Giro D'Italia 2014: Dates, Route Map, Stage Previews and TV Coverage Info

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Giro D'Italia 2014: Dates, Route Map, Stage Previews and TV Coverage Info
Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

Cycling's first Grand Tour of the season gets underway in Belfast on Friday, as the Giro d'Italia starts its 97th edition with a 21.7-kilometre team time trial in the Northern Irish capital.

The opening weekend sees the riders put through their paces in Belfast and Dublin before the race returns home to Italy for the start of Stage 4 on Tuesday.

While defending champion Vincenzo Nibali will not be in the peloton, as he misses out to focus on the Tour de France, there are plenty of contenders in the running for the Maglia Rosa.

Movistar's Nairo Quintana is certainly one of the favourites, as the 2013 Tour de France runner-up looks for a first Grand Tour win.

The 24-year-old Colombian will face fierce competition from the likes of BMC Racing's Cadel Evans and fellow countryman Rigoberto Uran of Omega Pharma-QuickStep, which came second in last year's Giro. 

Read on for TV information and the dates of each stage as well as a closer look at the route map.  

Giro d'Italia 2014 Stages
Stage No. Date Route Distance (km)
1 May 9 Belfast - Belfast TTT 21.7
2 May 10 Belfast - Belfast 219
3 May 11 Armagh - Dublin 187
4 May 13 Giovinazzo - Bari 112
5 May 14 Taranto - Viggiano 203
6 May 15 Sassano - Montecassino 247
7 May 16 Frosinone - Foligno 211
8 May 17 Foligno - Montecopiolo 179
9 May 18 Lugo - Sestola 172
10 May 20 Modena - Salsomaggiore Terme 173
11 May 21 Collecchio - Savona 249
12 May 22 Barbaresco - Barolo ITT 41.9
13 May 23 Fossano - Rivarolo Canavese 157
14 May 24 Agliè - Oropa 164
15 May 25 Valdengo - Plan di Montecampione 225
16 May 27 Ponte di Legno - Val Martello 139
17 May 28 Sarnonico - Vittorio Veneto 208
18 May 29 Belluno - Rif. Panarotta (Valsugana) 171
19 May 30 Bassano del Grappa - Cima Grappa ITT 26.8
20 May 31 Maniago - Monte Zoncolan 167
21 June 1 Gemona del Friuli - Trieste 172

Lotto Belisol

All stages will be shown live on British Eurosport.

2014 Giro d'Italia Route

There are three time-trial stages, eight flat stages and nine mountain stages before the Giro reaches Trieste for the finish of the Italian-stage race in June, per Colin Henrys of RoadCyclingUK.  

After starting out in Ireland, Day 4 moves the peloton to South-east Italy before heading north-west and eventually finishing up in the North-east of the country on the Slovenian border.

The route map is helpfully provided here by ShimanoROAD:

After the Irish leg gets underway with a team time trial, Stages 2 and 3 take in the North-east Coast of Northern Ireland and then on to Dublin with sprint finishes expected after fairly flat going.

The first Italian stage is also flat with Stage 5 regarded as the first real climb as the 203km leg finishes on a fourth-category climb in Viggiano, per Lotto Belisol

There is no easing up for Stage 6 to Montecassino, a 247km ride which finishes with an 8.5km ascent, per Henrys.

Peter Morrison/Associated Press

Stage 7 sees a return to sprinting, as the Giro moves into Foligno, after which comes another climb with another summit finish into Montecopiolo.

This stage includes a Category 1 ascent, and it is at this stage that the real climbers will likely have made major gains in the general classification.

A second rest day comes after Stage 9, which includes yet another summit finish into Sestola, and with the day off in mind, there should be good pace from the off, per

Sprinters will likely grab their chance at a stage win when the rest day is over as Stage 10 goes from Modena to Salsomaggiore Terme over 173 kilometres of mainly flat terrain.

The mammoth 249km stage from Collecchio to Savona follows in Stage 11, the longest segment of the race which is classed as a medium-mountain leg and includes a quick descent to the finish.

Getty Images/Getty Images

Stage 12 sees the first of the individual time trials and will be an opportunity for some chasing a Giro win to make a significant impact.

The time trial is followed by Stage 13, which includes just one Category 4 climb, per Henrys, and looks set up for the sprinters over the 157 kilometres.

However, the climbs return in the next stage, which includes a summit finish on the Oropa as well as two first-category ascents.

Stage 15 will certainly be one for those aiming for the victory and could cause real problems with a flat track for 200 kilometres or so before culminating in a 20km ascent of Montecampione, per

The final week kicks off after another rest day with the riders reaching an altitude of 2,758 metres on the Stelvio as part of the 139km Stage 16, per Henrys.

Fabio Ferrari/Associated Press

Next, it's on to Vittorio Veneto for the 208km 17th leg, as the race enters the closing stages; the number of realistic winners will only be a handful of riders.

Then on to another summit finish for Stage 18 and the final time trial, a climbing time trial, for Stage 19 which has some sections at 14 per cent gradient, per Henrys.

The penultimate stage sees a finish on the Monte Zoncolan, which could yet see a late change in classification before the final leg in Trieste likely to finish in a sprint. 

According to Henrys, the 2014 Giro d'Italia will amount to almost 3,500 kilometres of racing, much of which will test the endurance of the riders as they negotiate a series of tough climbs.

It all kicks off in Ireland, but the significant moments will be in the mountains of Italy where the riders will likely have to contend with the snow as well as the gruelling course.

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