Giro d'Italia 2021 route: When does it start and how can I follow each stage live on TV?

Telegraph Sport
·8 min read
Giro d'Italia 2021 route: When does it start, how to watch live TV coverage and which teams and riders are racing? - GETTY IMAGES
Giro d'Italia 2021 route: When does it start, how to watch live TV coverage and which teams and riders are racing? - GETTY IMAGES

What is this race and why should I care about it?

Why, it's only the 104th edition of the Giro d'Italia, the first of the three grand tours scheduled to take place this year.

For many aficionados, the Giro is the greatest test a cyclist can face with the stages regularly being longer, higher and, very often, colder than those at the Tour de France, its better known and slightly older cousin.

When does the Giro d'Italia start?

This year's Giro d'Italia begins with a nine kilometre individual time trial around Turin on Saturday May 8, 2021.

How long is this year's Giro d'Italia?

The opening grand tour of the season comprises 21 stages and will be raced over 3,450.4km – that's 2,144 miles in old money.

Giro 2021 map
Giro 2021 map

After setting off from Turin with a short individual time trial, the peloton will spend the next three weeks winding its way towards the nearby city of Milan. Prior to reaching Milan, however, the race first heads south before looping back on itself and venturing into the high mountains.

Bookended with two races against the clock, the three-week race features stages for every type of rider: sprinter, climber, puncheur, breakaway specialist and whatever other description you care to use. It is in the high mountains where the race for the maglia rosa, the leader's pink jersey, is widely expected to be won or lost though. As you can see from the entire profile of the race (below), as is traditional, the vast majority of the seven mountainous stages come towards the end of the second and third weeks.

Giro 2021
Giro 2021

While some of the headline acts may be missing in 2021 – we are looking at you Passo dello Stelvio and Passo di Gavia – route planners have decided to take the riders up one of the most feared climbs in world cycling, the dreaded Monte Zoncolan (stage 14). Just two days later the Passo Fedaia and Passo Giau feature in the queen stage in the heart of the Dolomites, with the Cima Coppi prize coming atop the Passo Pordoi (2,239m) which is the highest point in this year's race. In addition to the numerous climbs, descents and typically chaotic finales throughout the race, the inclusion of two stages with gravel sections (stage nine and 11) will test the riders' resolve further still.

And when does the Giro d'Italia finish?

The Giro d'Italia concludes with the second and final individual time trial of the race, the 29.4km test from Senago to Milan.

Where does each stage start and end?

How can I follow the race?

Those with subscriptions to Eurosport or GCN Race Pass are in luck, both will be broadcasting every day, as will be Welsh terrestrial channel S4C which is available on Sky 134, Freesat 120 and Virgin TV 166 in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and on iPlayer. Live shows and highlights programmes will be shown at different times each day. Alternatively, if you are stuck at work or do not subscribe to Eurosport or GCN Race Pass – or cannot access S4C – then you can follow the action, as it unfolds, right here with Telegraph Sport. Almost all of the 21 stages will be live blogged by our team – see details below – while each evening selected race details and standings in the main classifications will be published.

What teams will ride the Giro d'Italia?

As with all WorldTour races, each of the 19 teams that make up the top-flight of professional cycling receive an invite and in the case of the Giro d'Italia, all teams are contracted to race.

In addition to the WorldTeams, Alpecin-Fenix qualified as the No 1 ranked ProTeam from 2020 while race organisers RCS handed wild card entries to Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani-CSF-Faizane and Eolo-Kometa.

How to watch live TV coverage and follow the race

All dates, times and distances are correct at time of publishing.

