Three weeks of cycling action began at Venice's Lido on May 9 and will end 3,456.5 kilometers later in Rome on May 31. Along the way, the cyclists in this year's Giro d'Italia will blaze through the Alps and the Tuscan, Emilian and Abruzzo Apennines.
This year marks the 100th Giro d'Italia, one of cyclings best and most anticipated races, and the world's best cyclists are competing for the coveted pink jersey. The 13th stage of this year's Giro runs through Tuscany on May 22. The 176 km stage begins in the Versilia's Lido di Camaiore along the Tuscan coast and winds up through Carrara before heading east through Monte-magno, Altopascio and Santa Croce sull'Arno to the day's finish line in Florence. A couple of climbs in the beginning of the stage will give way to flat roads and a sprint finish. This stage is dedicated to local cycling champion Gino Bartoli.
Catch the action in Florence along any of the following streets: via Curzio Malaparte, via del Cantone, via Pratese, via Baracca, via delle Cascine, viale dell'Aeronautica, viale del Pegaso, viale Washington, viale Lincoln.
Among the Italian contenders for the pink jersey are Ivan Basso, Danilo De Luca and Alessandro Petachi. But watch out for French team AG2R's Rinaldo Nocentini, who hails from Montevarchi, just southeast of Florence. Nocentini will no doubt be hungry for a stage win in Tuscany.
On May 23, cyclists will start stage 14 from Campi Bisenzio, head through Prato and Pistoia, and then take on the mountain route through the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines to Bologna. Keep an eye on local hero Luca Mazzanti as he tries to be the first across the finish line in his native Bologna.
Into the home stretch: giro stage dates and locations
May 21, Stage 12: Individual time trial, Sestri Levante to Riomaggiore, 60.6km.
May 22, Stage 13: Lido di Camaiore to Florence, 176km.
May 23, Stage 14: Campi Bisenzio to Bologna, 172km.
May 24, Stage 15: Forlì to Faenza, 161km.
May 25, Stage 16: Pergola to Monte Petrano, 237km.
May 27, Stage 17: Chieti to Blockhaus, 83km.
May 28, Stage 18: Sulmona to Benevento, 181km.
May 29, Stage 19: Avellino to Vesuvius, 164km.
May 30, Stage 20: Naples to Anagni, 203km.
May 31, Stage 21: Individual time trial, Rome, 14.4km.