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Rate the 2024 Giro d'Italia

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Rate the 2024 Giro d'Italia

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Stage 18: Zana beating Pinot for the stage. Again, remarkably, no GC action even though we're getting close. Three guys believing they can take the win on Lussari was not a recipe for a good race.

not true, Roglic attacked on Coi and dropped everyone but Thomas. Almeida lost over 20 seconds, the rest of the GC riders finished in 1's and 2's. not a bad stage at all, a better GC battle than any stage of 2024.
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I have a bias against the 2023 Giro because it was a crap race, not because it was the Giro of 2023... Why were the ITT's particularly wild there? More than this year?

Let's take it stage by stage from my memory, shall we? I promise I won't look anything up. Then you can assess my bias.

Stage 1: Dominant display by Remco, confirming top favourite status. Fine stage but it's an ITT, so it is what it is.
Stage 2: Sprint stage, Milan wins. No other exciting action that I recall, but that's probably my anti-Giro 2023-bias.
Stage 3: Puncheur sprint taken by Matthews which was nice as I like him but no real action.
Stage 4: Lago Laceno MTF. APP wins, Leknessund takes pink. Nothing happens in the GC group, no attacks. Sky train all the way.
Stage 5: Sprint stage in Salerno, Groves wins, points for crashing close to the finish yet managing to return. Cavendish crosses the line lying on the ground.
Stage 6: Pedersen wins in Napoli in the sprint after a nice lead-out from Gaviria. Clarke and De Marchi were close to making it, so a decent flat stage.
Stage 7: Gran Sasso. Big battle of the titans Petilli, Vacek and Davide Bais. Nothing happens in the peloton. Good luck finding the equivalent to this day in this year's race. I think this was the worst Grand Tour stage of the last decade.
Stage 8: Nice solo by Healy and a nice attack by Roglic. First time any GC rider tries their hand. TGH and G manage to catch him and they distance Remco.
Stage 9: ITT. Very close (was that what made it wild) which ended up making it almost irrelevant for GC but a nice spectacle.
Rest day: Remco abandons right after the stage while wearing pink and without waiting until Tuesday morning to assess the condition. By far the most relevant GC action as of yet.
Stage 10: Cort takes the win on a very wet day the peloton is still remembering as one of the worst days on their bikes. It costs Vlasov further participation, so again the kind of GC action you don't like to see. Things got even worse later with the Covi crash that took out TGH who looked like the race's biggest favourite and also damaged Roglic.
Stage 11: Sprint stage won by Ackermann. No notes.
Stage 12: Break stage won by Denz. Not memorable to me, I don't remember who he was up against. Probably Derek Gee.
Stage 13: A lot of bickering about weather and such sees a shortened stage with an MTF at Crans-Montana. A perfectly fine climb, very suitable to GC action. But nothing happens on GC. Pinot manages to lose the stage to Rubio because he had a hissy fit against Cepeda. This is the third MTF with no separation between the GC riders by the way, good luck finding that in other Grand Tours.
Stage 14: Another break won by Denz. I recall his win here as having been quite cool. But no GC action.
Stage 15: McNulty winning in Bergamo, GC riders maybe considering attacking on the climb up to the old city but deciding against it. It is the 2023 Giro after all.
Stage 16: Bondone. A good stage with GC action. There wasn't even a break to deprive us from a nice battle for the stage. Roglic is dropped and saved by Kuss. Almeida beats G in the sprint, G takes the jersey back from Armirail (I don't remember when he got it).
Stage 17: A flat stage with a Dainese sprint win.
Stage 18: Zana beating Pinot for the stage. Again, remarkably, no GC action even though we're getting close. Three guys believing they can take the win on Lussari was not a recipe for a good race.
Stage 19: Same thing happens. The final ramp on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo sees Roglic and G dropping Almeida by a few seconds, almost catching Magnus Cort who was third on an on paper epic mountain stage. Gee got his fourth second place behind Buitrago.
Stage 20: Lussari. Okay, that was a wild ITT (I only considered the first two in my previous comment, so I at least guess I know what you mean now). A great climax.
Stage 21: A very surprising Cavendish win in Rome - thus making sure that no sprinter won more than one stage.