Giro d'Italia 2021 route: When does it start, how to watch live TV coverage and which teams and riders are racing? - AFP
Giro d'Italia 2021 route: When does it start, how to watch live TV coverage and which teams and riders are racing? - AFP
Saturday May 8

Giro d'Italia, stage one: Turin, 8.6km – time trial

Stage one
Stage one

Stage starts at: 1pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: None
Live: Eurosport1 12.50-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 9.05-9.35pm

Sunday May 9

Stage two: Stupinigi (Nichelino) to Novara, 173km

Stage two
Stage two

Stage starts at: 12.10pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: None
Live: Eurosport1 11.30am-4.15pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 10-10-30pm

Monday May 10

Stage three: Biella to Canale, 187km

Stage three
Stage three

Stage starts at: 11.30am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.15am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 9.30-10pm

Tuesday May 11

Stage four: Piacenza to Sestola, 186km

Stage four
Stage four

Stage starts at: 11.20am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 11am-4.15pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 10-10-30pm

Wednesday May 12

Stage five: Modena to Cattolica, 177km

Stage five
Stage five

Stage starts at: 12.20am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 12.05-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 9.30-10pm

Thursday May 13

Stage six: Grotte di Frasassi to Ascoli Piceno, 160km

Stage six
Stage six

Stage starts at: 11.50am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.30am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Friday May 14

Stage seven: Notaresco to Termoli, 181km

Stage seven
Stage seven

Stage starts at: 12pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: None
Live: Eurosport1 11.45am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Saturday May 15

Stage eight: Foggia to Guardia Sanframondi, 170km

Stage eight
Stage eight

Stage starts at: 11.50am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.35am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 9.15-9.45pm

Sunday May 16

Stage nine: Castel di Sangro to Campo Felice, 158km

Stage nine
Stage nine

Stage starts at: 11.25am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.30am-4.10pm, S4C 2-4.15pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 11-11.30pm

Monday May 17

Stage 10: L’Aquila to Foligno, 139km

Stage 10
Stage 10

Stage starts at: 11.25am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 12.35-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 9.30-10pm

Wednesday May 19

Stage 11: Perugia to Montalcino, 162km

Stage 11
Stage 11

Stage starts at: 12.10pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From around 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.50am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 9.30-10pm

Thursday May 20

Stage 12: Siena to Bagno di Romagna, 212km

Stage 12
Stage 12

Stage starts at: 10.30am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From around 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 10.20am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Friday May 21

Stage 13: Ravenna to Verona, 198km

Stage 13
Stage 13

Stage starts at: 11.35am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: None
Live: Eurosport1 11.20am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Saturday May 22

Stage 14: Cittadella to Monte Zoncolann, 205km

Stage 14
Stage 14

Stage starts at: 10.40am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From around 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 10.25am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 9.30-10pm

Sunday May 23

Stage 15: Grado to Gorizia, 147km

Stage 15
Stage 15

Stage starts at: 12.20pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From around 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 12.15-4.15pm, S4C 2-4.15pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 11-11.30pm

Monday May 24

Stage 16: Sacile to Cortina d’Ampezzo, 212km

Stage 16
Stage 16

Stage starts at: 10am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From around 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 9.45am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 9-15-10.15pm, S4C 9.30-10pm

Wednesday May 26

Stage 17: Canazei to Sega di Ala, 193km

Stage 17
Stage 17

Stage starts at: 11.10am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From around 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 10.55am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 9-15-10.15pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Thursday May 27

Stage 18: Rovereto to Stradella, 231km

Stage 18
Stage 18

Stage starts at: 10.45am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From around 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 10.30am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Friday May 28

Stage 19: Abbiategrasso to Alpe di Mera (Valsesia), 176km

Stage 19
Stage 19

Stage starts at: 11.20am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From around 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.05am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Saturday May 29

Stage 20: Verbania to Valle Spluga-Alpe Motta, 164km

Stage 20
Stage 20

Stage starts at: 11.30am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From around 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.15am-4.30pm, S4C 2-4.30pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 9.45-10.15pm

Sunday May 30

Stage 21: Senago to Milan, 30.3km – time trial

Stage 21
Stage 21

Stage starts at: 12.35am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: From around 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 2-5pm, S4C 2-5pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, S4C 11-11.30pm