Pre Giro d' Italia-thread!

Have shortly went through the whole route again just to get a bit hyped

When it comes to the route, Its most definitely better than 2017 IMO, only negative thing about it compared to last year is the time trialing and some pretty mediocre MTFs early on, but its not too bad. The early Blochhaus and TTT was good, it will take a bit longer this time around to establish the GC which don't have to be bad, necessarily..

The opening TT is nice and hilly, 10 kilometres is perfect. Then you have 2 sprinter stages, but going through the route, thats about the only 2 without any minor or bigger obstacles in the end apart from the stage in Roma. There's about 3-4 of those sprinter stages where it is possible to do something in the finale if you are a puncheur and gets away with a few guys.

When you get to Italia, you have 2 very nice hilly stages off the bat, a lot more interesting than those on Sardinia last time around. Then Etna, which probably will lead nowhere again but also has potential to be a very good first MTF, then the boring Montevergine which hopefully will see some good break action at least (which could be altered) and an IMO fine stage to Gran Sasso, the final climb isn't that hard, but its a hard stage. Not bad at all and rest day the day after.

Then a fine stage for the break, a decent enough hilly stage to Osimo, a flat stage with a tricky finish and punchy finish to Imola (reminds me a bit of the stage Jungels went on the attack in 2016 in the pink jersey, but easier), then finally a sprint stage and then we get into the real race with an extremely hard stage to Zoncolan. Thas looks like a goodie, there will be some extremely tired legs in the bottom and especially for the next day. Hopefully we get a 2010-scenario, there are very good opportunities for an outsider to have the pink jersey at this point, Basso began at this stage to cut the lead.
Next day is perfect after a brutal Zoncolan stage, very well designed mountain/medium mountain stage. Im positive we will have a great stage to Sappada because of 1) Zonc 2) well designed, long range stage and 3) rest day afterwards.

Then the TT, around 45 in total over the most courses and this one is pretty flat, so thats also good. Transition stage, then Prato Nevoso and the great finale on two brutal mountain stages. Really, really looking forward to Finestre coming to early, could be amazing, but also relatively dull. Has the potential to be a doped up Agnello-stage from 16. Then Cervinia which looks very much like 2015-stage, but is a little harder and is the last mountain stage with great opportunities for long range as well.

I say good stuff and very much looking forward to the race, its also nice to see all those great riders lining up. Teams obviously aren't final, but we have some very good ideas about many of the teams.

Astana will be super strong, not quite like 2015 Im sure, but doesn't have to be. Lopez is flying and Bilbao, Hirt, LLS and Zeits all looked very strong. Who are they gonna add to the team - Kangert maybe?

Sky looks vulnerable, many of their climbers aren't that reliable and Poels is also not looking good at all. I don't think they should be able to kill the race with that team. Interesting to see if they are bringing Sergio Henao, that could be a game changer now he is looking good again.

Orica may have the best team in the high mountains, Haig, Nieve, Yates and Chaves are pretty scary actually.

Dunno about FDJ and UAE, but Aru and Pinot especially looks on right track and they will be up there fighting for the podium. Great to have those two fighters in the race, same with Pozzovivo. Doubt any of those are winning tho.

Dumo looks decent enough and will have good support, at least better than last year I think. Oomen is very good.

I think Formolo is ready to have his first top-5 this year I think, he should take a step up in this race. I don't know about Woods, I don't think he is enough of a pure climber to be relevant here, but he has some good opportunities early in the race to take a few stages.

Apart from that, there actually aren't that many GC-riders. Kruijswijk will forego this year also. Then you have some interesting riders like Pantano, Brambilla, Mas, Gesink, De Marchi, Roche, Wellens, Torres, Betancur, Eg, Carapaz etc. who will be featuring in the breaks and can potentially ride a good GC if they have been given enough leash. Tony Martin and Mads Pedersen will also race. When it comes to the sprinters, I don't know and honestly don't really care.
 
With Froome and Dumoulin both here, I consider it a very good thing there's only a prologue and a mid length ITT.

Plenty of teams riders that will need to attack, and plenty of firepower on their sides.

I'm still not a fan of the route. There's mostly too little outside the MTFs. Finester/Sestriere Jafferau can make or break this Giro.
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
With Froome and Dumoulin both here, I consider it a very good thing there's only a prologue and a mid length ITT.

Plenty of teams riders that will need to attack, and plenty of firepower on their sides.

I'm still not a fan of the route. There's mostly too little outside the MTFs. Finester/Sestriere Jafferau can make or break this Giro.
Not a huge fan either, but the mountain stages are excellent IMO. 4 this good mountain stages are a rarity, great length as well.

Still better than 2017, no?

