I know I’ve whinged about this before but it’s very disappointing that the only Grand Tour of the women’s pro cycling calendar, the Giro Rosa is run at the same time as the Tour de France. It actually starts with a prologue on Friday, 3 July, the day before the TdF begins but it’s not surprising that it receives very little media attention.
As a fan of women’s pro cycling it’s pretty disappointing to line it up against the biggest race on the men’s calendar.
Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv Women) won last year’s edition in commanding style, winning four of the race’s ten stages and holding the race lead from the second day. Her teammates Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Anna van der Breggen joined her on the podium.
Following the short two-kilometre prologue in Ljubljana the race will stay in Slovenia for a 102.5-kilometre open stage from Kamnik back to the capital Ljubljana. The peloton make the transfer to Italy for stage two and sees the cities of Gaiarine and San Fior returning as start and finish towns respectively. At 121.5 kilometres, it is longer than the course featured in last year’s stage 6, which was won by Emma Pooley.
The northern province of Lombardy will play host to the race for four days and the longest stage of the ten days. The 130.4- kilometre stage three will take the riders from Cutatone to Mantove. The longest day will be followed quickly by one of the shortest from Pioltello to Pozzo d’Adda before the focus turns to the general classification and the mountains.
The first summit finish of the race comes on stage four from Trezzo sull’Adda to the ski resort at Aprica. The 15 kilometre climb to Aprica averages just over three per cent with sections of over 10 per cent. The following day from Tresivio to Morbegno will likely be a transitional day before they peloton returns to the climbs. Stage seven is set to be the queen stage of the race with the riders tackling the Naso di Gatto and Melogno climbs. The two ascents should split up the race, before a long run into the finish at Loano.
An individual time trial on the penultimate day should ensure that the general classification is still to play for. The 21.7-kilometre route should provide a picturesque climax to the battle for the overall standings as it brings the riders into Piedmont region and past the Lago Maggiore into Nebbiuno. The final stage will be a 92.7-kilometre ride from Verbania to San Domenico di Varzo where the 2015 Giro Rosa winner will be officially crowned.
Aussies to watch include Tiffany Cromwell and Loren Rowney of Velocio-SRAM, Shara Gillow of Rabo Liv, Carlee Taylor of Lotto Soudal and of course many of the Orica-AIS team – Katrin Garfoot, Chloe McConville, Rachel Neylan, Sarah Roy, Amanda Spratt, Lizzie Williams, Macey Stewart. Here’s a start list I found on Peleton Watch. It was not complete when I copied the link but hopefully has now been updated.
2015 Giro Rosa route
Friday 3rd July, Prologue: Ljubljana, 2km
Saturday 4th July, stage one: Kamnik – Ljubljana 102.5km
Sunday 5th July, stage two: Gaiarine – San Fior 121.5km
Monday 6th July, stage three: Curtatone – Mantova 130.4km
Tuesday 7th July, stage four: Pioltello – Pozzo d’Adda 98,km
Wednesday 8th July, stage five: Trezzo sull’Adda – Aprica 128.4km
Thursday 9th July, stage six: Tresivio – Morbegno 102.5km
Friday 10th July, stage seven: Arenzano – Loano 89.7km
Saturday 11th July, stage eighth: Pisano – Nebbiuno 21.7km (ITT)
Sunday 12th July, stage nine : Verbania – San Domenico di Varzo