The most exciting Grand Tour of them all, its pasta, pain and pink for 3 weeks! In this preview we are gonna take a look at the general classification favorites.
The parcours consists of 3 timetrials, 4 or 5 potential sprint stages and the rest is mountain madness.The extraordinaly high amount of timetrials brings us quickly at the first GC candidate, Geraint Thomas. He should be able to get at least 2 minutes on a few other GC candidates like Simon Yates and Jakob Fuglsang with his timetrial capabilities. The Ineos squad is strong as ever but in my opinion they lack a superdomestique for the high mountains. A spot that could’ve been filled in by Ivan Ramiro Sosa, do they believe in Tao Geoghan Hart so much? Is Sosa in bad form? We will find out in a week.
The 2 other very strong squads purely focussed on GC are Mitchelton – Scott and Astana. Simon Yates knows how it is to ride in the pink jersey. In 2018 he imploded in the third week but showed us in the same season he is capable of enduring 3 weeks by winning La Vuelta. His support is top notch with Jack Haig and Lucas Hamilton as his most prominent mountain domestiques. The parcours is not favoring Yates but if everythings falls into place he is gonna be unbeatable in the mountains anyway. Strong enough to make up for the timetrials? Your guess is as good as mine.
Astana has been dealing with the Corona virus within their team, 3 riders have had to pull out for the Giro due too contact with a positive tested rider. Pronskiy, Aranburu and Natarov. A big blow for their team but they still manage to bring one of the strongest squads for the mountains on paper with Jakob Fuglsang, Alexandr Vlasov and Miguel Angel Lopez. According to the team they are backing Jakob Fuglsang for GC, a rider who hasnt had much luck with that in grand tours.Vlasov seems too unexperienced and in a helper role, don’t see him playing a big role in GC. Lopez has riden the Tour and we shouldn’t expect much from any riders doing that combination this year with the very limited rest. Timetrials are a disadvantange to every member of this trident.
2 experienced riders, 2 third week riders, 2 riders backed by their whole team. Vincenzo Nibali and Steven Kruijswijk. Both have a very long history with the Giro, Kruijswijk doesn’t have the best preparation because he was originally preparing for the Tour before he crashed in the Dauphine. Nibali has been bad in the preparation races like always,is he getting too old? 2 riders who I see doing really well, especially Nibali but they don’t have a real weapon to take advantage of against timetrialer Thomas and punchy Yates.
Other riders who can likely end up in the top 10: Wilco Kelderman if he manages to stay upright, Tanel Kangert and Joao Almeida if they are going for GC, Sam Oomen or Jai Hindley whoever Sunweb is using as backup GC guy and the Bora Boys.
*** Yates, Thomas
** Nibali, Kruijswijk
* Kelderman, Almeida, Fuglsang, Vlasov, Konrad, Majka