With the Giro d’Italia about to kick off, it’s time to break out your favourite pink gear and enjoy some of the world’s best riders chasing the Maglia Rosa. And if you can’t get enough of the Giro, you can now ride the 8.2km prologue from the comfort of your own home.
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The team at Zwift has created a meter-by-meter replica of the Bologna to San Luca time-trial course. Starting in the historic town of Bologna, the prologue features a 6km flat and finishes atop a leg burning 2.1km climb with an average gradient of 9.7 percent and a maximum gradient of 16 percent.
In the days leading up to the first stage, riders from the Israel Cycling Academy, Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizanè, Bardiani-CSF and Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec will be doing a bit of virtual course recon, completing a Zwift race on 9 May from the race village in Bologna.
Even former Giro champ Ivan Basso will dust off the turbo trainer to test his legs in the event.
Zwift says the virtual race will be recorded and broadcast during the inaugural stage, with the in-game rides displayed alongside live coverage.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to help encourage global participation around the Giro d’Italia,” says Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder.
“By engaging a large global community of cyclists, Zwift has the power to increase the exposure of Bologna as a host start town. The Bologna course will live on long beyond the start on Saturday 11 May and allows many more people around the world to experience a small part of this historic city.”
On 11 May, the route will open up to all Zwift subscribers with the Giro d’Italia TT challenge, and if you ride it before 13 May you’ll be in the running to win a Maglia Rosa signed by the eventual 2019 Giro champ.