Nibali, Ciccone and Mollema react to the 2021 Corsa Rosa route
The 2021 Giro d’Italia revealed its route Wednesday, opening in Turin on May 8 with a 9-kilometer time trial and ending in Milan on May 30 with a longer 29-kilometer race against the clock.
There are six mountain finishes between the bookend of TTs, seven hilly stages, and six tailored for the sprinters. Packed with plenty of climbs, the three-week Italian Grand Tour is befitting for our three leaders.
We caught up with Vincenzo Nibali, Bauke Mollema and Giulio Ciccone to get their initial reactions to the 104th edition of the Corsa Rosa.
I really like the route of the Giro 2021. As always, the Corsa Rosa stands out for its toughness and unpredictability. Since the first week, we find bold climbs that will start to tire the riders’ legs. Even if, on paper, the first really hard stage is only at the end of the first week, we must not underestimate what we find before. These are insidious arrivals for those aiming at the general classification.
We have three new finishes to discover, such as Campo Felice, Sega di Ala and Alpe di Mera. As in the best tradition of the Giro, there’s always something new that can stir things. And then we have the sacred monsters, the Zoncolan above all.
The presence of the opening and closing time trials is a substantial novelty compared to the last editions and a factor that is certainly not secondary for the Maglia Rosa fight.
A beautiful edition awaits us, no doubt. Now begins the long sprint that will bring us to the Grande Partenza in Turin. As Trek-Segafredo, we will be at the start with three captains ready to make a great race for the team. That’s the priority. About my ambitions, between the GC and the hunt for the stages, I’ll find out along the way.
I anticipated the Giro 2021 route with great interest and curiosity. As I’ve already said, [after last year] I feel I have a score to settle with the Corsa Rosa. So far in my career, it has been the race that has given me the greatest satisfaction, as well as the one that has symbolically launched me. Seeing again the arrival in Sestola, where I got my first success as a pro in 2016, will be exciting.
Also, the same feelings for the stages in my own region, Abruzzo. Campo Felice is unprecedented for the Giro and also for me. But from the feedback I’ve gathered, it can make for an interesting stage.
I believe that this year the Giro has consolidated its role and its importance in the calendar. The route is tough and offers many opportunities for climbers like me: Apennines, Dolomites and Alps. I’m spoiled for choice and that makes me very happy.
The Giro is a very important event in my season. My goal is to be in top condition to aim for stage wins and make the most of the many climbs that the route offers. Now I’ll take the right time to study it and prepare for it.
The Giro is a race that I’ve always enjoyed and been fascinated by, though it hasn’t often been the focus of my Grand Tour plans. When I’ve raced it, I’ve always had solid performances, most recently a top five finish in 2019. I am excited to return to it.
It’s a tough race, which I like, with a beautiful atmosphere. What I remember about the Giro is how much it tests a rider’s endurance, both physically and mentally. There are no easy days, and if you’re fighting for the pink jersey, you can’t get distracted for a moment.
The Giro has variable spring weather and winding routes that are suited for unexpected attacks, so for the GC riders it’s critical to stay focused at all times. And for attackers and stage hunters like me, there are plenty of opportunities.
Obviously, I really like all the climbing. The climbs in the Giro are well-known to be some of the hardest, and in the third week they will feel even harder with the many kilometers that we will already have in our legs.
My program leading up to the Giro will be gradual, so I can arrive competitive and ready. The first week will be useful to fine-tune my top condition, and I am looking more to the last two weeks for the best opportunities.
I think being at the start with three strong riders like me, Vincenzo and Giulio is only good for the team’s ambitions. For them, it’s a home race, and we all know how much the Giro means for an Italian, and for me it’s exciting to join forces with them and see what we can do – we’ll certainly give the fans a great performance!