And yeah, the TT kilometres are fine considering those two lining up. But Chaves and Lopez could be forced to some serious long range in the last weekend with those teams if in good shape
 
It looks like Kreuziger is riding the Giro and not the TDF - MS better hope that S.Yates or Chaves are in form to justify such a strong mountain team - Feel sorry for A.Yates at the TDF as he'll be fairly isolated - Would have been better to have Kreuziger or Nieve at the TDF.

Reckon it's a wide open race - Yet to be convinced by Dumoulin or Froome - Pozzovivo and Pinot seem to be travelling well but may find it tough to win - Lopez is going OK but may need another year - I suspect Sky may have the third strongest team at the Giro.
 
Who is Sunweb bringing to support Dumoulin? Because he sure looks like he will need some support to pull off another win. Especially with how his competitors has been looking. He does not seem to be in the same form as last year, even though he still has 1,5 week to find it though.

Prediction on who will win:

Heart - Either one of Pinot, Dumoulin or Pozzovivo would make me happy.

Head - Lopez and the one who should not be named.
 
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Salvarani said:
Who is Sunweb bringing to support Dumoulin? Because he sure looks like he will need some support to pull off another win. Especially with how his competitors has been looking. He does not seem to be in the same form as last year, even though he still has 1,5 week to find it though.

Prediction on who will win:

Heart - Either one of Pinot, Dumoulin or Pozzovivo would make me happy.

Head - Lopez and the one who should not be named.
Oomen, Vervaeke en Ten Dam will help him in the mountains. Not sure how the rest of the team will look like. This could be the year Oomen confirms his talent and he might be one of the strongest in the mountains.
 
Thats not really a strong team compared to many of the other ones. Vervaeke has potential, but lets see how he goes in Romandie. I think Ten Dam is over the hill, so Tom will have to rely on the two youngsters Vervaeke and Oomen. Both really talented, but that can soon turn south. But it really depends on Tom himself.

Bardamu said:
Is Rohan Dennis riding this for GC, or did he realise by now that's not his thing?
I think he does. He can probably go long into the race sitting on a very good position, but once we get into the real mountains, he will be nowhere to be found. I didn't mention Meintjens either, but then again, sometimes you even wonder if the guy is in a race you have watched for 3 weeks.
 
Re: Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Red Rick said:
With Froome and Dumoulin both here, I consider it a very good thing there's only a prologue and a mid length ITT.

Plenty of teams riders that will need to attack, and plenty of firepower on their sides.

I'm still not a fan of the route. There's mostly too little outside the MTFs. Finester/Sestriere Jafferau can make or break this Giro.
Not a huge fan either, but the mountain stages are excellent IMO. 4 this good mountain stages are a rarity, great length as well.

Still better than 2017, no?

And yeah, the TT kilometres are fine considering those two lining up. But Chaves and Lopez could be forced to some serious long range in the last weekend with those teams if in good shape
2017 was meeeeh, but it wasn't dreadful. Main gripes were the Unipuerto stages, with Oropa and Blockhaus, which I don't think affected that race all that much, lack of medium mountains, which would've been very interesting with Dumoulin's weak team. If anything, the route would've been been a lot better if they only climb Monte Grappa from a steeper side in the last mountain stage.

But most of all, 2017 was Il Centenario, the 100th, and we expected all these classics and we got very little of that.


Now we have no decent finishes, a large bunch of stages where only the final climb matters, and 3 mountain stages where multiple things might happen. In all, I'm not sure the big 4 mountain stages are better than those in the Tour.

What I'm very interested in is how the smaller peloton will affect the race.
 
Re: Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Not a huge fan either, but the mountain stages are excellent IMO. 4 this good mountain stages are a rarity, great length as well.

Still better than 2017, no?

And yeah, the TT kilometres are fine considering those two lining up. But Chaves and Lopez could be forced to some serious long range in the last weekend with those teams if in good shape
There are too many single climb stages, just like last year. A GT doesn't need 7-8 high MTFs, 4-5 is enough. Would much rather change perhaps two of them to tough medium mountain stages with a downhill finish. If there is something I miss in the Giro routes the last few years it's better use of the hilly terrain in the Apennines.
 
