How hard is the 2021 Giro?

I'm super excited for this year's Giro d'Italia - finally GCN+ gives Australian viewers an opportunity to easily watch - I'm very excited! This year's Garibaldi (the Giro d'Italia road book) includes the metres climbed for each stage for the first time, giving us an opportunity to get a sense of the climbing difficulty as well as the distance to be travelled.

Below is the first instalment of charts from the road book - as always you can mouse over each of the elements of the charts for more information. There will be more to come...

A comparison of distance and climbing

This chart compares the climbing metres of each stage with the distance travelled. The size of the circle is a ratio of vertical over distance to reflect average metres climbed per kilometre (larger circles being 'steeper').

It's all over the place

The chart below compares the climbing metres of each stage with the distance travelled. While there are the traditional super long stages the Giro is known for, there is only one monster day with more than 5,000m of climbing, and only one day greater than 4,000m. Stage 14 should be interesting, being the third 200km day in a row, particularly if stage 13 is a fast one for the sprinters. Stage 16 looks brutal.

Stages 2, 5, 13 and 18 all contribute to that low vert count by turning in less than 1,000m of climbing each while still being longer than 170km each. That's in addition to two flat time-trial stages designed for Filippo Ganna to dominate.

Comparing to the Tour de France

This year's Giro is has over 10,000 metres less climbing than last year's TdF.