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Rate the 2024 Giro d'Italia

Page 3 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.

Rate the 2024 Giro d'Italia


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The 2023 Giro absolutely suspends belief in terms of pace setting. It was incredibly frustrating that despite there always being people who would profit from testing the others, nobody even considered setting a pace and the Sunday group rides up Gran Sasso or Giau (in a more minor way the Bergamo stage and the Crans-Montana stage) are I think unparalleled in the history of the sport. What I despise most in sports is a tactically unsound lack of effort and that is what the 2023 Giro was about.
 
Here it is; the truth. Everything else is fake news...

The Minuses:

- I can't blame Dani, Ben, or Antonio, they did what they could with what they had. But Geraint...come on! His impersonation of Jaskula was spot on.
- Romain didn't win his stage, neither did Domenico. I was sheering for them, it's a bit of a let down.
- Pog didn't win Stage 1 and wear pink through the entire Giro as I predicted.
- No Nibali, no Pinot...yikes...

The Pluses:

- We witnessed something special. Tadej Pogacar is really special and his performance shouldn't be diminished by the fact that he rode against a bunch of Haimar clones.
- Now that the second brother won his Giro stage, we need to re-write the French cycling dictionary: "peintre" is used to describe a terrible rider. Not anymore.
- Alaf' forever! Bravo Julian!
- Merlier and Milan both did well: it wasn't a one-sided affair in a GT like we have seen so many times.

Average route, no suspense for the win...I give it an 8.
 
I end up at 7/10. Such a complete lack of GC suspense cannot really result in a higher score and I understand if people who like Pogi less than I do have been completely fed up.

For some reason that I can't really point to, I enjoy watching him win so many stages and the show he puts on.

And then there was a lot of good stages besides the Pogi show. Fantastic finale in Torino, good gravel stage, Alaphilippe's win was really one to remember and on par with Sagan's Tortoreto win in 2020, exciting TTs, exciting sprints.
 
8/10

The question is always what people mean by "good". Do they mean a winner of high quality or do they mean suspense? This Giro had the most dominant GT win of the century, with a massive performance by Pogacar. That also means there was hardly any suspense, so people on the Internet will complain.

What constitutes a "good" Grand Tour? The 1969 Tour is one of the most legendary races in cycling history, but there was no suspense. Merckx won by 17 minutes. The 2001 Vuelta on the contrary was close until the final time trial, but people hardly remember Angel Casero's victory.

This was a Giro that people will remember because of the dominance of the winner. But now we'll get a few more pages of moaning.
If the internet was around in the time of Merckx he would have been super divisive too. A lot of the most iconic, legendary rides of all time also had no suspense. We see it in recent years with women's cycling, and comments saying that the level of dominance shown by the likes of van der Breggen and van Vleuten in the mountains makes for boring racing - but Merckx taking minutes when already winning by minutes would likely have got the same reaction.

With the race being the fastest Giro of all time and the Premier League-ification of cycling, there isn't the case to be made for the same argument that is made in women's cycling either about the depth of the péloton.

It's the problem with iconic rides. If they're race-winning rides from a position of adversity like, say, Hinault to Ávila, Heras to Pajáres or Pantani to Les-Deux-Alpes, or at least an attempt at such, like Schleck to Galibier or Chiappucci to Sestrières, then they can be some of the most exciting. But if it's become clear what the outcome is going to be a long way from home, then they can become dull for anybody but the biggest fans of the rider in question.

Personally I quite enjoyed having Pogačar deciding to be as dominant as he was, not because I especially enjoy such dominance, but because at least somebody was doing something. If he'd decided he was happy to win by a small amount and risk a mechanical or something doing for him, it would have been an absolutely sorry spectacle indeed. It's why I compared it to 2011, where Contador was obviously going to win from quite early on, so everybody else kind of worked their way around the race as though Contador wasn't there at all (and indeed of course, later he would be retrospectively removed). There are emotive issues at play with the 2011 Giro (the death of Weylandt and the cancelled tribute stage of course, but also there was Kiryienka's win on Sestrières in tribute for Xavi Tondó who'd also died while the race was taking place), and not having any kind of repeat of that is automatically a plus point; but from a pure racing perspective, this edition was set up like 2011 but the race within the race wasn't as good.

I'll take 2011 (deaths aside ofc) or 2024 over 2012 or 2023 any day. But it is kind of a sign of the times and how the Giro has gone from being the GT everybody trusts for the best action to the most negatively-perceived race that an edition where we knew who was winning - and how comfortably they would win - almost before a pedal was turned, and where nobody behind did a single thing to indicate they believed that racing for anything other than falling backwards as slowly as possible was an option... and it was still a significantly better edition than its predecessor.
 
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For me the giro is about these big days in the alpes and the dolomites, with several contenders and their teams getting to work and being aggressive. Mythical days, mythical battles

We have none of this.

