When Giro comes to town
19th stage of the Giro d’Italia 2022 in the Soča Valley
The Emerald Valley is experiencing a pink transformation these days. It looks like someone grabbed a painting brush well soaked in pink and drew a line across the butt of our tiny chicken-shaped country. Pink ribbons flutter above the streets, freshly painted pink bicycles stand in front of the houses and window shelves are decorated with pink flowers. Pink buildings, pink flags, pink people. Slovenia shivers in anticipation. The elite cycling Grand Tour, Giro d’Italia, is returning to Slovenian roads. This time straight to the heart of the Soča Valley. Locals, organizers, and vendors are ready to ride the pink wave and leave a turquoise impression. Quickly, grab a planner and circle May 27 with a pink felt-tip pen. On this day, join us in the Soča Valley to watch the race for the recognizable pink jersey unravel.
Pick colour, faithful companion of the Giro. Photo: Katja Humar
Pink decorations along the Giro route. Photo: Katja Humar
Giro d’Italia 2022 hitting the Slovenian roads
The Giro d’Italia, known as the Giro or La Corsa Rosa, is an annual multi-stage cycling race that takes place mostly on Italian roads. This year Giro is divided into 21 stages. Exactly 37.6 kilometers of the 19th stage will be hosted by the Soča Valley, serving the competitors a plate of beautiful views and a killer slope.
One of the many photo points from Soča & Giro. Photo: Katja Humar
Riding next to the Soča river banks
The 19th stage will start in Marano Lagunare, an old seaside town in Friuli Venezia Giulia. The bicycle caravan will enter Slovenia via the Uccea border crossing and descend into the Soča Valley. With the fast rhythm of the Soča river, cyclists will glide past the villages of Žaga, Srpenica, and Trnovo ob Soči towards Kobarid. From there, they will continue to the village of Idrsko, where one of the biggest challenges of this year’s Giro awaits – the shamelessly steep ascent from the village Livek to the top of Kolovrat ridge. We are talking about ten knee-biting kilometers with an average slope of 9.4 degrees.
The steepest part of the stage leads through Livške Ravne. Photo: Katja Humar
Huffing and puffing up the Kolovrat slope
The epic ascent of the 19th stage culminates at 1162 meters on Kolovrat – a mountain ridge that connects Slovenia with Friuli Venezia Giulia. A serious endurance test is mitigated only by beautiful natural scenarios. At the top of Kolovrat ridge, there is a view of the mighty Krn and Kanin mountain range on one side and Italian hills on the other. Besides the views, the ridge hides traces of a bloody history that closely intertwines the border countries. The former battlefield of the Isonzo Front is now an open-air museum, and the borderlines have faded. Precisely because of the dramatic past and current events, the message brought by the troop of cyclists is even more important. Unity, integration, and sports spirit have replaced weapons, borders, and conflicts. Passing over the Solarji saddle, the competitors will return to Italy. In Cividale del Friuli, they will begin the final ascent to the pilgrimage center of Castelmonte. After that, the royal Dolomite stage follows with the mighty Passo Pordoi and the Passo Fedaia climbs. The final 21st stage of the Giro d’Italia 2022 race ends at the finish line in Verona.
19. stage of the Giro d’Italia 2022. Photo: Giro d’Italia 2022
Giro E: same roads, same days, different bike
Looking up the hill, there is only one thing on my mind: “Thank God for the electricity!” While some are pushing for the limits of human capacity, others prefer to reach for an electric bike. In parallel with the Giro d’Italia, the Giro E has been held for the third year in a row. Here cyclists compete with each other on electric road bikes. The electric race takes the same route as the classic one, except that the e-version is shorter. On May 27, the 16th stage of the Giro E will start from Kobarid and cross the finish line in Santuari di Castelmonte. The Giro E leaves a green mark behind every place, as it brings awareness of sustainable mobility and discusses environmental issues.
Join the lively Giro weekend
The last weekend in May in the Soča region will be cycling-inspired. Mountain roads and the scenic nature of the emerald valley provide an ideal vantage point to see the Giro d’Italia live. On the Soča valley part of the 19th stage, three large venues are planned, where you can watch the race live and on the big screen. You can join the cheering bunch in Žaga, watching the riders speed past in a flash. Kobarid will be the main point of the party, but Livek hosts the big ascent! There will be no shortage of entertainment, local delicacies, and sports challenges wherever you decide to go! Are you wondering how to get to the venues? The organizers took care of a sufficient number of parking spaces and public transport. Walking and bicycling, paired with good time management, walking and bicycling are also an option. All current information about the Giro, transportation, restaurants and accompanying events are collected on the website of the Soča Valley.
Numerous events in Kobarid. Photo: Katja Humar
Dance on Kobarid square. Photo: Katja Humar
At Outdoor Galaxy, we cheer for all cyclists. Photo: Žiga Dolinšek
Inspired, motivated, ready to ride? Grab a bike and discover the picturesque valley that will host this year’s Giro. Whether you love speed or slow pace, whether you are a dreamer or a daring soul, traveling alone or with family, there is an ideal path! For tips, bike rental, information on available accommodation, and the most delicious corners, visit us at Outdoor Galaxy.