I suppose many consider him a one-hit-wonder. And in the end he didn't win even in a strange and depleted Giro, so why would his chances be better in a normal-ish Giro with a much stronger field?Surprised Hindley is not further up the betting odds. I fancy Bardet to go well and be a decent each way bet for the podium finish.
Another problem with Hindley are his latest performances, because he goes to the Giro after two retirements in Catalunya and Tour of the Alps, and his season up until now has been disappointingI suppose many consider him a one-hit-wonder. And in the end he didn't win even in a strange and depleted Giro, so why would his chances be better in a normal-ish Giro with a much stronger field?
He did look good in Tour of the Alps before he crashed, though. Not Piancavallo-good but it was probably the best level he has shown since the Giro.Another problem with Hindley are his latest performances, because he goes to the Giro after two retirements in Catalunya and Tour of the Alps, and his season up until now has been disappointing
Agreed on pretty much all of it, but I have Landa as fourth favourite. And I think he is more likely to end on the podium than outside the top-5.To me, Simon Yates has the highest peak level among all contenders not named Remco. He has already won a GT and has dominated another before hitting a wall. When in shape he's very likely a top3 climber in the world, he's explosive but can sustain his effort on longer climbs. He's not afraid to attack, which means he can profit if other riders play some tactical games. He's also a more than capable TTer. The real question mark is obviously the ability to hit top shape at the right time. He looked good (maybe too good?) in Trentino, can he keep that level for three weeks more?
Bernal is also a very complete rider. I believe he'll be among the best in the Montalcino stage, which could create bigger gaps than we think. He's obviously a gifted climber, probably better suited to long climbs at altitude (which are not featured in this Giro). His TTing has been hit or miss in the past few years, but I don't think TTs will make a difference in this race. His back issue is real though, and that's why I have him a step below Yates as a favorite.
Remco is the big unknown of this Giro, probably the most fascinating story in pro cycling of the last decade! I'm so pumped to have him at the Giro (being my home race) because he will attract so much interest. What we've seen from him earlier last year suggests he can be a dominant stage racer, of the kind you almost get bored after a couple of years. But he hasn't raced in more than 8 months. I guess logic (not Logic) tells me he can't win it, but if there's one rider who can do the unthinkable among the ones I've witnessed with my own eyes it's him. Ok, him and Pantani, but Pantani tried something like that in 2000 (without the monster injury) and it didn't end well. Nevertheless, I voted for Remco.
Vlasov is my dark horse for the Giro. He's been one of the most consistent stage racers of the past 2 years, has a solid team and a very high level uphill. I know his first attempts at GTs didn't go well, but he was very unlucky and he actually showed consistency in the second part of last year's Vuelta. His performance on Angliru suggests he's very good on steep gradients too. He's been improving ever since entering the WT and he's about to hit his prime. He's my first choice if the big3 all have some issues.
Carthy is another rider to watch closely. He struggled in GTs at the beginning of his career, when he was already a very good climber. Things changed in the Giro 2019 and even more in last year's Vuelta, where only two of the best GT riders around beat him. I'm not sure he can improve further and I'm kind of afraid he'll drop minutes with some stupid crash or in the strade bianche stage. He'll be really dangerous if he gets to third week without any major time loss.
I have Landa and Buchmann in the same tier, safe bets for a top10 and poossibly top5 but I'm not sure they have the level uphill to win the whole thing. I'd take both Vlasov and Carthy over them, but of course I could be wrong on this.
Sivakov and Almeida are trickier to evaluate. Both scored a top10 in the Giro at very young age, both look like diesel riders with great recovery, both start the Giro without a clear leadership. Almeida is the better TTer of the two, while Sivakov is likely the better climber. I believe we still have no clear idea on their ceiling as GT riders and it's a bit premature to just say: "Almeida can't handle long climbs..." or something along those lines. Almeida is 22, Sivakov is 23, they can still improve (a lot) and if they do we have a couple contenders for the Giro. At their current level, though, I can't see them winning.
I don't believe Nibali will ride for GC. I'd like to see him win on Zoncolan or the queen stage from a break and show signs of his old self before the Olympics.
I reckon if you want an oustider, Pello Bilbao, Fausto Masnada and Dani Martinez are better names.
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