Ecuadorian Richard Carapazthe Portuguese Joao Almeida and the Colombians Ivan Ramiro Sosa and Miguel Angel Lopez They will start as favorites for the “Senza Fine” trophy which will be awarded to the winner of the 105th edition of the Giro d’Italia, which begins this Friday in Budapest and ends on May 29 in Verona.
An edition that will decide the mountain of the last week, in which Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao and Alejandro Valverde will be the Spanish references. A Giro for climbers that should appear especially last week, which will be decisive, a bet in its almost 3,500 km of route through the history of the pink race that includes its mythical ports: Stelvio, Gavia, Mortirolo, Marmolada , Zoncolan , Finestre, Blockhaus,… and a brand new port on the Slovenian border, the Kolovrat. Mountain embellished with more than 50,000 meters of cumulative total altitude difference. The time trials will only have 26 km to cover, and the sprinters, 6 opportunities.
CARAPAZ, ALMEIDA AND LÓPEZ TERNA FAVORITES, LANDA ON THE LOOK
Before the absences of Pogacar, Roglic and defending champion Egan Bernal, the list of favorites is led by Richard Carapaz (Ineos), winner in 2019, Olympic champion and at 28 in full maturity. The cyclist from Carchen leads a powerful team that includes Richie Porte, Sivakov, Jhonatan Narváez, also from Ecuador, and Castroviejo from Spain.
There are many candidates for the pink jersey, starting with Joao Almeida (UAE Emirates), 23, with two top ten finishes at the Giro, the Colombian Iván Sosa, recent winner of the Vuelta a Asturias and strongman of Movistar for the general. In his support the experience of Alajendro Valverde, who will be looking for a stage victory when he bids farewell to the Giro.
Frenchman Romain Bardet (DSM), recent winner of the Tour of the Alps, Briton Simon Yates (BikeExchange), with outstanding debts in the Giro, and above all Miguel Ángel “Supermán” López, leader of Astana, backed by veteran big three champion Vincenzo Nibali. The Spanish options go through Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao and the class shot that Valverde could have. The cyclist from Alava arrives motivated and ready to give, finally, the blow that many fans expect from him, the believers of “landismo”. Bilbao will be an important point of support in Bahrain.
HISTORICAL PORTS AND LAST DEFINING WEEK
The route of the Giro 2022 includes some new features. The longest stage will be 201km and there will be just two days against the clock totaling just over 26km, the lowest since 1962. The mountains continue to dominate the route, with the ascent of the ‘Etna on the fourth day and the Blockhouse Mortirolo route in the second week, in addition to Pordoi and Fedaia (Marmolada) in the last. The pink jersey will be obtained in the mountains.
The Giro will make geographical leaps. The first three stages will take place in Hungary, in Budapest, a subject postponed due to the pandemic and which will begin this Friday with a very interesting arrival in Visegrád, with a 5 km ascent with a 5% drop. On Saturday 7, the time trial will take place, which is usually the opening time, with 9 km in Budapest, with a gradient of one and a half kilometers at 6% at the finish. An arrival for the sprinters at Lake Balaton will close the Magyar circuit on Sunday 8.
ITALY WELCOMES THE PELOTON WITH ETNA
The Giro will make a jump to Sicily, which will host two stages. Etna is waiting for you (23 km at 6%) on the fourth day of the race. Back on the mainland and after two sprints in Messina and Scalea, an interesting mid-mountain day will arrive on Friday the 13th in Potenza, overcoming Passo Colla (2nd), Monte Sirino (1st), Monte Scuro (2nd) and La Sellata (2nd) 24 km from the finish.
This will be the foretaste of a second attractive weekend, with a winding semi-urban circuit in Naples and the second arrival in the high mountains on Sunday 15: the Blockhaus (14 km at 8.5%), preceded by the Passo Lanciano (10 km at 7.5%). The second week can be fun for sprinters. Counting the tenth stage on the way to Jesi, the sprinters could have four consecutive “volatas”, since Reggio Emilia, Genoa and Cuneo are flat finishes. The Giro comes to life on Saturday 21 on a circuit around Turin which includes the Superga, Colle della Maddalena and Parco del Nobile just 4 km from the finish line. On Sunday 22, three important ports arrive: Pila-Les Fleurs (1st), Verrogne (1st) and the final in Cogne (2nd) before the last break.
THE MORTIROLO IN THE LAST SECTION
The queen day will take place on Tuesday, May 24. The “super stage” includes on its menu the Goletto di Cadino (1st), Mortirolo (1st) from Edolo, the Teglio, non-marking and the Valico di Santa Cristina (1st). The next day more wood, the Tonale, not scoring, to warm up from the start, then the Giovo (3rd), Vetriolo (1st) and Monterovere (1st) just 8 km from the finish in Lavarone.
The last weekend can be decisive. On Friday 27, four ascents, including the passage through Slovenia, with the Kolovrat (1st) – and arrival at the Santuario di Castelmonte (2nd). Saturday, a day of 167 km) with three very serious climbs, San Pellegrino (1st), Pordoi (Cima Coppi this year) and a final at Marmolada (1st). The race will end on Sunday 29 with a CRI known to almost everyone, 17 km in Verona with the climb to Torrecella Massimiliana and the final in the Arena, where Richard Carapaz entered victorious in 2019.