A time trial and ever since the route was announced Filippo Ganna felt like the certain pick only his form’s not so reassuring of late. Today also brings some answers about the form of the GC contenders.
Turin: Torino to locals and an elegant city that’s home to grissini breadsticks and two importers of Colombian goods: coffee roaster Lavazza and Gianni Savio. It’s also the second home of Urbano Cairo, the media mogul who controls RCS which promotes the Giro. Today’s 8.6km course is a big boulevard affair, running up and down the banks of the Po river and rewards riders capable of pushing a giant gear while holding the most aero of positions possible for long sections.
The Contenders: Filippo Ganna (Ineos) should have been the runaway pick, the world champion seemed unbeatable in time trials and is now riding in his home race, on a course gifted to him by the organisers. Only he was dethroned in the Tirreno-Adriatico time trial after falling ill, and then twice in the recent the Tour de Romandie, is the form a problem? The talk has been that Tokyo is the big objective but there’s room to aim for this today too. Romandie’s two hilly TTs were less to his liking but the doubt is there now and we should have a contest for the stage win.
Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quickstep) is the form pick. He did win in Romandie and is a time trial specialist, only he’s not yet the “human metronome” stereotype. Instead, like a Frenchman faced with pasta, he’s prone to overcooking things too soon. However since Franck Alaphilippe’s joined the team as a coach they’ve been working on this.
Team mate Remco Evenepoel gets an instant test of form that will tell us plenty and if he’s back to his best he’s capable of winning here although that would still be an surprise, he’d be a stronger pick for a hillier course but his career is one of surprises so far. Staying with the Quicksteppers, João Almeida should be close too, it’s harder to see a win but a strong ride can put him in a good position for the maglia rosa once the climbs come and the big TT specialists fall out of the overall classification only this holds true for Evenepoel too.
If you like colossal Italian chronomen then Ganna isn’t your only pick, Jumbo-Visma’s Edoardo Affini is an outsider. There are plenty of specialists like Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka-Assos), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Jan Tratnik (Bahrain), Jos van Emden (Jumbo-Visma) and Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) but it’s hard to see them winning. The Israel team has three in Alex Dowsett, Mathias Brändle and Paddy Bevin with the latter one to watch because if he finish high today he’s also handy on short climbs and bunch sprints and so could aim to collect the race at some point next week. Alberto Bettiol is not a TT specialist but can do well here, the same for Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) and Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-Assos) too but beating Cavagna and Ganna?
|Filippo Ganna, Rémi Cavagna
Weather: dry, sunny and a top temperature of 19°C. A light NE breeze means a tailwind to the first time check and a small headwind for the final 2.5km.
TV: last rider is home at 5.10pm CEST and most of the big names feature in the final hour, all going off at one minute intervals. It’s on RAI for locals and VPN users, Eurosport/GCN for much of the world and Australians get treated to coverage on SBS.