I'm still not sure what to think of the route. The first three mountain top finishes all have the potential to be very boring which means that we could have a race like 2016 with close to nothing happening before the 3rd weekend. Let's just hope that's not the case and the race will blow up on the Etna (or who knows, maybe even earlier in the crosswinds in Israel). The Etna is a completely different climb than last year, with a few steeper ramps and importantly with the last kilometers going eastwards, which means that if the wind comes from the same side as last year, what back then was headwind will this time be tailwind. Montevergine will probably be boring as always and Gran Sasso really only has potential for the last five kilometers or so, but then again five kilometers can be enough to create carnage.
The design of the medium mountain stages isn't great, but at least there are a lot of stages where we could see small time gaps between gc contenders. And at the same time there are hardly any stages where a bunch sprint is guaranteed. I actually quite like stages like stage 12 to Imola.
Then the big mountain stages in the Alps are superb. I absolutely love the Zoncolan stage. First of all, we haven't seen this climb since 2014, which is quite a long time for such a famous climb and since it really disappointed back then it actually feels like we haven't seen this climb for much longer. Stage 14 is also the perfect spot for such a hard mtf and Especially those two early third category climbs should not be underrated as they are really steep ramps which will tire some riders and will then hopefully cause even more carnage on the Zoncolan itself. I really can't wait for this.
Stage 15 is in my opinion even better designed as those steep back to back 2nd category climbs are great places for attacks with domestiques tired after the Zoncolan and a rest day coming up. Tbf if the sky train is at full strength this could also be a bore fest.
I actually like stage 18, the Prato Nevoso stage too as those ______/ have often been really good in the last few years and as it's the first of three mountain stages in a row there wouldn't be long range attacks anyway. Stage 19 really reminds me on the Rissoul stage from 2016 and as I love the Finestre I'm happy about any stage with that climb. I'm not a big fan of the Aosta valley climbs, but stage 20 looks quite good too and at least there is no huge flat section between the penultimate and the final climb like in stage 20 last year. I'm also really looking forward to see the Tsecore.

The starter field looks good too. Does anyone know which sprinters are coming? I expect the whole Italian sprinter group of Viviani, Colbrelli, Nizzolo and Modolo but besides them? Any A-tier sprinters coming?
The GC field is about as good as last year with Froome, Dumoulin, Aru, Lopez and Pinot imo being the biggest stars. I just pray Sky and Froome aren't in perfect shape and don't completely destroy this race. There have been some positive signs like Froome's mediocre shape in the Tour of the Alps or Poels looking rather weak in the Ardennes. If Sky is weak this race could be absolutely superb. I hope Lopez will get his first gt podium and I genuinely think he has a chance to win.
 
Sep 6, 2016
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I don't know why, but I get the feeling Froome won't be all that competitive in this Giro. He's shown in the Vuelta that he can ride with great strength even after his peak or without Sky's A-train but I think the timing will mess with him. From a physical standpoint, Froome should have an edge over Dumoulin. Better climber and the TT KMs aren't that long. I still have my doubts that Froome will be in form. Maybe he comes on strong in week 3 and threatens for the overall.

1. Dumoulin
2. Aru
3. Froome
 
Don't forget that Gran Sasso comes after a hard day, Calascio is a hard climb. There are many vertical metres there. And if they change the Montevergine route, we could be standing with a pretty good route on our hand.

Im not a big fan of Aosta either and I think it will be hard to go early since the beginning of the stage is super easy, so I think we will see something like Cervinia 2015. It will be hard to put great climbers in the break, but Scarponi (RIP) managed it in 2016 on the Agnello-stage. Unless something spectacular happens of course, but Tze Core is also harder than Barthélemy
 
Sep 6, 2016
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ingemann1996 said:
Anyone else who could see Wellens in pink during the first week?
I doubt it. He won't take it in the TT and on the first hilly stage he probably won't be the strongest rider. Who are the puncheurs in this race? I could see Ulissi take it.
 
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Durden93 said:
I don't know why, but I get the feeling Froome won't be all that competitive in this Giro. He's shown in the Vuelta that he can ride with great strength even after his peak or without Sky's A-train but I think the timing will mess with him. From a physical standpoint, Froome should have an edge over Dumoulin. Better climber and the TT KMs aren't that long. I still have my doubts that Froome will be in form. Maybe he comes on strong in week 3 and threatens for the overall.

1. Dumoulin
2. Aru
3. Froome
I think that purely physically, Dumoulin should have the edge over Froome. It's been years since Froome really made the difference in the high mountains
 
The most interesting thing will be: in what way Visconti will avoid to work for his designated team leader?

*Option A) going in the breakway almost on every stage like in 2015 and even stealing the KOM jersey from his team mate shoulders on the last mountain stage in the process.
*Option B) going for his own top ten like in 2016 and then complaining at the end of the race against his team for sabotaging his GC result asking to him to wait for his actual leader.
*Option C) being the first climber to drop on almost every climb like in 2017 and showing his real strenght only in the stages in which he'll be in the breakway.
 
Sep 6, 2016
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Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
Durden93 said:
I don't know why, but I get the feeling Froome won't be all that competitive in this Giro. He's shown in the Vuelta that he can ride with great strength even after his peak or without Sky's A-train but I think the timing will mess with him. From a physical standpoint, Froome should have an edge over Dumoulin. Better climber and the TT KMs aren't that long. I still have my doubts that Froome will be in form. Maybe he comes on strong in week 3 and threatens for the overall.

1. Dumoulin
2. Aru
3. Froome
I think that purely physically, Dumoulin should have the edge over Froome. It's been years since Froome really made the difference in the high mountains
That’s fair. I’m not sure how strong Froome truley is in the mountains because he has typically ridden defensively.
 

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