE 7, LANCIANO-BLOCKHAUS 123 KM
This mountain stage starts essentially with a succession of short climbs with no pause for breath all the way to the double ascent of Passo Lanciano, which then continues to the Blockhaus (Mamma Rosa) upon the second pass. The riders will climb Bocca di Valle after Guardiagrele and La Forchetta after Pretoro, before entering the gruelling final circuit. The first climb from Lettomanoppello ends at Passo Lanciano and descends to La Forchetta; back in Lettomanoppello, the route will tackle another climb to Passo Lanciano, all the way to the finish at Blockhaus. The roads are very demanding, rising and falling repeatedly, especially in the first part.
14/07/2024, STAGE 8, PESCARA-L’AQUILA 109 KM
The last mountain stage. The first part runs entirely uphill through Cepagatti, Civitaquana and Brittoli to Forca di Penne. This is followed by the toughest climb of the day to reach Castel del Monte, at the foot of the Gran Sasso, then descending slightly towards Calascio and Santo Stefano di Sessanio. The last long descent of almost 20 kilometres leads to the outskirts of L’Aquila, where the short climb of Acquasanta is a prelude to the final sprint on the straight of the Villa Comunale, where the Giro d’Italia has already visited several times.