The Giro Donne is the only 10-day race left on the women's calendar, the last of the three Grand Tours we used to enjoy. It's always a brilliant race, with great stages, lots of media coverage, THE stage race to win. However, everything's been ominously quiet this year so far, so it's a huge relief to see that it's definitely, definitely happening. And it seems like the race organisers have been having problems beyond their control - here's a quote from race boss Sara Brambilla, in Velonation:
"Despite the critical current economic situation, and the non-payment of one of last year’s jersey sponsors, that caused us a lot of problems, we are proud to announce that the Giro Donne will take place as normal this year," said Sara Brambilla, head of the race organising committee. "A heartfelt thank you goes out to our historical sponsors, and the new ones who believe in our project. I’m sure that also this year women’s cycling will give us great emotions."
Read the Velonation story for more information - as it says, this year it's a southern race, taking in over 1,000km from Napoli to Bergamo. There isn't any information about WHAT they'll be riding over, and it looks like we won't have one of those iconic Stelvio or Mortirolo stages - but it's going through some beautiful cycling country, including the Varese area, so I'm sure it will be another very special race.
We'll put up more details on the route as we find it - and watch the race website for more information - but you can make your guesses/hopes what it will look like in the comments - and if you're new to the race, find out why we love it so much by checking out the Café's coverage of previous races!
Stage 1 - 29 June: Napoli - Terracina, 139km
Stage 2 - 30 June: Roma - Roma, 8km ITT
Stage 3 - 1 July: Montecatini - Montecatini, 99km
Stage 4 - 2 July: Vernio - Castiglione dei Pepoli, 126km
Stage 5 - 3 July: Polesella - Molinella, 126km
Stage 6 - 4 July: Modena - Salsomaggiore, 124km
Stage 7 - 5 July: Salice Terme - Castagnole delle Lanze , 120km
Stage 8 - 6 July: Crugnola di Mornago - Lonate Pozzolo, 117km
Stage 9 - 7 July: Sarnico - Bergamo, 108km