The 2008 Giro started from Palermo with a team time trial, which had been reintroduced since a few years. After the exciting sprints disputed between Daniele Bennati and Mark Cavendish, Contador moved up the GC and gained the Maglia Rosa on the Fedaia Pass, defending it skillfully till Milan where he arrived first, followed by Riccò and Bruseghin.
The stage finishing in Peschici was originally 265-km long but it was decreased to 232 km and its final circuit on the Gargano hills was cancelled, due to the riders complains about the continuous and long transfers. Some unexpected successes aroused rumours and suspicions: more accurate and targeted tests by the UCI led to some unpleasant surprises a few months later.
2008 Giro Route
The Giro kicked off with great hope, since it celebrated also the first hundred years of the “corsa rosa”, but the 2009 Giro was not a lucky one even if it could count on a good field of starters including Lance Armstrong. The route was criticized even before the start because some people thought that it favoured Armstrong and there were protests from the riders in Milan because it was dangerous. Snow on the Block Haus did not allow the summit finish. In the end Menchov showed his superiority on the Alpe di Siusi and in the Cinque Terre time trial, while Armstrong was not up to expectations. Menchov arrived first in the last stage in Rome, followed by Basso and Sastre Candil.
After the Giro finished, a storm overwhelmed it. Three riders tested positive, among them Di Luca and Pellizzotti, 2nd and 3rd in the GC. When after 1 year the TAS issued its final decisions, all the classifications, not only the GC, were modified and the winners of three stages changed.
2009 Giro Route
For the second time the Giro started out in Holland, from Amsterdam. The 2010 Giro was awaiting Basso’s return as he had overcome a difficult period and had the Maglia Rosa as his aim. As a matter of fact he was superlative on the Monte Zoncolan and on the Mortirolo as well, with Nibali’s help. The Giro ended in Verona where Basso arrived first followed by Arroyo Duran and Nibali.
An unusual episode occurred in the race as it went through the Abruzzi. A little after the start from Lucera the bunch split and about sixty riders got an advantage of over ten minutes. The chasing peloton was not able to react and finally the Spanish rider Arroyo Duran pulled on the Maglia Rosa. The traditional Maglia Ciclamino of the point classification was replaced with the Maglia Rossa.
2010 Giro Route
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Unity of Italy, the Giro started from the Venaria Reale Royal Palace with a team time trial with finish line in Turin. After some stage wins by the sprinters, in the second part of the Giro Contador easily controlled the race and won it in Milan. The final victory went although to Michele Scarponi, the second of Giro, following the decisions of the Court Sport concerning Contador found positive to antidoping controls.
On the Bocco descent the Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt crashed and died at once for the severe injuries. The following stage was neutralized and the athletes rode the whole stage at a slow pace. The teams alternated in leading, leaving to Leopard the honour to cross the Livorno finish line. Weylandt’s team then retired from the Giro.
2011 Giro Route
The 95th edition was uncertain and global: when it started in Denmark (Herning) there was no definite favourite. There were 21 stages and winners coming from 10 different countries. Rodriguez gained the Maglia Rosa in Assisi and again at Pian dei Resinelli. The Canadian Hesjedal won the Giro thanks to the final time trial, as Gimondi did in 1976 and Moser in 1984. In Milan he won for just 16’’, with Rodriguez arriving second and De Gendt third.
Hesjedal was the first Canadian that won the Giro and he won it without winning a single stage. Hesjedal is the second non-European winner of the Giro: the American Hampsten had won it in 1988. After this victory he could not gain other big successes and the 2012 Giro stays as his true masterpiece. In 2012 the colour of the jersey for the best climber changed: from green to blue.
2012 Giro Route
The 2013 Giro started in Naples. The duel is between Nibali and Sir Bradley Wiggins, the last one having won the last Tour. Sir Wiggins suffered the bad weather in Pescara and was not able to take advantage in the time trial. He finally retired in Treviso. Nibali had the Maglia Rosa since Saltara but he did the real feat in the stage 20 Silandro – Tre Cime di Lavaredo, as Merckx did. On the finish line in Brescia Nibali wass first, followed by Uran and Evans.
