Time bonuses are back in the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
Once again, the top-three of each stage — with the exception of time trials — will receive time bonuses of 20, 12, and eight seconds for first, second, and third, respectively. Additionally, race organizers have added a second intermediate sprint in each stage, a move they say should increase the need for GC contenders to fight for time throughout the stage; each intermediate sprint point carries a five-, three-, and two-second time bonus for the general classification.
Last year, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) beat Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez by 16 seconds, well within the margin of time bonuses for a single stage win, and the pair traded off the pink jersey four times between stages 7 and 21.
Of the 21 stages in the 2013 edition, three are time trials, meaning time bonuses and sprint points for the GC are available on 18 stages, including the seven flatter stages. The 2013 Giro d’Italia begins May 4 in Naples and concludes May 26 in Brescia.