Giro d’Italia 2016 kicks off the Grand Tour season

12th May, 2016
The immensely popular season of Grand Tour cycling events has got underway in style at the 2016 Giro d’Italia, which began on May 6th and will reach its exciting conclusion on May 29th. Now in its 99th year, the Giro is one of the main events on the global cycling calendar, and its popularity shows no sign of stopping as the event approaches a century of world-class cycling.

As the Giro d’Italia is the first grand tour of the season, many cyclists see it as the perfect opportunity to claim a strong victory early on. Cyclists will face a battle against not only their opponents but also the mixture of flat, mountainous and time trial rides which has made the Giro d’Italia famous for being tough, thrilling and unpredictable.

This year’s event began not in Italy but in Apeldoorn in The Netherlands, with two road races and a time trial in the country bringing an exciting start to the event. The action resumed in Italy on May 10th from Catanzaro, with a further 18 stages around the country for the cyclists to endure before the dramatic finish in Turin on May 29th.

Last year’s victor Alberto Contador has instead decided to concentrate his efforts on the Tour de France later in the year, meaning that this year’s champion will be someone new and there is everything to compete for. The winner of the most recent stage was Andre Greipel, who was victorious in Stage 5 after a chaotic final sprint.

Following suit from last year’s Vuelta a Espana, the Giro d’Italia also looks to be offering some gruelling stages this year, especially in the mountain stages 14, 19 and 20, which are all still to come. There will also be three fast-paced time trials over the course of the event, with stage 15, a completely uphill effort up the 10.8km Alpe de Siusi, looking particularly challenging.

While the Giro d’Italia is always worth watching for some world-class cycling, the route also demonstrates the sheer natural beauty the country has to offer, from its verdant countryside and rolling hills to the views of its highest peaks. If you’d like to discover more of the stunning scenery in person or even try to retrace some of the route yourself, visit our website to find out more about our luxury holidays in Italy.

Image: Alefederico, available under Creative Commons