Before the Giro sections of the Italian media were asking why Cofidis and Bbox were starting the Italian tour. After all, like Cervélo Test Team and BMC, both squads no longer have a ProTour licence but they don’t have a GT contender. “Shouldn’t spare places go to Italian teams?” asked some? Certainly I would not have minded seeing ISD-Neri in the race.
But the convincing wins by Cofidis’s Monier and BBox’s Tschopp prove that the French teams have their place, especially since other riders have animated the race, whether Arashiro, Voeckler, Duque or Fouchard. Indeed, arguably these two smaller French squads have had a better Giro than the likes of Team Sky, Footon-Servetto and Milram, although perhaps Wiggins will bookend the race with a win in the closing time trial.