Red Rick said:
Him winning would be the biggest upset since... Horner?
Based on previous results?
Carapaz is what? 25? Got 4th in his previous Giro, him making progression is a lot less seemingly left field than Thomas.
Dumoulin was also a big, big surprise at the time.
I'd still argue the people who were surprised about thomas winning the tour last year only were so because they were refusing to open their eyes in the months prior to the tour.
Dumoulin was a pretty big surprise when it happened but then again Dumoulin was already a much bigger name in 2017 than Carapaz was before this giro and Dumoulin was the kind of guy nobody was sure about what his ceiling might be. Everyone knew he was an elite TT'er and everyone knew he was a very good climber, the question was really just how good he could climb once he put his focus on it.
What Dumoulin and Carapaz have in common is that neither are world beaters in preperation races which is why nobody saw these kind of performances coming even months after the seasons started. Imagine Roglic would only be mediocre in preperation races as well and then he had turned up at last years tour and out of nowhere finished fourth. That would have been seen as a borderline miracle, but because he had been strong throughout the season nobody was really shocked by his tour.
I actually think the Roglic comparison is a pretty good one. Carapaz massively improved from 2017 to 2018 and I guess because he was already quite old people thought that would be his peak. Turned out it wasn't and his improvement hasn't even stagnated going into 2019. If he was just 3 years younger that kind of improvement from last year to this year wouldn't shock anyone but you don't expect it from a 26 year old.
Now that I think about it I actually find it genuinely funny that every year since 2015 there was one guy in the giro who won or could have won the race who nobody really saw coming. Landa in 2015 was quite a surprise, Kruijswijk in 2016, Dumoulin in 2017, Yates in 2018 and now Carapaz this year. Of course surprises of various degrees but still, considering the favorites going into grand tours are usually rather clear this is quite a series of surprises. I have to check it but I'd be surprised if any of those guys got more than 10, maybe even 5% of the votes in the pre race poll.