In total I count six stages where the GC riders tried something, three of which were ITT's, one was a short attack on a two-kilometre climb, one was a less-than-a-kilometre-attack/punch-out on Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

So don't tell me how I'm biased against the 2023 Giro. IT WAS CRAP.
TGH actually crashed out one day later, Armirail took the jersey on Stage 14 and stage 18 was actually par for the course I‘d say. Otherwise impressive memory
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As I typed in a stage thread (I think), I live in the NOW, enjoy today. For one day races that's easy, enjoy the race and talk about things that happened/racers in the race (but not what could happen __________). I don't care what happened in that race last year, and after a day or so I'm ready for the next race. GT/stage races present a different view for me because while I still live in the stage that day, I enjoy the GC as well (not always exclusive). I just don't really care how this GdI stacked up wit the 1922 TdF. MvdP was spectacular in PR this year, and I don't care how it compared to the 30 or so other PRs that I've seen. I'm enjoying bike racing on that day, I'm not creating personal memories. I realize that I'm in the (small) minority in this regard.

This Giro was a solid 5. First week was very good and full of action.
Stage 1 - Great stage, probably the best first stage I have ever seen in my life (25 years following cycling) and seeing Pogacar being beaten by Narvaez was incredible.
Stage 2 - Very good finish in Oropa, specially after Pogacar's puncture, very similar to Pantani in 1999.
Stage 3 and 4 - we all thought it would be a boring flat stage (it was) but we had a thrilling finale with Thomas/Pogacar (stage 3) and Ganna in stage 4.
Stage 5 - Very good stage and the break make it was icing on the cake.
Stage 6 - Bittersweat stage. Very good fight for the stage win but gc battle was dreadful.
Stage 7 - Really good TT with Thomas cracking and the thrilling fight between Ganna and Pogi.
Stage 8 - Awful, really bad. I remember watching this stage and thinking "this is it, Pogacar will attack", however we had an uphill sprint... after this stage, I understood that Pogacar was preserving energy and other gc riders will not do sh## in this race and will leave everything in UAE/Pogacar hands.
Stage 9 - Exciting for a sprint stage, specially because some teams were trying to drop big guys like Merlier or Jakobsen.

Week 2 - it wasn't good mainly due to an awful route design.
Stage 10 - Awful gc battle but a nice fight for the stage win.
Stages 11 and 13 - Typical flat stages
Stage 12 - For me the second best stage of this Giro (First stage was the best), incredible to see the reborn of Alaphillippe.
Stage 14 - Dreadful TT with small gaps between the gc guys (excluding Pogi).
Stage 15 -Better than I expected, if we look to the route, I was expecting gc battle just to happen in the last 2 km, however Pogi saved partially this stage. I say partially because the queen stage should offer better chances for long range attacks.

Week 3 - Probably the worst third week since 2012 "everyone waiting for the Stelvio" Giro.
Stage 16 - The biggest low in this race. Nothing more need to be said. Seeing Thomas dropping big time was the only plus in this stage
Stage 17 - Good to see the break make it. GC battle not exciting
Stage 18 - Typical flat stage
Stage 19 - underwhelming stage even in the break. Vendrame won it in a descent with 30 km to go.
Stage 20 - Predictable but still exciting. Pellizari made this stage with a fantastic attack.
Stage 21 - Typical last stage.

First week was great and for that reason I gave it a 5. Second week and third week were probably a 4 and 2 respectively.
RR trying to convince us that the Giro in 2023 in fact wasn't ALL THAT BAD was kinda fun to read through.

That race was a proper 0/10 to me. What crappy, crappy race. Of worthless races I have watched, I'd put Giro 2022, Giro 2012, Tour 2012 and Tour 2009 above that mark.

The Giro 2023 is sitting in the corner crying with all this bias against it :(
I wonder how I would have rated 2004 compared to 2023 actually. Didnt watch even one stage, but just looking through the results and reading about the race (as the historian I am, obviously) I could imagine it could have given it a run for its money in terms of just how worhtless and complete waste of time it was watching it.
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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.
I remember 2011 quite fondly. I just think there were lots and lots of good stages that year, particular the mountain stages were just great IMO even if we knew the winner early on.The opposition Contador faced was obviously also a lot greater with prime Scarponi, a very good Nibali and some great climbers, especially Rujano, and that really contributed to an above average race. Great quality behind Contador and an all time great mountain stage to Gardeccia. This year, it was nonexsistent unfortunately.