I hold a grudge against Pogacar for the can of worms he opened in 2020 and I was annoyed about him marking attacks by any random Italian, but other than that I don't have an issue with him in this giro. Fairplay he attacked all the time and he won.

The problem was the lack of competition against him, and the lack of aggression from those racing behind him, the lack of risks or big moves, the lack of daring. Hopefully Tiberi is a bit more confident now and can try more in future. But it was such a closed race from stage 2 onwards, Bora did nothing, Ineos ruined every stage, ag2r didn't use their numbers, bahrain needed more experienced climbers around Tiberi.

Im used to watching Nibali mug kruijsvijk and chaves in the snow, contador Landa and aru attacking each other, quintana raiding the stelvio, Pinot and Nibali desperately trying to find time on Dumoulin.

The giro lost this identity.

Some of this is because of the awful mountain stage desgins . Low gradients, short stages, bad climbs. And that factors into my rating. But my god, what a dreadful second half of the giro.

The sterrato was bad and a missed opportunity, the bocca selva was bad, prati di tivo was better in giro Abruzzo last month where there were actually riders with gaps in the road. The time trials were not interesting either..

Some things I did enjoyed: the opening weekend, the Benjamin Thomas win, the merlier vs Milan showdown in the sprints. Alaphilippe, Pelizzari, fiorelli, Narvaez, vendrame.

I don't think it was a good giro. We didn't get a good one since 2021
 
Personally I quite enjoyed having Pogačar deciding to be as dominant as he was, not because I especially enjoy such dominance, but because at least somebody was doing something.
Thing is I don't think Pogacar ever got out of his comfortzone either. What he gave was basically a median expectation of what he could do.

And being the only one to do something was also because he personally stopped anyone else from doing something.
 
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Im used to watching Nibali mug kruijsvijk and chaves in the snow, contador Landa and aru attacking each other, quintana raiding the stelvio, Pinot and Nibali desperately trying to find time on Dumoulin.

The giro lost this identity.

Some of this is because of the awful mountain stage desgins . Low gradients, short stages, bad climbs. And that factors into my rating. But my god, what a dreadful second half of the giro.
Certainly a lot of that is fixable, but let's be honest also, one of the other things that has really been lost is due to the erosion of the ProConti level through the 2008 financial crisis badly damaging the Italian domestic calendar, and the UCI tightening the screws on the level in order to close the Cervélo/BMC loophole.

There used to be a fight all season long on the Coppa Italia for the guaranteed Giro invite, and then there was a whole subset of the péloton for whom this was their entire season. Look at the time immediately around that crisis and while there are other reasons for it (strong riders available below market value due to returning from suspensions and being blocked from top tier teams, for example), you can see veteran former champions like Garzelli, Simoni and di Luca on wildcard teams and still contesting GC or at least secondary classifications. There were more Italian wildcard teams that were strong enough to impact the race than there were spots available. Hell, in 2009 you had CSF in quarantine after the 2008 showings, and in 2010 you had Ceramica Flaminia and ISD blocked from entry just because there was no room at the inn. Those teams went absolutely hog wild at the Giro and guaranteed there was at least something going on.

Over time, though, they've kind of faded away. LPR Brakes imploded after di Luca's bust and fought on for a bit as a smaller team (De Rosa-Stac Plastic at first) before dropping to Continental. Acqua e Sapone folded. Ceramica Flaminia folded. CarmioOro's jump up in level was contingent on a Giro invite that never came. Scinto's mob flew too close to the sun one time too many. Savio's GoFundMe method eventually ran out of steam when there were no longer enough dopers coming on the cheap nor enough South American wonderkids to sell on once Acquadro had alienated almost the entire péloton. Reverberi is the last man standing.
 
Mar 17, 2022
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I really enjoyed the first two weeks. But kinda lost interest in the last week as there was just no GC action and the racing became too predicable. If the third week would have been good, I'd have given it a nine, so its charitable seven.
 
Thing is I don't think Pogacar ever got out of his comfortzone either. What he gave was basically a median expectation of what he could do.

And being the only one to do something was also because he personally stopped anyone else from doing something.
Also him catching Quintana was the moment that was like Johan Tschopp sneaking the Cima Coppi away from Gibo in 2010. Except people might have wanted the romantic result, Simoni taking the Cima as a final parting gift as he was retiring a day later, but at the time it was far from clear they'd be allowed to stay away and even though many were gutted for Gibo, they also appreciated that Tschopp didn't have an illustrious career with GT triumphs to reflect on and was under no obligation to defer. And now, that 2010 queen stage win is kind of what I most remember Johan Tschopp for, so all's fair in love and war.
 
