Jun 15, 2024 Matt Wragg
Jun 15, 2024 Matt Wragg

Giro D’Italia women 2024: Everything you need to know

With eight tough stages capped by a mountain top finish on the legendary Blockhaus climb, the Giro D’Italia women enters a new era in 2024 with a challenging route designed to test every aspect of a racer in the fight for the coveted maglia rosa.

Giro D’Italia women 2024: Everything you need to know Giro D’Italia women 2024: Everything you need to know about the racing

2024 marks a huge step for the Giro D’Italia Women. After a turbulent few years marked by complaints from riders, teams and fans, and even a demotion from UCI WorldTour status, organisation of one of the most prestigious races in women’s cycling passes over to RCS - the organisers of the men’s Giro D’Italia. The hope is that it will become a more professional and widely publicised race, in the same way that the men’s race is a cornerstone of the racing calendar. 

Contents

Giro d'Italia Women 2024 in numbers

Regarded as the toughest test on the World Tour, the 2024 edition will be no exception: 

  • 8 stages 
  • 856km racing 
  • 107.1km average stage length 
  • 11,950m climbing 
  • 4 uphill finishes 

When is the Giro d'Italia Women 2024?

The 2024 edition of the Giro D’Italia Women starts on Sunday 7 July and finishes on Sunday 14 July. 

Where is the Giro d'Italia Women 2024?

The 2024 edition of the Giro D’Italia Women starts in Brescia in Lombardy, finishing in L’Aquilla, Abruzzo.  

History of the Giro d'Italia Women

Since its first edition in 1988, the Giro Feminile, as it was then called, has always had a reputation as one of the toughest races on the calendar. Much like this year’s edition, that first race was fought over eight stages, starting in the north of Italy and heading south towards Rome. Maria Canins took the overall, despite track star Petra Rossner winning 5 stages - there are few surviving records of what happened during the race, or even stage times.

With no editions held in 1991 or 1992, when it returned in 1993 the race now boasted 12-13 stages and was dominated by Fabiana Luperini. With 13 stage victories, she won the race four years in a row from 1995 to 1998. Not the strongest in the time trials, she used her climbing prowess to secure her four pink jerseys.

The 2000s promised to be a huge period for women’s racing, but those promises were empty for many. Considered a golden era for women’s stage racing, the Giro was a fiercely contested affair, with riders like Nicole Brändli, Nicole Cooke and Mara Abbott taking the GC over the years. Yet as the sport struggled for sponsors and coverage other big stage races like the Grand Boucle Feminine and the Tour de l’Aude fell by the wayside - the Giro was the biggest race to survive, but with a reduced nine stages.

Arguably, the modern era of the race began in 2011 and 2012 when Marianne Vos took her first titles. During this period it switched from an all-rounders race to increasingly a climbing/GC race much like the men’s grand tours. From 2015 began the Anna Van der Breggen/Annamiek Van Vleuten era, with the pair taking eight editions of the race between them. With Van Vleuten retiring at the end of the 2023 season the 2024 race is wide open for the first new winner since Megan Guarnier in 2016…

Four-time Giro d'Italia Women winner Annemiek van Vleuten Four-time Giro d'Italia Women winner Annemiek van Vleuten

Giro d'Italia Women 2024 route

Stage one

The race opens with a 14.6km individual time trial around Brescia. With an almost pan-flat profile, except for a small rise in the final 5km, it offers the chance for a specialist to sneak in a snatch the first maglia rosa away from the climbing specialists who will dominate the later stages of the race.  

Canyon rider to watch: Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka — The current Polish ITT national champion will spend most of the race in service of her teammates, but the opening time trial suits her well and is her chance to fight for a stage win.  

Stage two

As the only nailed-on sprint stage in the race the stakes and nerves will be high for the sprinters on stage two. A completely flat profile with a 20km finishing lap around Volta Montovana should make for dramatic finish to a relatively easy day for the peloton. 

Canyon rider to watch: Maike van der Duin (Canyon//SRAM Racing) - Building up to racing on the track in the Paris Olympics, van der Duin has the strength, tactical nous and fast finish to be a threat in every bunch finish. 

Stage three

Stage three sees the first KOM point of the race with a cat. two climb to the finish in Toano. From around 70kms out the stage starts to gently rise, culminating in an 11km climb with an average grade of 6%, easing off a little for the final 3km to the line. Maybe not hard enough to engage the pure climbers, could it offer a chance to an all-rounder to strike out in search of glory? 

Canyon rider to watch: Neve Bradbury (Canyon//SRAM Racing) - Having already stood on GC podiums at UAE Tour Women and the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, 2024 has been a strong year so far for Bradbury. She will be hoping to capitalise on that momentum and on the first pure GC day of the race will be hoping to stake her claim on the maglia rosa. 

 

Giro d-Italia Women 2024 route Giro d-Italia Women 2024 route

Stage four

Could stage four be for the breakaway? Mostly flat at the start, the cat. two climb to San Marino 50km out from the finish might provide the perfect launchpad for a breakaway. Likely too far out for the GCs to begin controlling the race, a small group of brave riders could escape and with a gentle cat. three climb to the finish in Urbino could they hold off a charging peloton? 

Canyon rider to watch: Lianne Lippert (Movistar) - To win from the breakaway is going to need a special ride, and Lippert might be just that rider. With so much ground to cover between the climbs it needs a huge engine who doesn’t slow down when the ground points upwards, the only question will be whether as Movistar’s GC hope the peloton allow her enough space to escape? 