I didn't watch 2006, but have watched all of the mountain stages on Youtube throughout the years, and that's in a similar boat as well. Even more dominant that Contador, but the field still had a decent amount of quality and you especially had the two Saunier Duval riders actually trying to do stuff in the high mountains.
I wonder how I would have rated 2004 compared to 2023 actually. Didnt watch even one stage, but just looking through the results and reading about the race (as the historian I am, obviously) I could imagine it could have given it a run for its money in terms of just how worhtless and complete waste of time it was watching it.
2004 had a lot more unwatchable stages, but Gibo vs Cunego (on and off the road) was for sure more fun that Roglic vs Thomas.
2023 Giro was way worse than 2024 Giro and the difference is mainly justified by the winner. Pogacar has panache, charisma, a truly agressive and enjoyable rider on the bike, instead the winner of 2023 is one of the most boring GT winners cycling has seen in recent years, a remarkable uphill sprinter. Only Roglic fanatics believe 2023 Giro was somewhat not bad but it was disguting how many stages were riding negatively specially in the mountains.
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I guess an hypothetical route with 1 short prologue, 1 mixed ITT, 1 flat ITT, 17 sprint stages (with 20, 10 and 6 Bonus seconds at the finish and 10, 6 and 4 in Intergiro) and a final 200 KM multi-mountain stage would be a 10 for many.

It would guarantee a final non-stop action stage with drama and change in the pink jersey and podium. Jonathan Milan in pink being dropped 170 kms from home while Kaden Groves, virtual GC leader, fights hard to hold on the pace of the climbers, who are pushing an incredible pace to overcome the 10 minutes deficit. Full of suspense!
Good. It should be taking time to think about what it has done and only come back when it is happy to make a full and meaningful apology for its behaviour.
Once again, good things of the 2023 Giro being erased, such as Kuss actually pulling Roglic and setting up attacks. To top it off, ya boy Thomas lost

You should really have the 2023 Giro as about 50 times better than the 2023 Vuelta, so there's that.
Both 23+24 Giri suffered from bad design. (Actually 22 similar, but saved by Torino)
23 was designed for nothing at all to happen until Lussari, Vegni then seemed surprised that that actually worked.

This year a bit less, but it was still designed for the big decision on stage 20, Monte Grappa. Better design than 23, but still not back to old standards. Thanks to Pogacar the glaring weaknesses of the route were hidden a bit. The Forcella di Livigno planning disaster didn't help, but even then, by adding the Mottolino, you invite waiting for the end. With Foscagno it then was just not the terrain to make the difference early, unless you were clearly superior like Pogacar. With the Forcella at least the terrain for early attacks was there, but with a clear disincentive with the Mottolino. Just finish on Eira... or in Livigno. Stelvio cancellation on the other hand made the GC stage more interesting if anything, with Stelvio there would just have been a big escape going, win for the escape, control for GC positions in the tpo 10 behind. Brocon with the hardest climb at the end again you encourage everybody to wait.
So like in 23 in the end very little happened until the big stage 20 showdown. Which in 23 was better, downhill from Grappa made a lot come back together again. Without Pogacar we might have had suspense for the win, but little spectacle. Ok, some stages, Prati di Tivo especially, we might have seen more action without Pogacar, but for the rest...But thanks to Pogacar it was still an enjoyable Giro, 6/10 I'd say. Hilly stages 24 were rather bad too, Torino good, the Alaphilippe stage turned out nice with Alaphilippe winning, but I'd like to see something with a few more, and slightly longer climbs.

2023 was actually good with the escape stages, they were better than 24 I thought, just that that's not what makes a good GT. 23 was bad. 24 was acceptable thanks to Pogacar.
Once again, good things of the 2023 Giro being erased, such as Kuss actually pulling Roglic and setting up attacks. To top it off, ya boy Thomas lost

You should really have the 2023 Giro as about 50 times better than the 2023 Vuelta, so there's that.
I do, but that's largely to do with the alarming precedents for the sport set by the 2023 Vuelta, the organisational absolute fiasco, the ridiculous false neutralisations and the race being decided in the most unsatisfactory way imaginable (Visma allowing Twitter comments to decide their strategy but not until after they'd allowed their pre-race leaders to expose that Kuss was a lame duck champion) more than the spectacle. Much of the spectacle at the 2023 Vuelta was a farce but at least there was something happening, which can't be said for most of the 2023 Giro.

I may have preferred the outcome of the 2023 Giro but that doesn't necessarily mean it was a better race, just that it has a chance to win out on the Marc Antony principle.
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