The stage 20 Silandro – Tre Cime di Lavaredo legitimized Nibali as one of the biggest champions of cyclism: he has been one of the six that were able to win Vuelta, Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. The snow storm did not discourage the fans: there was a lot of people on the road and Nibali’s rolling his fist to the sky and kissing his wedding ring on the finish line won’t be forgotten.
2013 Giro Route
Nibali triumphs at the Tre Cime di Lavaredo finish line
Nibali triumphs at the Tre Cime di Lavaredo finish line
In 2014 the Giro started from Belfast; the Irish stages were three, brightened up by an enormous crowd of fans. On the climb to Montecampione Aru exceeded himself. In the following stage Quintana attacked on the descent from the Stelvio and soloed in Val Martello gaining the Maglia Rosa. He never left it till the finish line in Trieste where he won the Giro, with Uran second and Aru third.
Quintana has been the first Colombian rider (and the first from South-America) to win the Giro and never before Colombia had won four stages in a Giro. The words of Nairo after his final victory cannot be forgotten: “I showed that Colombia is not just war and crimes, but also love and passion for sport”.
2014 Giro Route
The challenge between Aru and Contador electrified this Giro. The Spanish rider was leader on the Abetone but he felt in Jesolo and Aru gained the Maglia Rosa. Contador gained it again in the Valdobbiadene time trial, Aru got again on stage in Cervinia and Sestriere, winning these stages. It was not enough: the Spanish rider arrived first in Milan, followed by Aru and Landa.
On the Abetone Contador broke a personal record: he had never been the first in the GC so soon, as a matter of fact, after only five stages. Aru has been the first Sardinian to wear the Maglia Rosa.
2015 Giro Route
The Giro started in Holland with big crowds cheering the riders. Many turn of events characterized this Giro. Kruijswijk gained the Maglia Rosa in Corvara. Nibali suffered at the uphill time trial of Alpe di Siusi and in Andalo: he lost 4’43’ and was almost doomed to abandon. But then he rose again as he won in Risoul (France), while Kruijswijk felt and lost 4’54’’. In Sant’Anna di Vinadio he outdistanced Chaves and got his second Giro. On the finish line of Turin, after Nibali, Chaves was second and Valverde third.
This has been the third time (1st in 2002 from Groningen, 2nd from Amsterdam in 2010) that the Giro starts from the country of tulips, this time from Apeldoorn. It has been the 12th time that the Giro starts abroad. For what concerns the finish, after the return to Milan in 2015 (to pay homage to the Expo), the 2016 Giro ended in Turin, the last time being in 1982, with Francesco Moser winning that edition. The Giro has honoured the anniversary of the 1976 earthquake in Friuli during the 13th stage. Team Dimension Data has been the first South-African team to participate to the Giro in 2016.
2016 Giro Route
The 100th edition of the Giro has been dedicated to Endless Love and started from Alghero in Sardinia where there have been the first three stages. Then the race moved to Sicily, then to Calabria and northward. The Giro 100 has been won by Tom Dumoulin who beat his rivals in the GC Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and Thibaut Pinot who have ended the race in Milan in this order.
Tom Dumoulin is the 1st Dutchman to win the Giro. For the 3rd time the Maglia Rosa changed owner in the last time trial stage, the other times being in 1984 (Moser gaining it over Fignon) and in 2012 (Hesjedal over Rodriguez). With the first three riders finishing the race in just 40 seconds, this is the 2nd most heated podium in the history of the Giro, after 1974 when Merckx, Baronchelli and Gimondi arrived in 33 seconds. Seven years after his first podium at the Giro, Vincenzo Nibali gained his 5th podium: 2 victories (2013 and 2016), one second place (2011) and two third places (2010 and 2017).