Stage five

While the finish for stage five is perfect for the sprinters, the rolling profile through the stage could easily tempt a breakaway. Will the break be strong enough to hold off the sprinters’ team or will it come back together for what would be the last chance for the sprinters to taste glory? 

Canyon rider to watch: Lianne Lippert (Movistar) - To win from the breakaway is going to need a special ride, and Lippert might be just that rider. With so much ground to cover between the climbs it needs a huge engine who doesn’t slow down when the ground points upwards, the only question will be whether as Movistar’s GC hope the peloton allow her enough space to escape?

Stage six

Stage six could favour a classic-style rider. The longest stage of the race features no less than ten punchy climbs as the it crosses from valley to valley, with little flat ground to recover in between. This builds to double-digit gradients on its way to finishing in the centre of Chieti. The stronger riders in the peloton will be hoping to spoil the fun for the pure climbers before the race heads upwards for the final two stages. 

Canyon rider to watch: Mareille Meijering (Movistar) - Who better to weigh the risks of a breakaway than a former economics teacher? Coming off an injury-plagued 2023, Meijering has already impressed in the early part of the 2024 season. A strong climber, but not yet a full GC hopeful, the hilly profile should suit an attacking rider like her. 

Giro d-Italia Women 2024 stages Giro d-Italia Women 2024 stages

Stage seven

How many riders will have had sleepless nights worrying about the climbs on stage seven, the queen stage? With a total altitude gain of 3,600m, ferocious is the only word for it. Nothing about this will be easy, from the a series of climbs through the opening 60km to the 1,000m, 15km+ cat. one Passo Lanciano and the brutal final 23km up to the Blockhaus, this is pure GC territory. Quite simply, whoever raises their arms at the finish line is the strongest rider in the race.  

Canyon rider to watch: Neve Bradbury (Canyon//SRAM Racing) - Efficiency isn’t always the most talked about skill in rider’s quiver, but it is precisely that which makes Bradbury such a threat on the big GC days. Saving every ounce of energy possible through the day means she can arrive as fresh as possible for what is undoubtedly going to be one of the toughest climbing tests of the whole season.

Stage eight

Strength is nothing without endurance. Yes, the strongest rider may have won on the Blockhaus, but if they have nothing left in the tank after that effort for this tough final stage to l’Aquilla, it was all for nothing. With most of the climbing loaded into the first two-thirds of the stage, could the long descent followed by the punchy climb to Acquesanta 5km out tempt a late attack? Or will it come down to team strength? Will the GC leader have a strong enough team round her to control the race from so far out and hold onto yesterday’s gains and secure the maglia rosa? 

Canyon rider to watch: Antonia Niedermaier (Canyon//SRAM Racing) - It is one thing to have good legs at the start of a race like this, but the strongest riders still have them at the end. Niedermayer is described by her team as a metronome, she does not miss a beat, no matter how long the race. The big question for her will be whether by this stage of the race she is fighting for the maglia rosa or the maglia bianca (young riders’ classification).

What do the riders say?

I’m really excited about the Giro. It’s one of my favorite races. I Love Italy, the people, the landscape and the atmosphere. I Love the difficult climbs and the feeling to give everything to win a race. I am not nervous about the race, it’s more like excitement. Maybe sometimes I’m a little bit nervous about the crashes and the peloton in general. My biggest goal is to have a great time with some nice results and maybe I can also win a stage or have a good result in the GC. I think it’s a good step forward to have this new organization even though it was really well organized last year too. I hope that we can reach more people and get more attention. - Antonia Niedermaier, Canyon//SRAM Racing

The Giro D’Italia women enters a new era in 2024 with a challenging route The Giro D’Italia women enters a new era in 2024 with a challenging route

Expectations leading to the race?

After the 2023 season was dominated by SD-Worx, 2024 is shaping up to be a very different year. They are still the team to beat, but with a pro peloton laser-focused on breaking their stranglehold the 2024 season has already seen some thrilling racing and new winners emerging. As the first of the big summer races in the UCI WorldTour, expect aggressive racing with teams looking to exploit any and every opportunity to break through.

How to watch the Giro d'Italia Donne

Every stage will be shown live on Max and discovery+. There will be highlights coverage of every stage running daily on Eurosport 1 across Europe, with live coverage of stage 2 on Monday 8 July when there is a rest day at the Tour de France. Read our guide why should you follow it this year here.

Eurosport 1:

Sunday 7 July – 18.30-19.30 (delayed, stage 1)

Monday 8 July – 12.45 – 14.45 (live, stage 2)

Tuesday 9 July – 18.00 – 19.00 (delayed, stage 3)

Wednesday 10 July – 17.45 – 18.45 (delayed, stage 4)

Thursday 11 July – 18.00 – 19.00 (delayed, stage 5)

Friday 12 July – 18.00 – 19.00 (delayed, stage 6)

Saturday 13 July – 18.00 – 19.00 (delayed, stage 7)

Sunday 14 July – 18.15 – 19.15 (delayed, stage 8)

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  • Matt Wragg
    About the author

    Matt Wragg

    Get to know Matt Wragg, the freelance photographer, writer, and self-proclaimed bicycle-breaker based in Nice, France. Despite unsuccessful attempts at XC, trials, 4X, and DH racing, Matt's passion for mountain biking never waned. After a stint in communications consulting, he decided to pursue his love for cycling and moved to New Zealand. Since then, he has traveled the world, chasing trails and building a successful career as a cycling photographer and writer. In 2021, he was diagnosed as autistic and has been coming to terms with it. His bike cellar is a true testament to his love for cycling, housing bikes that range from freeride to cargo.

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