Also him catching Quintana was the moment that was like Johan Tschopp sneaking the Cima Coppi away from Gibo in 2010. Except people might have wanted the romantic result, Simoni taking the Cima as a final parting gift as he was retiring a day later, but at the time it was far from clear they'd be allowed to stay away and even though many were gutted for Gibo, they also appreciated that Tschopp didn't have an illustrious career with GT triumphs to reflect on and was under no obligation to defer. And now, that 2010 queen stage win is kind of what I most remember Johan Tschopp for, so all's fair in love and war.
"We wanted to give this one to the break. Except we didn't."
 
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Also him catching Quintana was the moment that was like Johan Tschopp sneaking the Cima Coppi away from Gibo in 2010. Except people might have wanted the romantic result, Simoni taking the Cima as a final parting gift as he was retiring a day later, but at the time it was far from clear they'd be allowed to stay away and even though many were gutted for Gibo, they also appreciated that Tschopp didn't have an illustrious career with GT triumphs to reflect on and was under no obligation to defer. And now, that 2010 queen stage win is kind of what I most remember Johan Tschopp for, so all's fair in love and war.
Are we comparing Pogačar to Johann Tschopp now? I don‘t think Pogačar will be most remembered for his Livigno solo unlike Tschopp.
 
3/10.

No proper competition.

Bad designed stages.

Soft riders like O'Connor.

The only things i liked was the last 2 km of Mottolino and Monte Grappa.


The Giro is losing the identity and the mythical status since some years ago, and i'm missing those mythical climbs like Finestre, Zoncolan, Gavia.
 
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Recent GTs rated by CN forum:
2023 Vuelta 4.85
2023 Tour 7.78
2023 Giro 3.79
2022 Tour 8.28
2021 Tour 5.53
2021 Giro 6.17
2020 Vuelta 6.77 (surprised it's so high)

No voting for 2021 and 2022 Vueltas and 2022 Giro. Also the voting of 2020 Tour and Giro can't be seen.

For further comparison:
2019 Vuelta 7.47
2019 Tour 7.03
2019 Giro 5.46

2024 Giro currently sits at 5.54 after 50 votes.
 
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Are we comparing Pogačar to Johann Tschopp now? I don‘t think Pogačar will be most remembered for his Livigno solo unlike Tschopp.
Number of Cima Coppi summits won by Johan Tschopp: 1
Number of Cima Coppi summits won by Tadej Pogačar: 0

I mean, sure if he is able to equal Tschopp's feat in that respect then I guess Pogačar holds the tie break in GT wins, Monument wins, GT jersey wins and stage race wins.
 
Recent GTs rated by CN forum:
2023 Vuelta 4.85
2023 Tour 7.78
2023 Giro 3.79
2022 Tour 8.28
2021 Tour 5.53
2021 Giro 6.17
2020 Vuelta 6.77 (surprised it's so high)

No voting for 2021 and 2022 Vueltas and 2022 Giro. Also the voting of 2020 Tour and Giro can't be seen.

For further comparison:
2019 Vuelta 7.47
2019 Tour 7.03
2019 Giro 5.46

2024 Giro currently sits at 5.54 after 50 votes.
So we can round it up to 8. That's fair...
 
Rated it 7, despite the dominance
Pros
-Merlier can get up a hill
-Alaphilippe is not Finished
-Pogacar is Amazing
-Tiberi better than i thought

Cons
-Media, hyping up GC battles when there is none, Media taking sides in cancellation of stages, Media Reporting in General,
..The field, it was even weaker than i had anticipated.
-The modified routes due to weather.
-No proper GC battle that i even remember, not even for one stage
 
Following the same rating system as last year which I think gave that Giro a 4 or 5;

1 point for Merlier’s stage wins especially with them being late in a GT,
1 point for Ala’s breakaways and stage win showing he still can do it,
1 point for Ganna getting back to winning in his home country,
1 point for Milan continuing his progression (hopefully he’s at the Tour next year),
3 points for Pog’s complete domination of the race with 6 stage wins, KoM, an almost 10 min advantage, and completely dictating the race like we haven’t seen.
 
5. GC and points jerseys were decided early. More altered mountain stages, outside of their control of course. Even the top five looked almost set in stone fairly early. Same riders going into the breaks most of the time but some of the break wins saved the race from becoming extra predictable. The TT's were also predictable mostly but good to see O'Connor's improvement in the TT, too bad he got sick at the wrong time which killed any chance of him grabbing third spot. Alaphilippe was constantly trying something. Thought Quintana would try again in the final week for a stage win. Middle of the road Giro with zero suspense for the jerseys.

Pogacar in this form, considering the interruptions to their schedules for Roglic and Vingegaard will never get a better opportunity to do the double as long as he avoids illness and falls etc. He didn't need the attacks in the third week to win the race but that's how he races and he looked like he was winning with the tank still half full on some stages. Only fatigue and bad luck will stop the Giro/Tour double getting done by the looks of it unless Vingegaard or Roglic can do something special on fresher legs and lighter preparations.
 
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