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If you haven’t paid attention to pro cycling before but are getting into it this year, here’s what to expect, how to watch, who to watch, and which stages are going to be the most fun to tune into in this year’s Giro d’Italia, which started on Saturday. 

Pro cycling can be a little intimidating and tough to understand when you first get into it, but the Giro is an absolute blast to watch, whether you’re sneaking stages while you’re at work or watching it while on the trainer in the evening. 

When is the 2024 Giro d’Italia?

The 107th edition of the Giro d’Italia begins this Saturday, May 4, and runs through May 26. It has 21 stages and two rest days. The race begins in Turin, Italy, and finishes in Rome.

How long is the Giro d’Italia?

This year, the longest stage in the Giro is 207 kilometers (129 miles), and the shortest stage is a 31-kilometer (20-mile) individual time trial. Over the 21 stages, riders will rack up 3,321.2 kilometers of riding, including a whopping 42,900 meters of elevation gain. (Check out the route here.)

Who are the top racers to watch this year?

  • Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates is the obvious choice for the win—in fact, it would be more surprising if he didn’t win it. He’s in fantastic shape this year and keeps riding away from the rest of the peloton in the single-day classics, but he normally does even better in stage races. Added to that, he’s had more time off this year (uninjured) than most of the other racers, so he’s coming in fresh.
  • Rui Oliveira, Pogačar’s teammate, will also likely be in the mix both supporting his teammate and going for stage wins of his own. 
  • Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick Step) is always one to watch, along with teammate Tim Merlier. The Soudal Quick Step invested a lot in young talent to support these two this season, so it’ll be interesting to see how that play shakes out.
  • Connor Swift (Ineos Grenadiers) is another young rider to watch as one of our favorite supporting racers in this Grand Tour. 
  • Mike Woods (Israel Premier Tech) won’t be in contention for the win, but expect to see him contend for some stage wins. Fellow Canadian and teammate Derek Gee lit up this race last year, and Woods had a fantastic few stages at the Tour de France in 2023, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the former runner out front on a few stages.

Who’s not racing?

Neither Tom Pidcock nor Mathieu Van der Poel—two of cycling’s most enormous titans of the peloton—will be on the start line, which leaves Pogačar a head and shoulders above everyone else. Usually, Team Visma Lease a Bike would be one of the big teams to watch. Still, some terrible luck early in the season has whittled down their roster as Wout Van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard are both on the injured list (but recovering well, thankfully). Still, their team is pretty thin for this race, though there’s always a chance of a stage win or two as some of the racers who usually aren’t in the mix have an opportunity to shine.

Shoutout to Tao Geoghegan Hart, who won the Giro d’Italia in 2020—and didn’t take the pink jersey until the final day, making him the first racer in history to win without ever spending a day in the leader’s jersey until after the final stage. (He isn’t racing the Giro this year.)

Check out the full start list on ProCyclingStats here.

Why do they keep talking about the Maglia rosa?

That’s the pink jersey the race leader wore—similar to the yellow jersey in the Tour de France!

Which stages should I tune into?

Stage 6: The gravel stage is sure to have some exciting (and sketchy) moments throughout, and it could certainly wreck someone’s overall standings or set them up for great success.

Stage 14: Drop in to see the goofy time trial helmets Visma Lease a Bike is using.

Stage 15: The biggest climbing day and the longest day of the Giro at 220 kilometers with two 2,000m climbs, one right after the other. It’s one of the stages with a summit finish, so expect a brutally painful race to the top.

Stage 21: The circuit race in Rome will be one to watch. Riders will be trying to cement their place in the standings, and the course will be wild, with plenty of cobbles and crowds as they race around the Colosseum.

Want to learn more? Bicycling magazine has a great list of the six can’t miss stages (and who to watch out for) right here.


Would you like to find out more about what our different destinations can offer? You can book a call with our team now and get some personal advice on the best inGamba adventure for you.

Which inGamba guides have raced the Giro d’Italia?

It’s impressive how many inGamba guides have raced in the Giro over the years! Our Italian leadout man, Eros Poli, is the most obvious ride guide and Giro veteran. Sergio Paulinho also raced the Giro in 2015, though he was more often in the Vuelta and Tour de France. Ditto Manuel CardosoThis year, Ted King led inGamba riders on a brutally tough Portugal ride, adding another former Giro racer to our roster (you can watch the video review of this trip here)

How do I watch the Giro d’Italia?

In the US, you can watch each stage of the Giro d’Italia streaming on HBO MAX with their B/R Sports Package ($9.99/month, which you can cancel anytime). Max is easy to use on any device, from your phone, so you can stream at work (we won’t tell) to your smart TV at home. Coverage begins at 7:45 EST for most stages.

Can I ride the Giro d’Italia?

It’s not the exact route, but if you join us on an Italy trip, you’ll likely be riding some of the same roads that the pro peloton has traveled over the years. (Check out all upcoming Italian trips here.) If you want to hear stories about racing in the Giro, book a trip with Eros Poli!

Molly Hurford

Molly is the author of Fuel Your Ride, and a Precision Nutrition-certified coach. Her writing has appeared in many leading publications, including Bicycling Magazine and Outside. When she's not writing or coaching, she loves ultra-running and racing on trails, riding bikes, or hiking with her mini-dachshund DW.