The Giro d'Italia 2020 is ready to start from Monreale in Sicily on Saturday 3 October with a 15.1km individual time trial (ITT) that will award the first pink jersey of the first autumn edition in the history of the Corsa Rosa. The course will go up the Penisola, offering opportunities for all specialists and a very tough third week, with an impressive series of high-altitude mountain passes before the final ITT in Milan on Sunday 25 October. We spoke to Race Director Mauro Vegni about his expectations and this unusual edition of the Giro,
The Giro is ready to kick off a week after the UCI World Championships in Imola. What is the spirit just a few days before the start?
Mauro Vegni: “Despite the very short time available, the UCI Road World Championships in Imola showed a great organisational capacity that has given prestige to our country; we are proud of it. 2020 is the first time that the Giro d’Italia will take place after the UCI Road World Championships, just one week later, and it will certainly be a good driving force.”
The Giro d'Italia 2020 route offers stages for every specialist, many climbs and a challenging start.
MV: “Our goal has always been to offer a show every day, whether it's suitable for climbers, attackers or sprinters. We try to never have too long a period without emotions, so as to involve the public. Especially this year with the unavoidably limited presence on site, we must pay close attention to television ratings.”
To organise a Giro in October it was necessary to calibrate the departures according to the different temperatures compared to May and above all, according to the natural light.
MV: “Yes, absolutely. We have redesigned all the time schedules because we will be in a period of the year when the light is decreasing. And on the same day in Italy there can be differences of up to a quarter of an hour in the availability of natural lighting. We have made the arrival time earlier by almost an hour and have carried out numerous checks, both regarding when the sun rises and sets and for the exposure of light. Often we do not realise that the race does not end when the first rider arrives, but when everyone finishes the stage.For this reason we have planned the best times according to the sunlight, and to ensure that TVs can set up a nice schedule.”
Despite the timings with other important races, there will be big names at the start of the Giro.
MV: “From what I have been able to appreciate in recent years, the riders come to the Giro willingly because there is not all the pressure of a Tour de France with all its importance. At the Giro they have responsibilities, but certainly less excessive and they have more opportunities to express themselves at a sporting level. I expect a beautiful Giro, with every rider able to interpret the race. It will be fought from the start, there could be jersey changes almost every day in the first stages, it will be very interesting for the public.”
For the first time there will be an Italian time trial UCI World Champion, Filippo Ganna
MV: “It flatters us and we are very pleased to have a rainbow jersey among the starters, even more so if he is Italian. Maybe we didn't expect it, but we are proud and happy about it. The Giro starts with a time trial, even if it will not really be for pure specialists since the route will be mixed.”
How do you imagine the Giro d'Italia 2021?
MV: “If we were to return to a lockdown, the problem would not be the Giro d'Italia, but the country. But considering how the contagion is progressing, I believe that if we take all the necessary precautions, we can probably think that it can take place. We will certainly still be affected by the public aspect because people are rightly concerned, the situation will only improve with the arrival of vaccines. It will be hard to expect a 2021 like 2019, but I believe that if we continue like this there will be great improvements compared to 2020.”