40 Little-Known Giro d’Italia Facts That Will Surprise You

Jan Poshenko
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Whether you are an experienced rider or you're just a beginner, you have most likely heard about Giro D'Italia. But how many details do you know about this important race? Check out our article with 40 little-known facts to spice up the conversation and amaze your more experienced friends.

  1. The Giro d'Italia (English: Tour of Italy) is an annual multiple-stage bicycle race primarily held in Italy, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries.

  2. The event was first organized in 1909 to increase sales of the newspaper La Gazzetta Dello Sport; however, it is currently run by RCS Sport.

  3. The race has been held annually, except when it couldn't take place during the two World Wars. The race has been held over varying courses throughout its history.

  4. Giro d'Italia is part of the Triple Crown of Cycling, which includes two other classic cycling events, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain). Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali is the defending champion.

  5. While the first event was created to boost paper sales, the organizers have a very different goal these days.

  6. The overall winner of the Giro d'Italia is richly rewarded, and he also gets a lot of attention for his performance.

  7. The Giro is the longest, going through more than 20 Italian cities which makes it without comparison the longest when it comes to the length of the Grand Tours.

  8. It’s the only one to be longer than other major Tours- 37,000 km are never to be underestimated, especially when riding for three weeks straight.

  9. Apart from having the most kilometers of any of the Grand Tours, the Giro also holds the record of having had the fastest-ever Giro winner.

  10. Roberto Ferrari had an average speed of nearly 43.5km/h on the way to the Pink Jersey in 2006.

  11. The Giro also has the fastest rider in the history of the Tour de France.

  12. In 1928, Ottavio Bottecchia could do no wrong and even beat 49,9km/h on the road to Nice.

  13. Nice is the only place in the world to welcome the Tour, the Giro, and the Vuelta at the same time.

  14. The youngest rider in the history of the Giro was Mauro Gerosa, who was only 20 years old when he star-lined in 1961.

  15. For every rider that wins a stage of the Giro, the Giro organizers will award him with a Giro d’Italia trophy.

  16. The Giro d’Italia is one of the most prestigious Grand Tour races in the cycling calendar.

  17. The 21-stage race lasts for three weeks, covering a total distance of 3,500 kilometers.

  18. The route varies from one edition to the other, but the starting point is always the same – the People’s Republic of San Marino.

  19. After the Prologue, which is a time trial on one of the racers’ favorite circuits, the race moves on to a long transfer stage before the first real stage.

  20. That first stage is the first of many hill stages that characterize the Giro d’Italia.

  21. In its 90 years, 2,515 cyclists have taken part in the Giro d’Italia. Of these, with 235 different nationalities, 2,321 have been cyclists and 194 have been reserves.

  22. There are many cyclists who have won multiple editions of the Giro d’Italia.

  23. Alfredo Binda has won five editions of the race, all consecutively.

  24. Fausto Coppi has won four in a row as well, but three were interrupted by World War II.

  25. Alberto Contador is the only cyclist to win two consecutive editions of the Giro.

  26. Marco Pantani won two editions of the Giro before dying in an accidental drug overdose in 2004.

  27. Franco Balmamion won the race twice.

  28. Three cyclists have had to abandon the Giro during (or just before) the final stage. Franco Bitossi in 1960, Alfredo Martini in 1965, and Giovanni Fidanza in 1967.

  29. Felice Gimondi has won the Giro d’Italia as the first and last cyclist in its history.

  30. In 1953, there was a non-official team time trial (won by Bianchi) in the race.

  31. The Giro d’Italia is considered one of the three Grand Tours and is the oldest and most prestigious stage race in the world.

  32. It was first organized in 1909, making it even older than the Tour de France.

  33. The race was founded by an Italian journalist named Tullo Morgagni.

  34. Morgagni founded the race to promote the Italian cycle industry.

  35. The race is named after a list of 100 famous Italians known as The Roll of the Italian Glories.

  36. The Giro d’Italia has had multiple sponsors over the years including 'La Gazzetta dello Sport' and currently, 'Rai' which is now known as 'RAI Giro d’Italia'.

  37. The first Giro d’Italia was staged over nine days and held between Turin and Milan.

  38. CGTM (state lottery and betting) has been the sponsor of the Giro d’Italia since 1999.

  39. The first Giro d’Italia race winner was Luigi Ganna who was crowned after completing the race in eleven stages.

  40. The stages of Giro d'Italia in 2018:

  • Stage 1 – May 4: ITT in Jerusalem

  • Stage 2 – May 5: Gerusalemme-Haifa (176 km)

  • Stage 3 – May 6: Be'er Sheva-Eilat (173 km)

  • Stage 4 – May 7: Arad-Carcassonne (185 km)

  • Stage 5 – May 8: Huncovce-Rijeka (208 km)

  • Stage 6 – May 9: Rijeka-Porec (159 km)

  • Stage 7 – May 10: Blockhaus-Usmate Velate (156 km)

  • Stage 8 – May 11: Commezzadura-Predazzo (197 km)

  • Stage 9 – May 12: Prali-Piancavallo (175 km)

  • Stage 10 – May 13: Riva del Garda-Sá°áda (212 km)

  • Stage 11 – May 14: Matera-Castrovillari (257 km)

  • Stage 12 – May 15: Potenza-Gualdo Tadino (217 km)

  • Stage 13 – May 16: Cittaducale-Montefalco (246 km)

  • Stage 14 – May 17: Foligno-Arezzo (198 km)