It’s been a few editions, that the Italy spin did not have two strong rivals who will fight for a title that they have not achieved, while the rest of the participants, on paper, will have to fight to hurt them, in a test that starts today with a 19 km individual time trial and with four riders Colombians.
Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel They arrive with the bets in their favor, thanks to their career, what they have achieved over the last two years and the results of this 2023, a season in which they have left nothing to chance.
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Do they have loses?
Roglic has played two tests: Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of Catalonia, he has won both, adjusting seven wins in just 14 days of racing.
Evenepoel has this Giro as his great challenge, he comes from winning the Back to Spain and arrives at this test with 22 days of racing, five wins, two of them titles, the UAE Tour and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
The two have already faced each other this year and the Slovenian team Jumbo Visma gave a good account of the Belgian Soudal-Quick-Stepwhom he left in second place in Catalonia.
In favor, Roglic has the experience, knowing the terrain, but at the same time that seniority is one of his Achilles heels, if we see that Evenepoel comes with a branch and at 23 years old he wants to show that he can beat the greats of the peloton. That is his main challenge, to show that he can beat them in a three-week test.
They are two very even riders, although Evenepoel is a little better on the clock and Roglic in the mountains has a little more advantage, but, to be honest, it’s not much.
Neither of them have the Giro in their record. Primoz Roglic has run it twice: he was 58 in 2016 and third in 2019, in addition, he has two partial wins.
The Slovenian runner lost two of his great teammates due to covid.-19, Robert Gesink and Tobias Foss they tested positive before the test and gave up their places to Rohan Dennis and Jos van Emden.
It is the second time that Evenepoel is in the lot of the competition. It premiered in 2021, when it won Egan Bernal, but had to retire on stage 18.
Roglic and Remco, that will be the duel. The two are one and even two steps above the others, and they will not lose, as long as a fall, health or a mechanical breakdown at a bad time lead them to say goodbye to the fight.
The Giro will have three battles, around the clock: today’s stage, next Sunday’s 35 km stage on flat terrain and the penultimate day’s 18 km stage, ending on a high, three days served for a great battle.
As always, and despite this large number of kilometers on the clock, the Giro d’Italia cannot renounce what has been its tradition and will have seven top finishes: two in the first week, one in the second and four in the last week. part.
Behind them, in their shadow, waiting to take advantage of their personal struggle, will be cyclists like Tao Geoghegan Hart champion in 2020, who along with Geraint Thomas they will be the strong men of the Ineos team.
Joao Almeida, who was fourth in 2024, sixth in 2021 and retired last year comes for revenge, another of the riders who will fight for the title or the podium, as the case may be.
Colombia is ready with Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain), 12 last year and winner of a stage, Rigoberto Urán (EF), who will make his seventh Giro and has been second twice: 2013 and 2014. Fernando Gaviria, who is going for victories partial, and Einer Rubio, who will look for a victory in the mountains, will be the cards of Movistar.
It will have four representatives: Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain), Rigoberto Urán (EF) and Fernando Gaviria and Einer Rubio (Movistar).
There are very few options to fight for the podium, very far away, almost impossible, but each one of them has their clear objectives.
Buitrago, the letter
It comes from being 12th overall last year and winning a stage in the final in Lavarone. He is 23 years old and he will have to help them Damiano Caruso and Jack Haig for the fight for the general, but will have freedom.
This year he has competed in five competitions and in three of them he has been on the podium: he was third in Saudi Tour, in the return to Andalusia and in the classical Liège-Bastogne-Liège, ‘The dean’, the oldest cycling competition in the world, and that gives it wings.
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Winning a stage and finishing in the top 10 is his great desire and something he can achieve, if the circumstances of the race so decide.
Uran, for the 10
It will be his seventh Giro d’Italia. He was already second in 2013 and 2014 and has won two stages. He comes to this test at 36 years old, he is a seasoned cyclist and he knows what he is going for.
Uran will be able to finish in the top 10 if he runs, as always, with intelligence, measuring his forces and saving energy to spend it when he needs it.
He is a very regular runner and this year there have been 10 in Around Catalonia and 18 in the Basque Country, which says to the cards that finishing in the ‘top’ 10 of the Giro would be an excellent result for him.
Gaviria, by stages
Fernando Gaviria and the Giro have always had a good relationship. He made his debut in 2017, won four stages and kept the purple jersey of the most regular of that edition.
Then, in 2019, he prevailed in a stage, after the disqualification of the Italian, Elia Viviani.
This time with Movistar he wants to win again. It was imposed on the last day of the return to romandie And that helps to lift your spirits.
It will not be easy for him, as he will fight with hardened men in the packing as Mads Pedersen, Pascal Ackermann and Mark Cavendish, but without a doubt that it has high options to win in massive arrivals.
A victory, a single victory will be for him to obtain the general title, because it is rediscovering victory in a big one after four years.
Blond, a triumph
Einer Rubio is Gaviria’s teammate at Movistar. He is doing his third Giro d’Italia and this year he arrives with wings.
Rubio won the mountain stage in the UAE Tour, his first victory in the highest category of cycling, and doing the same in the Giro would be ideal for him and his squad.
Movisar does not have anyone to fight the general head-on and Rubio can be his card in the large mountainous sections, where he can shine.
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Editor of EL TIEMPO